Behind Queen Elizabeth’s Obsession With Corgis

By: Lauren | Published: Dec 22, 2023

Queen Elizabeth ruled Great Britain for an almost unbelievable 70 years, and while she was known for many things, one of the most well-known details about the Queen was her love of corgis. 

But while many people know the Queen had a special place in her heart for these furry friends, very few know why. 

A Young Princess Elizabeth

Long before she became Queen Elizabeth II, she was just Princess Elizabeth. Daughter to King George VI, Princess Elizabeth always knew she would one day reign, but people say she was a sweet, normal child who spent her time playing with her pets, as many children do. 

Young Princess Elizabeth with two dogs on a bench

Source: Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Royal Family has always kept dogs in or around the palace, but in 1933, young Elizabeth asked to add a new dog to the family, specifically, a corgi. 

A Seven-Year-Old With a Love of Corgis

When Princess Elizabeth was seven years old, she apparently visited a friend who had a corgi and fell immediately in love with the dog. When she got home, she immediately asked her father, the King, for one of her own. 

Queen Elizabeth II with her dogs

Source: George W. Hales/Fox Photos/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II never explained outright what immediately drew her to the breed, but some who know her say it was their energy and spirit.

Dookie Was the First of Many Corgis to Live at the Royal Palace

That first corgi was named Dookie, and he was the first of 30 corgis to live at the royal palace, and shortly after, a corgi named Jane joined the family. 

Young Princess Elizabeth with her dog

Source: Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Getty Images

And on Princess Elizabeth’s 18th birthday in 1944, she received another Pembroke Welsh corgi she named Susan. Some say that Susan was the Queen’s best friend as she was by her side for many important milestones, such as marrying Prince Phillip, becoming a mother, and soon after becoming the reigning monarch of Great Britain.

Susan Saw the World With Queen Elizabeth II

Susan didn’t just sit at home as the Princess became the Queen. In fact, the little corgi was by her side at her wedding, during her honeymoon, and even at her coronation.

Queen Elizabeth II in her room with one of her dogs under her chair

Source: Fox Photos/Getty Images

Then, in 1949, the Queen decided to breed Susan with a dog named Rozavel Lucky Strike. Their litter became the first of what many called the royal family’s “dog dynasty.” 

14 Generations of Susan

The vast majority of the royal family’s corgis from that day forward were descendents of the great Susan, who died in 1959 after almost 15 years of service. 

Gravestone of Heather, dog and faithful companion to Queen Elizabeth II

Source: Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

In fact, the Queen didn’t stop breeding corgis until she was in her 90s, and by that point, there had been 14 generations of Susan’s pups. 


The Life of a Royal Corgi

According to Royal Pets by Appointment by Brian Hoey, the Queen’s corgis had a wonderful and luxurious life at the palace.

Employees at the royal palace holding two of the Queen’s dogs

Source: Peter Nicholls-WPA Pool/Getty Images

They went everywhere the Queen went and were served dinner every night promptly at 5:00 PM with meals of filet steak, chicken breast, and gravy prepared by a professional chef. 


The Queen’s Corgis Offered Her Incredible Emotional Support

It’s important to understand that while the Queen certainly loved to breed corgis and took their lineage very seriously, she truly loved them for the emotional support they provided her. 

Queen Elizabeth II admiring a corgi

Source: Ben Stansall-WPA Pool/Getty Images

Many say that she was happiest and calmest when she was with her dogs. When she would get overwhelmed, she would turn to them for support and often feed them under the table at family events to keep them close by. 


A Friend in Her Time of Need

Sources close to the family even reported that when her husband of 73 years, Prince Phillip, passed away in 2021 at 99 years old, the Queen brought home two new corgis to help her through her grief. 

Queen Elizabeth II with one of her corgis on the grass

Source: Pinterest

Sadly, only one of the puppies, Fergus, died only a month after Prince Phillip at only 5 months old from health complications.


QueenElizbaeth Truly Loved All Animals

Many people are also unaware that while the Queen was hardly ever without her corgis, she was truly a lover of all animals, big and small. 

Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret with a horse and a dog

Source: Lisa Sheridan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

From a very young age until the day she passed, Queen Elizabeth II had a close relationship with the royal horses and was constantly visiting them and being updated on their well-being.


“My Corgis Are My Family”

The Queen was also mother to several dachshunds and dachshund-corgi mixes that she and her sister, Prince Margaret, began breeding in the 70s. They called them their “dorgis” and were exceptionally cute.

A corgi stands on a cement staircase

Source: Daily Paws

Though it’s true that her corgis were the real loves of her life. In fact, the Queen herself said, “My corgis are family.”


Several of the Queen’s Beloved Corgis Still Live at the Palace

When the Queen passed away at the age of 96 on September 8, 2022, billions of people around the world mourned the loss. 

Queen Elizabeth II and her corgi greet a crowd

Source: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

But it’s probably her corgis that survived the great monarch who miss her and her nightly feedings the most.