We all know Queen Elizabeth by her poised manner, her ageless appearance and her ability to maintain her status as the Queen of England for over 60 years, but perhaps her most prominent characteristic is her love of corgis. If you visit any Buckingham Palace gift shop you will find an array of corgi ornaments, magnets, buttons, etc. The woman loves corgis, and they love her.
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This week, the Queen showed her love to more than just her adored corgis. The queen has developed a tight knit bond with her late gamekeepers dogs. According to The Telegraph, the Queen has been privately helping care for two dogs, a Pembroke Welsh corgi and a Bichon Frise. The 90-year-old monarch, who had mentioned to the press that she would not breed any more dogs, apparently changed her mind. In 2015, she stopped breeding new Pembroke Welsh corgis because she feared some of the dogs would end up alone after she dies.
The late Bill Fenwick and his deceased wife, Nancy, lived with the two dogs at the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk where the Queen resides from time to time. Nancy was the primary care taker of both dogs before she passed away. When Bill passed away as well, the Queen stepped in.
The Queen hasn’t officially adopted the two dogs but rumors are spreading that the pair may end up in her pooch entourage. The Queen currently has 3 dogs: Willow, the corgi, and Vulcan and Candy, the two Dachshund-corgis. In October, the death of the Queen’s cherished corgi Holly made world news.
Holly was 13 years old and one of the remaining two Pembroke Welsh corgis in the royal family. According to People Magazine, Holly had been put down after suffering from a private illness. Holly has been buried in the garden at Balmoral Castle in an area the Queen can see her from her drawing room window.
You may be asking, from where does the Queen’s love for Corgis originate? Like any non-aristocratic family, the Queen’s love of this dog breed comes from her family. In 1933 her parents, the future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, purchased the royal family’s first corgi named Dookie. The Queen (Princess Elizabeth at the time) fell in love with Dookie and on her 18th birthday, she received a corgi of her own, which she named Susan. The two had such a close bond that Susan even accompanied the Queen on her honeymoon in 1947.
Susan gave birth to two puppies in 1949 and her family line was continually bred for 14 generations. Although the Queen deeply loves the breed, her family didn’t always agree.
In a television interview, Prince William was asked to comment on how his grandmother’s private life keeps her sane. He answered, “I would definitely argue the sanity of all the corgis barking the whole time. I don’t know how she copes with it.”
In celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday, famed photographer Annie Leibovitz captured the Queen on the steps of Windsor Castle with her 4 dogs by her side. Annie captured the last and quite possibly the best photograph of Holly.
You can check out the photographs here: