The queen and her corgis, a long love story

From Susan, received for her 18th birthday, to Fergus and Muick, acquired before the death of her husband Philip, Elizabeth II owned about thirty corgis, small dog that remains inseparable from his image.

Elizabeth II, who died Thursday at the age of 96, a colorful dress, a pair of gloves, a black bag … and a corgi running by her side.

This short-legged dog with pointed ears and a long back takes its name from the Celtic “Cor gi”, meaning “dwarf dog”. An animal so closely associated with the monarch that when he made a video with James Bond – played by Daniel Craig – on the occasion of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, his four-legged companions were in the cast.

Several have also been immortalized alongside the sovereign in official photographs or paintings. Less solemn, the Buckingham Palace shop offers stuffed animals or key rings bearing their effigy, unless you prefer socks with canine prints, for a touch of extreme British eccentricity.

Young Elizabeth discovered this breed of dog at an early age, when her father King George VI introduced Dookie to the family in 1933.

This was the beginning of a long love for the queen that has raised several generations of corgis since Susan.

– From corgi to dorgi –

The last descendant of this dynasty, Willow, died in April 2018, leaving the queen without corgis. But Elizabeth II decided to get two puppies in March 2021, perhaps a way to find comfort in a difficult time.

Her husband Prince Philip, 99, lived in his last weeks and the royal family was rocked by a crisis, accused of racism by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan from the United States.

When she was presented to the queen, Meghan Markle successfully passed a test: “She was immediately adopted by the corgis”, assured Prince Harry in an interview given on the occasion of the announcement of their engagement in November 2017.

“They’ve been flirting with me for 33 years. He came in, he didn’t…” he compared angrily.

The queen also relied on these small animals to relax her guests, war surgeon David Nott said. While suffering from a terrifying flashback during a private lunch at Buckingham Palace, the Queen offered to pet her dogs and give them cookies.

“Within 20 minutes of that lunch, the Queen and I were feeding the dogs. She did it because she knew I was very traumatized,” he told the BBC in 2016.

Elizabeth II loved her corgis so much that she supervised their feeding herself, according to “Pets by Royal Appointment,” a book about the pets of the British royal family.

-A fashionable dog-

Served at 5 p.m., the dogs’ dinner consisted of beef tenderloin and chicken breast smothered in gravy.

The queen raised generations of corgis, with a preference for the Pembroke breed, but also created the “dorgi”, a cross between a corgi and a dachshund. And his interest aroused the enthusiasm of his subjects.

“In 1944, when Susan, the Queen’s first Pembroke Corgi, was born, the breed’s popularity jumped 56%. The numbers have continued to rise. Pembroke Corgis hit their peak in 1960, seven years after coronation of the queen when almost 9,000 puppies went up. After this + period of glory +, the popularity of the breed fell “, traces the Kennel Club, the largest British organization dedicated to the health and training of dogs.

After several years of dismay, Netflix saved the corgis by representing them alongside Elizabeth II in the hit series “The Crown”, which followed her reign.

They are in fashion again.

Between the airing of the first season of the series in 2017 and 2020, the registrations of Pembroke corgi puppies almost doubled according to the Kennel Club, which in 2018 was able to remove it from the list of breeds in danger of extinction.

They also became the star of the jubilee celebrations in June that marked the 70th year of the monarch’s reign, the dogs then brought down giant puppets, colorful sculptures and even a special emoji on Twitter.

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