Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee Is Also a Celebration of Corgis

In the Queen’s 70 years as monarch, no symbol has been more a member of the British royal family than the corgi, her steadfast companion from a young age. They make an iconic pairing.

So much so that the image of the corgi will play a central role as Britain obsessively celebrates four days of her platinum jubilee this week. Corgi sculptures are installed on the streets of central London, while their images are adorned with commemorative ornaments, pillows, mugs and cookies.

Queen Elizabeth with her corgi, Susan, in her first year on the throne in 1952.

Queen Elizabeth with her corgi, Susan, in her first year on the throne in 1952. Credit:Getty

A specially designed emoji was posted on social media last week of a cheeky corgi, tongue sticking out, smiling and wearing a purple and silver crown. A pack of 20 puppet corgis will be paraded as part of a beauty pageant, causing mischief in shopping malls.

At Musselburgh Racecourse near Edinburgh, a corgi derby will be staged on Sunday. Among the corgis competing was a distant relative of Her Majesty’s own, Paddy, from Port Seton. The match will be broadcast live on TV.

The Corgi Derby at Musselburgh Racecourse was one of many corgi-themed tributes during the Platinum Jubilee.

The Corgi Derby at Musselburgh Racecourse was one of many corgi-themed tributes during the Platinum Jubilee.

“Her relationship with her dog reveals something about the Queen’s nature,” royal biographer Penny Juneau said.

“She was essentially a shy woman who was pushed into a public role that didn’t come naturally to her at an early age. Around her dogs, she could be totally herself, sure they loved her because of her who, not who she is. That makes them her most trusted partner.”

Royals have kept dogs for centuries, but corgis are largely a recent Windsor tradition. From Dookie, her first family pet in the 1930s, to her first dog of adulthood, Susan, the Queen not only pets but breeds 14 generations of Pembroke Welsh Corgis. Not to mention Dachshund-corgi crosses and generations of gun dogs.

Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle, Berkshire, England, in 2016.

Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle, Berkshire, England, in 2016.Credit:© Anne Leibovitz

As she has pointed out many times, dogs are part of the furniture. Princess Diana called them “moving carpets” in the palace because of their number and tendency to follow the monarch. The Queen calls them “boys” or “girls,” depending on the motley crew that accompanies her at all times.

In 1959, the Queen spent time here with Prince Philip and her corgi, Sugar, who apparently brought a corgi with her on her honeymoon.

In 1959, the Queen spent time here with Prince Philip and her corgi, Sugar, who apparently brought a corgi with her on her honeymoon. Credit:Fairfax Media

They are an extension of the family and the Palace does not comment on dogs as it is considered a “private matter”. The numbers have fluctuated over the years as litter is given to friends and family, but traditionally the queen keeps at least one litter in order to keep in touch. Until the last Willow died in 2018.

In 1981, no fewer than 13 corgis reportedly accompanied her to Balmoral for the summer. Susan, the foundation bitch of the bloodline, was snatched by the bride-to-be under a pile of blankets in the royal carriage on her way to her wedding at Westminster Abbey. She joined them on their honeymoon at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

In 1955, Susan’s daughter Sugar was sent to the legendary Thelma Gray kennel to mate with a handsome boy named Rebellion.

The Queen, who had intended to keep only one, couldn’t make up her mind when Grey brought the trash to Windsor to show young Charles and Anne.

“Don’t tell your father,” she tells the children, according to Juno’s book all queen corgis. “Don’t tell your dad we have two new puppies!”

She named them Whish and Sherry and gave them to young princes and princesses as Christmas gifts. The Queen personally names all her dogs, every breed. There’s always a theme, whether it’s flowers, islands, birds, drinks, trees, metals, car brands, or fictional characters from favorite books.

She called Shelly’s son Sandringham Sydney because she was in Australia when he was born in 1970. The entire rubbish is named after an Australian landmark.

The royal bloodline is likely to live on. In 1975, Thelma Gray immigrated to the Coromandel, Adelaide Hills, South Australia to establish Rozavel Kennel, where she kept Beagles, Chihuahuas and some Rottweilers. More than a hundred dogs remained in the UK, but she was accompanied by several Pembrokes on her long journey, including a Windsor Loyalty-themed breed bred by the Queen. She corresponded with the Queen for many years before her death in November 1984. Every February, the Adelaide Hills Kennel Club hosts Thelma Grey Memorial Exhibition in her memory – the Queen donates a permanent trophy to the finest Welsh corgi.

The Queen inspects corgis at the Adelaide Kennel Club in February 2022.

The Queen inspects corgis at the Adelaide Kennel Club in February 2022. Credit:Fairfax

Originally bred for herding cattle and sheep, there are stories of royal corgis biting guests, household staff and even members of the royal family. Prince Philip has been known to complain about those “damn dogs”.

They had a wicker basket bed in their room at Buckingham Palace, and they never ate the shiny sterling silver cutlery. They may be pampered, but if impractical, their regal masters are worthless.

Their bowls are a collection of metal and porcelain, but their diets are tailored to individual needs. In the country, they were fed a lot of rabbits on the estate. Otherwise it’s the wide variety of fresh cooked meats, vegetables and rice that the Royal Kitchen has prepared just for them. Occasionally, they are thrown off the queen’s plate.

Animal psychologist Roger Mugford was once taken to Windsor after a dramatic dogfight and watched the queen as she was fed. He wrote in the book, Dr. Mugford’s casebook: “The Queen looked at the quiet but drooling semi-circular dogs gathered a few meters away and took turns calling each dog to eat his or her food. There was never a growl or a rude look between the dogs, and I am high on this theory. Surprised by the harmony that ruled the interior in a time of risk.”

The Queen explained that she has always been strict about the dogs being polite when feeding, and that each dog has to wait for their turn, with the older being fed first and the smaller last.

“Few people on earth have this level of control over their dogs,” Magford wrote.

When the Queen was approaching 90, she decided not to breed or buy any new dogs, and the Welsh corgi was at the same time added to the Kennel Club’s list of endangered native breeds, numbered in the National Low Hundred.

But the club’s latest registration figures show there will be 1,223 corgis registered nationwide in 2021, the highest annual number in nearly 30 years. The queen is in it again. After Philip passed away, her family gave her two corgi puppies to add to her cocker spaniel Lissy and a doggy named Candy.

The explosion of dog influencers on social media and Netflix series crownthanks to the sudden transformation of the breed.

The crown is thought to be responsible for the soaring popularity of the Pembroke Welsh corgi as a pet during the lockdown.

The crown is thought to be responsible for the soaring popularity of the Pembroke Welsh corgi as a pet during the lockdown. Credit:Photography by Sophie Mutvillian for Netflix

Kennel Club spokesman Bill Lambert said she was delighted to see the Pembroke Welsh Corgi once again become a nationally beloved breed in such an important year for the Queen.

“The breed has definitely improved in recent years, but largely below their starring roles in movies. crown, but the Queen did play an integral role in bringing the corgi into the public consciousness initially, so this is a great testament to her 70th anniversary, seeing her beloved breed come back into vogue. “

Juno believes the Queen’s love for her dogs stems from the fact that, as a former courtier once told her, “dogs don’t respect status”.

“To us, she is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, one of the most revered figures of our time. But what about her dogs? They don’t complain, they don’t judge, maybe they’re the only ones who see her in her life Soul, because she’s a real happy, playful person.”