Queen Elizabeth II: 5 things to know about the royal corgis

Queen Elizabeth II was known for many things.

Not only was she one of the longest-reigning monarchs with 70 years on the throne, she was also an animal lover, especially the small corgi.

Here are five things to know about the queen’s beloved pets.

1. The official breed of the queen’s dogs is Royal Pembroke Welsh Corgi, according to the American Kennel Club. Elizabeth’s first one was a gift when she was an 18-year-old princess. The dog’s official name was “Hickathrift Pippa” but went by Sue which evolved into Susan.

Susan was so close to her owner that she accompanied Elizabeth on her honeymoon with Prince Philip and was hidden under blankets in the royal carriage, the AKC said.

The dogs were connected to the royal family well before. In 1933, the future King George VI and his family chose a dog eventually named Dookie from a litter bred by Thelma Gray. A couple of years later, Gray provided a dog named Jane.

Dookie died at the start of World War II but he and Jane had a puppy named Crackers. Jane was killed in an accident in 1944, the AKC said. Then when Elizabeth was gifted Susan, the dog was the first solely owned by the future queen and became the start of the royal breeding program.

2. Royal lineage: Many champion corgis in the U.S. have descended from the queen’s pets at least distantly, The Washington Post reported. Queen Elizabeth II had raised more than 30 Pembroke Welsh Corgis over the years. Some of the dogs’ names include — Geordie, Jolly, Pickles and Tinker. She also must have really liked the name Dipper as she had two dogs with that name, according to The Washington Post.

The breeding of the royal corgis ended by 2015 but she has received some as gifts, the Post reported. There is a discrepancy of when exactly it ended as the AKC said it stopped after the Queen Mother died in 2002 and that the queen supposedly “didn’t want to have any more young dogs. She didn’t want to leave any young dog behind.”

3. They weren’t always the best behaved. There was, what The Washington Post called, an eight-corgi melee at Windsor Castle in 1991. Buckingham Palace didn’t say which dogs were part of the dog fight but the Sydney Morning Herald listed them as Spark, Myth, Fable, Diamond, Kelpie, Phoenix and Piper.

Dookie was also known to bite visitors, BBC News reported.

4. Queen Elizabeth II accidentally created a new breed. That variation is the dorgi — a cross between a dachshund and a corgi that happened when one of the queen’s corgis had a tryst with one of Princess Margaret’s dachshunds named Pipkin, BBC News reported. Dorgies can vary in appearance but they all had long tails and were smaller than the typical pedigree corgis.

5. Queen Elizabeth II walked the corgis every day until mobility issues slowed her down, BBC News reported. She also loved the family’s animals so much that when someone died, she frequently adopted their corgis, including three corgis owned by the Queen Mother. When Elizabeth visited Clarance House to view her mother’s body, she left the residence with the Queen Mother’s three corgis. Prince Andrew and Sara Ferguson will care for Muick and Sandy, two dogs that were given to the queen by the Duke of York in 2021, CNN and The Guardian reported.

The two dogs were seen at the queen’s procession to St. George’s Chapel at Winsor Palace on Monday before the committal ceremony.