Who will now inherit the Queen’s beloved corgis?

The royal chefs were preparing their meals. Psychologists treated them, and biographers documented their lives. What happens to them now?

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Queen Elizabeth’s 70-year reign was marked by a sense of stability, her flamboyant fashion choice and also, for many, the familiar presence of corgis by her side.

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As the transition to a new monarch prepared for her passing at 96, the question inevitably turned to the fate of the Queen’s pets, including her cherished corgis.

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The Queen’s fondness for dogs is said to date back to 1933, when she was seven years old. After seeing her friend with a corgi, Princess Elizabeth asked her father, King George VI, for one of his own. The future monarch got her request and named the puppy Dookie, according to NYPost.

“She loves animals and she loves dogs. She always has, they were her first love and they will be her last,” Ingrid Seward, a royal biographer, told Newsweek ahead of news of her death.

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In 1944, the princess received a corgi on her 18th birthday, which she named Susan. Most of the royal family dogs have since been descendants of Susan.

In total, the Queen would come to own 30 corgis and dorgis (a corgi-dachshund mix).

They roamed Buckingham Palace as if they owned the place. The royal chefs were preparing their meals. Psychologists treated them, biographers documented their lives. They slept in padded wicker baskets. At Christmas, they each have their own sock.

As she approached her 90s, Elizabeth decided to end the decades-long corgi breeding program she oversaw at Windsor Castle, where 14 generations of dogs were bred and trained.

The program seemed to slow down around 2002, following the death of his mother, according to the American Kennel Club.

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In 2012, Monty Roberts, the Queen’s equine adviser, told Vanity Fair that the death of one of her dogs – a corgi who starred in the James Bond skit – had affected her deeply.

“She didn’t want to have young dogs anymore,” he said. “She didn’t want to leave any young dogs behind. She wanted to end it. I understand that we will discuss this in more detail at a later date.

However, Prince Andrew gave her a corgi and a dorgi named Muick and Fergus. Fergus sadly passed away three months later, so Andrew and his daughters gave him another corgi, named Sandy, shortly after, according to Newsweek.

At the time of her death, the queen reportedly had up to five dogs: two corgis (Muick and Sandy) a Dorgi (Candy) and two Cocker Spaniels, according to the publication.

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With no official announcement on who would be caring for the dogs, Seward offered a likely scenario:

“I would imagine the dogs would be looked after by the family, probably Andrew [as] he gave them to her, they are quite young, the corgi and the dorgi.

Penny Junor, author of the 2018 book All The Queen’s Corgis, said the dogs could instead be handed over to Royal Family staff already in charge of their care:

“The care of the dogs has sometimes been entrusted to footmen, but especially to the seamstress, assistant and trusted right hand of the Queen, Angela Kelly; and to his equally reliable page of many years, Paul Whybrew, who was seen walking with the Queen and the hounds in the James Bond parody.

Yet another theory says that the royal pets could end up being passed on to King Charles. The queen’s last will and testament could provide the answers.

In her book, Junor attempted to explain the public’s fascination with the Queen’s love of corgis as a sense of personal connection:

“It’s her love of dogs, as much as anything else, that makes so many of us feel we have a special connection to them,” she writes in her book.

“Take away wealth, privilege and palaces, and the bond she has with her dogs is no different from the bond we the rest have with ours, no matter our position in life.”

– Additional Washington Post reporting

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