The Queen stands with her Corgis

The Queen's favourite breed is the Corgi.

© windsor_tourist_guides_ltd - Instagram

The Queen's dogs: The history behind Her Majesty's love for dogs

By Natasha James Content Writer

Updated on the

The Queen is famed for her love of dogs (and one breed in particular!). But, exactly where did her love of dogs come from and when did it start? Read on to find out.

It’s no secret that Her Royal Highness, Her Majesty The Queen (to use her full title), was a huge fan of animals. Whether it was walking her dogs or riding her horses, Queen Elizabeth seemed her happiest when surrounded by four-legged friends.

A quick look back into the history of the royal family reveals that the Queen had an almost lifelong love of dogs since she was gifted one particular breed as a child…

What dogs did the Queen have?

If you’re a fan of the Queen (or even the hit TV show The Crown), you’ll be very familiar with the Queen’s favourite breed of dog. The Queen was a huge fan of the Welsh Corgi.

The Royal Corgi ©T.Den_Team - Shutterstock

These sweet, short-legged dogs were originally bred as herding dogs. They’re known to be loyal, obedient and eager to please. They also tend to be great with children, which could account for why she had them around as she raised her four children – Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward.

She was also fond of the “Dorgi” – a crossbreed between Corgis and Dachshunds.

Why did the Queen love Corgis?

The Queen’s love of Corgis seems to stem from childhood. At a young age, Queen Elizabeth and her sister Margaret would play with the Corgis owned by the Marquess of Bath. And then, in 1933, the Queen’s father, King George VI brought home their very own Corgi whom they named Dookie.

For her 18th birthday, the Queen (then Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh) was given her very own Corgi whom she named Susan. Her future Corgis were all descendants of Susan until HRH decided to cease breeding the pups.

How many dogs did the Queen have when she passed away?

It is thought that the Queen left three dogs behind when she passed away. Muick and Sandy are two young Corgis, and Candy a senior Dorgi. The dogs will be taken in by Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah, who both live in the Royal Lodge at the Windsor Estate. 

What did the Queen name her dogs?

The Queen has owned a series of Corgis and Dorgis with a selection of names. From the more traditional Monty, Heather and Emma to the less expected Sugar, Candy and Honey. Other names include Whisky, Sherry, Cider, Willow and Spick and Span! 

8 fascinating facts about the Queen’s dogs

1. They ate gourmet meals

Ever wondered if the Queen’s dogs ate regular old dog food? Well, the answer is absolutely not! The royal pups had their own chef who cooked fillet steak and chicken breast. A new menu was created daily for the fortunate pups and fresh ingredients were used. It is thought that the Queen sometimes put the finishing touches to the doggy bowls (which may or may not have been gilt edged!) and gave the pups their dinner herself Lucky dogs!

2. The Queen used to take her pups for a lunchtime walk every day

After the royal pups had their lunch, the Queen would take the whole pack (at one point, thought to have been as many as thirteen dogs) for a walk around the grounds of Buckingham Palace. Their first morning walk was carried out by a dedicated footman – what a job to have!

3. The Queen took her pups very seriously

It is rumoured that one palace worker was demoted from his position after he spiked the dogs’ food with gin and whisky for a “practical joke”. Unsurprisingly, her majesty didn’t see the funny side and kept the comedian away from her beloved pups from then on.

4. The pups received Christmas stockings

Wondered how similar the Queen is to us? The answer is, when it comes to her dogs, pretty similar indeed! She reportedly made up Christmas stockings for the dogs and filled them with treats and toys.

5. The Queen took her dogs with her when she travelled

We all know the bittersweet feeling of saying goodbye to our pets when we go on holiday or away for work and it seems the Queen felt it too. She took her pups with her when she travelled if she could and allegedly hid her first Corgi, Susan, in the open carriage she took with Philip on her wedding day!

6. No dog houses for these pups

The dogs had their very own room at Buckingham Palace: the Corgi Room! The pups had raised beds and fresh sheets every day – it is thought that this lavish tradition was started by the queen mother. The dogs could come and go as they pleased in their room.

7. Ouch! Dog fight leads to hospital trip

In 1999, it is thought that the Queen went to hospital and had three stitches after breaking up a fight between her beloved Corgis. Those pups clearly don’t know who they’re dealing with!

8. There is a royal cemetery for the Queen’s dogs

Her first dog Susan was buried at the Sandringham Estate and all her other pups have followed suit. The tradition was started by Queen Victoria who buried her beloved Collie there. The Queen even has gravestones made up for each of the dogs, Susan’s has “For almost 15 years faithful companion to the Queen” engraved on it.

So, there you have it, everything you wanted to know about the Queen’s dogs. She was quite the dog lover!

More advice on...

What did you think of this advice article?

Thanks for your feedback !

Thanks for your feedback !

Frequently asked questions

Why does the Queen love Corgis?

Can dogs travel long distances?

What's a Dorgi?

Leave a comment
Connect to comment
Want to share this article?