Queen Elizabeth's Corgis: A Brief History (PHOTOS)

Queen Elizabeth’s Corgis, a Brief History

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Cor Blimey

The Queen's corgis are back in the news after attacking Princess Beatrice's terrier in Balmoral. The corgis are currently at the height of their fame following an appearance in a film to open the Olympics, in which they were filmed matching strides with James Bond aka Daniel Craig in the film shown at the opening ceremony

Although stand-in corgis were used for the film in the shots where the helicopter takes off, during the segment of the short where Bond met QE2 in the ‘audience room’ the Queen’s own corgis were used. It was also the Queen’s real corgis – Monty, Susan and Willow - who were used when Bond and the Queen were filmed walking together down the palace hallways.

An insider involved in the shoot tells the Daily Beast that in fact the Queen’s corgis, often reviled for being badly behaved creatures, actually performed their roles better than the stand-ins, enabling the sequence to be shot in one take: “The Queens corgis behaved impeccably,” says the source, “The stand-ins were more tricky.”


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Family Tree

This picture shows Princess Elizabeth walking a Corgi called Jane in London's Hyde Park, in 1940. Corgis were introduced to the Royal Family by the present Queen's father, King George VI, who, in 1933 bought a dog called Dookie from a local kennel. The animal proved popular with his daughters and Jane was acquired later.  Jane  had puppies, two of which, Crackers and Carol, were kept.

Hulton-Deutsch Collection / Corbis

My Dookie Wookie

This picture, dating from July 1936, shows Princess Elizabeth, aged 10, with Dookie. Originally trained for herding cattle, corgis have extremely powerful jaws for their size and are known to pack a powerful nip.


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Woman's Best friend

The Queen ascended the throne in 1952, and this picture, taken in March 1953, shows her in the garden with her prized corgi, Susan. Susan is the 'Eve' of the Queen's current crop of Corgis, as numerous pups were bred from her which have gone on to form the basis of the Queen's Corgi collection. She took Susan on her honeymoon.

PA Photos / Landov

Corgis and Dorgis

Four-year-old Prince Edward plays with one of the Queen's Dorgis. The Dorgis arrived when one of the Corgis had an unplanned pregnancy following a romantic liason with a dachsund named Pipkin, who belonged to Princess Margaret. The Queen currently has  three Dorgis named Cider, Candy and Vulcan and three Corgis; Monty, Willow and Holly.


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The Best Treatment

Corgi puppies being carried on to the Queen's flight to Balmoral. When at Buckingham Palace, the corgis and dorgis sleep in raised wicker baskets in a special boot room near the royal apartments, where they wander freely.

When The Queen is being fitted for a dress, she carries a special magnet to pick up the pins to save the corgis pricking their paws.

Prince William is not a fan of the dogs: “They’re barking all the time . . . I don’t know how she copes with it,” he told an interviewer, "But her private life with her dogs and her riding and her walking, it's very important to her. She has got to switch off. I would just question the noise!"

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Lunar Landing

Queen Elizabeth II arrives at King's Cross railway station in London 15 October 1969 with  four Corgis before welcoming at Buckingham Palace US astronauts of Apollo 11 who walked on the Moon.



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Queen Elizabeth ll arrives at Aberdeen Airport with her corgis to start her holidays in Balmoral, Scotland in 1974.

The author Brian Hoey writes in his book, "Not In Front of the Corgis," “Because the dogs hold such an important place in Her Majesty’s affections, the staff are careful not to offend them in any way. They dare not utter a remark in Royal hearing criticizing the animals. The Queen’s Corgis are allowed unrestricted access to any part of any Royal residence; nowhere is off-limits....The Palace footmen loathe the animals, as they are yappy and snappy. They also are not fully house-trained so a supply of soda water and blotting paper is kept at hand just in case of any ‘little accidents.’”

Anwar Hussein / Getty Images

Photo Opportunity

The Queen snaps a picture of her corgis in Windsor Great Park.

Staff often joke that her pampered pets eat better than the human members of the Royal Family. Once, when on holiday in Balmoral, the Queen 'went bonkers' when she discovered her dogs’ supposedly freshly cooked meals were actually frozen and reheated. A footman was summoned and told to go down to the kitchens where the chefs on duty were severely reprimanded.


PA Photo / Landov

Faithful Companions

Photo dated May 17, 1980, of Queen Elizabeth II with some of her Corgis walking the Cross Country course during the second day of the Windsor Horse Trials. Lady Pamela Hicks, the mother of India Hicks, remembers writing a note when one of the Queen’s corgis died and receiving a six-page letter back. “A dog isn’t important, so she can express the really deep feelings she can’t get out otherwise,” says Lady Pamela.


Almost Human

The Queen points out of the window to her Corgi. The Queen's fondness fopr corgis was once the butt of a joke by Prince Harry, who was videotaped making a fake phone call to his grandmother, signing off the call with: "I've got to go, got to go. Send my love to the corgis. Send my love to the corgis and grandpa. God Save You."

David Dyson, Camera Press / Redux

Travel In Style

The Queen's corgis are pictured here descending the steps of an aeroplane on the runway at Brunei. Royal aides say that the corgis travel with her as much as possible given her busy schedule.

Camera Press / Redux

The New Zealand All Blacks rugby team meet Queen Elizabeth II and her brood of corgis at Buckingham Palace. Lets hope they din't try and touch the dogs. Visitors who try to get into the Queen's good books by patting her corgis are sharply told: ‘Don’t do that, they don’t like it!’

The Bond Bounce

Corgis have remained stubbornly unpopular dogs despite their royal patronage, but interest in the royal dogs did get a Jubilee spike; registrations of Pembroke Welsh corgi puppies leapt in the first quarter of this year, from 14 to, er, 17.

It remains to be seen whether a Bond Bounce will ensue folowing their latest appearance.