Why did the Queen set her sights on corgis? The answer to this question may sound very familiar to many parents. In 1933, when Princess Elizabeth was 7 years old, she asked her parents for a corgi for her birthday… because some of her friends had one.
This short-legged dog with pointed ears and a long back takes its name from the Celtic “Cor gi”, meaning “dwarf dog”.
At the time, Pembroke corgis were quite popular pets in Wales. The Duke of York, Elizabeth’s father, approached a respected breeder named Thelma Gray who was offered three puppies to the family.
Their choice fell on a little renowned corgi named Rozavel Golden Eagle, because he was the only one with a little bit of tail to wag, and Elizabeth and Margareth thought they knew when he was happy. The pup later became famous as Dookie. The kennel staff had heard he was for the Duke of York’s family decided to nickname him that and the nickname stuck.
Dookie wasn’t the most easygoing of corgis, biting courtiers and visitors alike, but that didn’t stop a press shot of Elizabeth and the petty bully from charming audiences and raising the profile of the Pembroke corgi.
After Dookie, there was Susan, received for her 18th birthday, until Fergus and Muick, acquired shortly before the death of her husband Philip… Elizabeth II owned around thirty corgis in all. His little dogs remain inseparable from his image.
Elizabeth II, who died Thursday at the age of 96, was a one-color outfit, a pair of gloves, a black handbag… and a corgi trotting by her side.
On the occasion of Elizabeth’s death, even the sovereign’s dogs were entitled to the publication of their family tree by the British channel, the BBC.