There are those who say that they were as protagonists as she was. They were always shown next to her and even “snuck” into several real photos. These are the corgis, the dogs that accompanied Elizabeth II in her long reign and that were her weakness since she was little. This Thursday, the dogs were left without an owner and many wonder who will take care of them.
It all started when Isabel was just 7 years old and fell in love with Dookie, his first corgi. She had convinced his father of him. At that time, George, Duke of York, was not even the heir to the Crown and the family lived a quiet and comfortable life in a house in central London.
The family already had several dogs, including Labradors and a spaniel, but Isabel and little Margarita, her sister four years younger, they had taken a fancy to a neighbor’s corgi that seemed much more fun than their own dogs.
Jorge could not refuse the request of his daughters and in 1933 he commissioned a breeder to take three puppies to his home at 145 Piccadilly in London to keep one. That day he was marked by fire. Most of the 30-plus dogs the monarch owned in her lifetime were of the native Pembroke Welsh corgi breed.
At present, it is not clear for sure how many dogs Isabel had, but at least four have appeared on the scene recently: two corgis, Muick and Sandy; a cocker spaniel, Lissy; Y Candya dorgi (hybrid of sausage dog and corgi whose origin is attributed precisely to the queen).
Following Isabel’s passing last Thursday, the UK community of corgi owners feels that they are left without the great godmother of their animals.
Kay Hogg, Scotland secretary for the League of Welsh Corgis, was adamant. She said that with the monarch’s death, “a part of our world was lost.”
Speaking to the local agency PA, Hogg recalled that “wherever the queen went, there were always corgis”, a breed that he described as “small dogs with big personalities”.
Without their mistress, the most widespread hypothesis now among the experts in the house of Windsor is that the care of the dogs will fall to their children, with prince andrew -the third son and the second son of Isabel- as the main candidate to inherit one of the dogs.
Carlos, eldest son and current successor of his mother, recently became the owners of two jack terriers, rescued from a shelter, together with his wife Camilla.
Elizabeth II’s devotion to animals may have had something to do with her shyness and rather introverted character, as recalled by a cousin of her husband Felipe, Pamela Hicks, who suggested that the monarch preferred the company of animals to that of the humans.
“The queen is a very private person. She longs to be in a room with no one else. Dogs, horses, her husband… She has few friends, and if she had to choose between dogs, horses and friends, there is no doubt about which I would chooseHicks pointed out.
Close sources detailed that the corgis were a fundamental pillar to go through the moments of anguish due to the death of her husband and also due to the world situation so complicated due to the crisis caused by the coronavirus.
Due to the rigid family rules of the past, Isabel had to wait until she turned 18 to have her own corgi. Just that day, she was given to Susan. Such was her fanaticism that she even took her on her honeymoon with Prince Philip in 1947. Many of the pets that accompanied her later were descendants of Susan.
One of them was Willowone of the dogs that was with her during the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012.
Even Lady Di -Carlos’s first wife- said at some point that the pets followed the queen everywhere. They accompanied her to her private rooms in Windsor and she fed them, often with a fork and spoon brought on a tray by an attendant.
In addition, the dogs slept in a pet-only room located inside Buckingham Palace and under the surveillance of two specialized keepers.
The dogs enjoyed a life as cared for as that of their deceased mistress. The royal cooks carefully prepared their menu. Darren McGrady, a former chef who worked with the monarch for fifteen years, said that one of his first jobs was preparing food for the corgis.
He said that monarchical pets were served very specific preparations, made day by day, with fresh food and based on meat cut into pieces as small as possible so that there were no bones left for them to choke on.
With all its prominence in the crown, corgis became a boom in the UK. And even more so when Netflix portrayed them together with Elizabeth II in the successful series “The Crown”, which narrates her reign.
Since the first season aired in 2017, corgi puppy registrations have been on the rise, nearly doubling between 2017 and 2020, according to the kennel-clubthe largest British organization dedicated to the health of dogs, which in 2018 managed to remove them from the list of dog breeds in danger of extinction.
With information from Agencies