The History of Queen Elizabeth Corgis: The Queen’s Favorite Dogs

By: Maddox Short ’23

Queen Elizabeth II has had over 30 Corgis throughout her lifetime. Queen Elizabeth is the longest reigning British Monarch, earning Her title Sept 9, 2015. Queen Elizabeth II, born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, was born April 21, 1926, in the House of Windsor. 

Queen Elizabeth’s uncle, Edward VIII, was in line for the throne until He abdicated Dec. 11, 1936. After His abdication, His brother, Albert, Duke of York and later King George V, rose to the throne giving Elizabeth the possibility of becoming Queen.

News of Her father’s death reached Elizabeth and Philip will touring in Kenya. Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth Feb 6, 1952, and Her coronation was held June 2, 1953.

Queen Elizabeth’s love of Corgis started in the 1930s with her first Welsh Corgi, Dookie. In 1933, Thelma Gray brough a litter of Corgis to show the Royal-Family who chose Dookie as their first Royal-Corgi. Years later, Gray gifted the family Jane, another Corgi.

At 18, then-Princess Elizabeth was gifted her own Corgi named Sue, and later, Susan. Susan was The Queen’s first personal Corgi which ignited Her interest in her breeding program. Susan was the original Corgi in this program, so all of the Royal Corgis are related to her.

Queen Elizabeth stopped breeding Corgis through Her program shortly after The Queen Mother died in 2002. The Queen’s equine advisor, Monty Roberts asked The Queen in 2012 why she stopped breeding, “She didn’t want to have any more young dogs. She didn’t want to leave any young dog behind,” he said.

 In 2018, Willow the last direct descendant of Susan, died. According to the Washington Post, The Queen was “hit particularly hard by Willow’s death in 2018.”

The Queen’s love of animals did not stop after Willow’s death, however. Feb 2021, The Queen was gifted two new puppies, Fergus and Much. Later in in May, when Fergus died, Prince Andrew’s Family gifted The Queen a new Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Sandy.

Throughout Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, she has had more than 30 Corgis and a variety of other dogs.

Queen Elizabeth reigned from 1952 until her Death Sept 8, 2022. Her 70-year reign surpassed her Great-Great-Grandmother, Queen Victoria’s reign.

Queen Victoria reigned 63 years and seven months, making her the longest reigning British Monarch before Elizabeth Feb 6, 2017 Queen Elizabeth became the first British Monarch to celebrate a Sapphire Jubilee which commemorates 65 years on the British Throne.

7 months before her death, Elizabeth celebrated Her 70th anniversary of accension which is called the Platinum Jubilee. Queen Elizabeth died Sept 8, 2022 and left behind two Corgis and two Cocker Spaniels. Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, gifted the Queen her most recent dogs. After Her death, Andrew and his ex-wife inherited the Queen’s dogs as their own and will live with the at Royal Lodge. Ferguson is honored to inherit the “national treasure,” she said.

Sept 17, 2022 Prince William assured the public that the Queen’s dogs are in good care. “They are two very friendly Corgis, so they’ve got a goof home. They’ll be looked after very well. Spoiled rotten, I’m sure,” Prince William said.

“My Corgis are family,” Queen Elizabeth said. The Queen’s Corgis were with her during her final hours at Balmoral, “they were there to comfort the Queen,” Palace sources shared. Her Corgis welcomed Her Majesty’s coffin during Her final procession to Windsor.

The Queen’s love for animals began as a young girl. “She loves animals, and she absolutely adores dogs. She always has, they were her first love, and they will be her last,” Ingrid Seward, a royal biographer, said.

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