Throughout her life, Queen Elizabeth II was renowned for her deep love of animals, not least her beloved dogs. And, with her sad passing at the age of 96, many are wondering what will now happen to her remaining precious pets.
The Queen owned more than 30 corgis – her favorite breed – the corgi during her lifetime and cocker spaniels and dorgis – a delightful cross between a corgi and a dachshund. And at the time of her death on September 8, it is thought she still had four dogs under her care; two corgis called Muick and Sandy, a 13-year-old dorgi called Candy, and a cocker spaniel named Lissie.
It had previously been speculated that the Queen had intentionally stopped welcoming any new pups into her household and is thought to have told a horse trainer back in 2015 that she ‘didn’t want to leave any young dog behind’.
However, she was given Muick in 2021 when her husband, Prince Philip, was hospitalized. She named the pup after one of her favorite spots near her Balmoral Castle retreat in Scotland. Her son, Prince Andrew, then gifted her Sandy the dorgi on what would have been Prince Philip’s 100th birthday. Then in 2021, the Queen took in a four-year-old cocker, Lissie.
Royal biographer, Ingrid Seward, explained to Newsweek why the Queen’s relationship with her dogs endured. “She loves animals, and she absolutely adores dogs. They were her first love, and they will be her last.”
The Queen’s life-long love of the corgi breed can be traced back to 1933 when the young Elizabeth’s parents brought Dookie the corgi into the family. Her father bought Elizabeth her second corgi – Susan – for her 18th birthday. Susan even joined the Queen and Prince Philip on their honeymoon before giving birth to a pair of puppies in 1949, effectively starting a new royal line of corgis that continued for what is believed to have been 14 generations.
The Queen’s love of corgis also played a part in creating a new dog breed, the dorgi, when one of her pets bred with a dachshund owned by her sister, Princess Margaret, to produce a crossbreed.
Over six decades of dog ownership, the Queen walked her pets twice a day until it became too difficult for her to do it herself. Her corgis also had their own space at Buckingham Palace, known as the ‘corgi room’.
As well as dogs, the Queen was also a horse lover and gained a passion for thoroughbred breeding and racing stock from her late father, King George VI. The Queen now leaves behind more than 100 equines, including a horse gifted to her by French President Emmanuel Macron for her Platinum jubilee earlier this year.
So, what is expected to become of the Queen’s precious dogs and horses? No official plan has been released, but Seward believes the dogs are most likely to be taken on by the Queen’s family.
“I imagine the family would look after the dogs, probably Andrew [as] he’s the one that gave them to her. They’re quite young, the corgi and the dorgi,” she added.
Meanwhile, writer Penny Junor believes that the Queen’s dogs may also be cared for by her loyal staff. Writing in her 2018 book, ‘All the Queen’s Corgis’, Junor noted:
“Care of the dogs has fallen sometimes to footmen but mostly to the Queen’s trusted dressmaker, assistant, and right-hand woman, Angela Kelly; and to her equally trusted page of many years standing, Paul Whybrew, who was seen walking with the Queen and the dogs in the James Bond spoof. “Both are fond of the dogs and are said to be very close to [the Queen].”
As for the Queen’s horses, the Royal family is also expected to help again. Speaking to the New York Times, royal author Claudia Joseph said he believed the Queen’s daughter was most likely to step in.
“Princess Anne and [Anne’s] daughter, Zara, both Olympic equestrians and well-known horse lovers, are likely to be involved in what happens next to the queen’s animals,” Joseph said.
But wherever the Queen’s much-loved dogs and horses go, you can be sure they will be in good hands and continue to be cared for, just as Her Royal Highness would expect.
Featured photo by @theroyalfamily – Instagram