What will happen to the Queen's corgis now?

·5-min read
Photo credit: Bettmann - Getty Images
Photo credit: Bettmann - Getty Images

From her incredibly colour co-ordinated outfits to her calm and composed nature at even the darkest of times, there are many things that the British public associates with Queen Elizabeth II – who sadly passed away on 8 September 2022 at the age of 96. Perhaps most memorable of all, was Her Majesty's adoration for her corgis – a breed of dog that became synonymous with the sovereign.

Throughout her lifetime, the Queen owned over 30 corgis – sometimes having up to nine at any one time. From Dookie to Candy, Susan and Spark, Her Majesty was never without a trusted canine friend and many royal fans will be left wondering: What will happen to the Queen's corgis now that she has passed away?

The Queen and her corgis: Where did it all begin?

Before we take a look at what will happen to the Queen's corgis after her death, let's first recap how her love for them started.

Back in 1933, the then-Princess Elizabeth (who was seven at the time) had her first encounter with her soon-to-be favourite dog breed. Her father – who would go on to become King George VI – bought a corgi named Dookie for Princess Elizabeth and her sister, Princess Margaret. They soon welcomed a second corgi, Lady Jane, and she gave birth to a litter of puppies. Two of those puppies, Crackers and Carol, were kept by Princess Elizabeth and her family.

Photo credit: Lisa Sheridan - Getty Images
Photo credit: Lisa Sheridan - Getty Images

Fast forward to her 18th birthday in 1944 and Princess Elizabeth was given another corgi – named Susan – by her father. Almost all of the corgis the Queen has owned in the seven decades since then have been descended from Susan, including the dorgi (daschund-corgi mix), whom Her Majesty accidentally invented with the help of Princess Margaret's dachshund, Pipkin!

A full breakdown of the Queen's corgis family tree can be seen here.

It's a (royal) dog's life

As you might have guessed, nothing was too much for the Queen's corgis – who she often referred to as "her family" – and they enjoyed a life of luxury wherever she went. From Buckingham Palace to Balmoral Castle, and across the world on state visits, Her Majesty's corgis followed her wherever she went.

At home though, the Queen's corgis had their own private room – aptly named the Corgi Room – and they slept in elevated wicker baskets, with fresh sheets every day. Not only that, but Her Majesty's corgis ate the very best of the best, with an extensive menu featuring fresh rabbit and beef, prepared and served by an expert chef.

When Christmas rolled around, the Queen was sure to keep her corgis included in every festivity too, gifting them each with a stocking full of toys and treats.

The Queen's corgi coping mechanism

Whilst the royals live in lavish palaces and attend many a fancy engagement, the family aren't all that different to the rest of us – and the Queen's relationship with her corgis is evidence of that. In fact, Her Majesty's family often pointed out how the Queen used her corgis as somewhat of a stress reliever – something which I'm sure many pet parents will relate to.

"Her family refers to it as 'the dog mechanism'," royal author and researcher Penny Junor once wrote. "If the situation becomes too difficult she will sometimes literally walk away from it and take the dogs out. 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."

Photo credit: Anwar Hussein - Getty Images
Photo credit: Anwar Hussein - Getty Images

What will happen to the Queen's corgis now?

As mentioned, almost all of the Queen's dogs were descended from Susan, but in 2015, Her Majesty closed the royal breeding programme (according People) as she "didn't want to leave any young dog behind".

In 2018, the last of Queen Elizabeth II's corgis – Whisper – died, but Her Majesty's love affair with dogs did not end there. Two of her dorgis, Vulcan and Candy, outlived Whisper and in 2021 during Prince Philip's bout of ill-health, the Queen was given two corgi puppies: Fergus and Muick.

Although both Vulcan and Fergus have sadly passed away since then, three of the Queen's beloved pets have been left behind following Her Majesty's death.

Sandy and Muick are two of the known dogs that have been left behind, in addition to a dorgi - a dachshund-corgi cross - named Candy.

In the days following the Queen’s passing, it has been thought that the dogs will be rehomed by a member of the family. "We can only speculate on plans for the corgis – nothing is left to chance with the royal family," royal correspondent Victoria Arbiter told The Independent.

"All of the Queen’s children would welcome them with open arms," the expert added, pointing out that if not a family member, a trusted staff member would take on Her Majesty's beloved pets. "She was surrounded by dog lovers.”

Now, it has been confirmed that Sandy and Muick will be sent to live with Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York in Royal Lodge, a mansion in the grounds of the Windsor Estate. A source close to the Duke told the BBC. "The corgis will return to live at Royal Lodge with the Duke and Duchess. It was the Duchess who found the puppies which were gifted to Her Majesty by the Duke.

"The Duchess bonded with Her Majesty over dog walking and riding horses, and even after her divorce, she would continue her great friendship with Her Majesty, by walking the dogs in Frogmore and chatting.”

Our thoughts are with the Queen's family – and her corgis – at this emotional time.

Our thoughts are with the Queen's family – and her corgis – at this emotional time.

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