Her love for the pups was long celebrated, playing a central part in the apparent corgi renaissance social media has helped fuel over the past decade. Three of her corgis were featured in a James Bond skit with the queen and Daniel Craig that aired at the 2012 Olympics. The dogs have also made frequent appearances in the Netflix series “The Crown,” which depicts Elizabeth’s tenure as head of state.
When she died this week at 96, Elizabeth reportedly left behind two Pembroke Welsh corgis, a corgi-dachshund mix known as a dorgi, and a cocker spaniel.
It’s not clear what will happen to the queen’s beloved pets. Royal biographer Ingrid Seward said they might go to her children from her.
“I imagine the dogs would be looked after by the family, probably Andrew [as] he’s the one that gave them to her,” Seward told Newsweek. “They’re quite young, the corgi and the dorgi.”
As Elizabeth got older, she seemed troubled by the prospect of her dogs living on without her there to care for them.
At some point, she decided to wind down the decades-long corgi breeding program she oversaw at Windsor Castle, where 14 generations of dogs were raised and trained. The program appeared to have gone quiet by about 2002, following the death of her mother, according to the American Kennel Club.
In 2012, Monty Roberts, the queen’s equine adviser, told Vanity Fair that the death of one of her dogs — a corgi that co-starred in the James Bond skit — had deeply affected her.
“She didn’t want to have any more young dogs,” he said. “She did n’t want to leave any young dog behind.”
“She wanted to put an end to it,” Roberts said of the queen’s corgi breeding. “I understood that we would discuss it further at a later date. Well, we never discussed it at a later date, and I have no right to try to force her into continuing to bring on young puppies if she doesn’t want to. That isn’t my right.”
Queen Elizabeth II: A visual timeline of her 70 years on the throne
Still, it was hard to separate the monarch from her mutts.
Candy, an elderly corgi, was with her until the end. She also had two younger pups, Muick and Sandy, gifted to her by family in recent years. Her cocker spaniel is named Lissy.
According to the BBC, the royal family had a term for the calming effect the corgis had on the queen over the years: “the dog mechanism.”
“If the situation becomes too difficult she will sometimes literally walk away from it and take the dogs out,” wrote Penny Junor, author of “All the Queen’s Corgis.” “Prince Andrew is said to have taken three weeks to fight his way past the dogs to tell his mother that his marriage to Sarah Ferguson was in trouble.”
“Dogs and horses are her passion,” Junor wrote, “and it is with them, and the people who share that passion, that she truly relaxes.”