Members of the royal family have been welcoming pets into their homes for centuries, but of all their beloved furry friends, dogs have been the most popular. In fact, 17th-century portraits show kings, queens, princes and princesses posing with their canine companions, which range from pugs to greyhounds.
Today, of course, the dog most commonly associated with the monarchy is the corgi, the favored breed of Queen Elizabeth II. The monarch has owned several Pembroke Welsh corgis, as well as dorgis, a mix of Dachshund and corgi.
All the queen's corgis
King George VI, Queen Elizabeth II's father, introduced corgis to the royal family when he brought home a corgi named Dookie in 1933. The family later adopted a second corgi named Jane. On her 18th birthday, the queen received a corgi named Susan, and numerous dogs were bred from her. In this photo, which was taken in 1935, a young Elizabeth sits in the garden with Dookie and Jane.
Queen Elizabeth II is very attached to her dogs and often travels with them. In 2012, her corgi named Monty, who appeared in the London Olympics' opening ceremony, died at the age of 13.
Sadly, her last purebred corgi Willow passed away in April 2018. Willow was 14 years old and the last descendant of Queen Elizabeth's corgi Susan. "She has mourned every one of her corgis over the years, but she has been more upset about Willow’s death than any of them," a Buckingham Palace source told The Daily Mail. "It is probably because Willow was the last link to her parents and a pastime that goes back to her own childhood. It really does feel like the end of an era."
The Queen still has two dorgis (corgi/dachshund mix), Candy and Vulcan.
Some of the queen's beloved dogs are buried at Sandringham Gardens. Monty was laid to rest at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. It is believed that Willow was buried at Windsor Castle, where she died peacefully with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip by her side.
New addition to the family
Before fans of the royal family were eagerly awaiting the birth of Prince William and Princess Kate's children, the couple's first bundle of joy was a black cocker spaniel named Lupo, who they adopted in January 2012. The pup's name is derived from the Latin word for wolf.
Since Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge adopted the puppy, the U.K. has reported an increase in the number of cocker spaniel thefts in the country.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has owned several Jack Russell terriers in her life. She recently adopted two of them, Bluebell and Beth, from the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London.
Odd one out
In a family of dog lovers, Princess Michael of Kent sticks out for being "mad for moggies." The princess has kept many felines over the years, and she made headlines last year when she left the Olympics team dressage to look for her missing Burmese cat named Ruby. It was reported that she knocked on doors throughout Kensington Palace in her search. Ruby was eventually found trapped behind a panel that had been removed during palace renovations.
Princess Anne, the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, owns several English bull terriers, and her dog Dottie made headlines several times for its violent behavior. In 2003, the dog was accused of attacking one of the queen's corgis — a dog named Pharos — during Christmas, which led to the corgi being put down. The palace later issued a report that Dottie wasn't the culprit and cast blame on another one of the princess' dogs, a bull terrier named Florence. Florence also attacked a royal maid, and Princess Anne opted to send the dog to an animal psychologist to avoid having her euthanized.
Although cleared of one charge, Dottie's reputation is far from unblemished. In April 2002, the dog attacked two children in a London Park, and Princess Anne pled guilty to a charge under the Dangerous Dogs Act. The incident marked the first time a senior member of the British royal family had been convicted of a criminal offense.
Editor's note: This article has been updated since it was originally published in July 2013.