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Queen Elizabeth Says Goodbye to Her Beloved Four-Legged Friend

By Sixty and Me October 30, 2018 News

Queen Elizabeth has come to be known for many things throughout her reign as Queen of the United Kingdom since 1952 – she married her cousin, she celebrates two birthdays, she is notoriously shy, she drinks gin with Dubonnet every day before lunch, and she has a deep love of dogs, particularly Corgis.

During her time as reigning Queen, Elizabeth has owned more than 30 Corgis and has become well-known for her affinity to the breed. Sadly, earlier last week, the Queen bid farewell to the last of her famous Corgis, Whisper, who passed away at 12-years old.

A Lifetime of Corgis

Queen Elizabeth’s interest in the Corgi breed began many years ago when King George VI, Elizabeth’s father, introduced a puppy named Dookie to his family in 1933. Dookie was soon followed by another Corgi, Jane, who lived with the Royal family until she was hit by a car in 1944.

After losing Jane, Elizabeth received a very special 18th birthday gift when she was given Susan, a Corgi that she quickly became inseparable with, even sneaking the dog on her honeymoon with Prince Philip.

Susan was truly the dog that started the long line of royal Corgis that have existed over the years, as Elizabeth’s family went on to breed Pembroke Welsh Corgis from Susan’s lineage for more than 50 years. However, after Queen Elizabeth lost her mother in 2002, she began to consider her own mortality and decided to stop breeding Corgis, reportedly saying that she “didn’t want to leave any young dog behind” after she died.

Whisper’s passing last week truly marks the end of a Corgi-filled era for the Queen, though the end of the official royal lineage of Corgis came earlier this year when her beloved 14-year old Corgi, Willow, was put down due to cancer. Willow was the last Corgi bred from Susan’s lineage.

While Whisper was, of course, deeply loved by the Queen, the pooch was not bred from the original Corgi, Susan, but rather inherited in 2016 from Bill Fenwick, a former gamekeeper at Sandringham who had passed away.

Over the years, the royal Corgis have gained worldwide notoriety, being honored in various statues and works of art, and even being featured on the crown coin which commemorated the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II, showing her with a corgi.

And while the Queen is surely mourning the loss of her recently deceased Whisper, luckily, she is not dealing with the loss alone. The Queen currently owns two Dorgis, Candy and Vulcan. A Dorgi is a cross between a Corgi and a Dachshund, a hybrid breed of dog that the Queen created when one of her Corgis mated with a Dachshund named Pipkin that belonged to Princess Margaret.

Our deepest sympathies go out to Queen Elizabeth following the loss of her furry companion.

Do you have a favorite breed of dog? Have you ever had to cope with the loss of a beloved pet? Share your thoughts and join the conversation below!

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Sixty and Me is a community of over 500,000 women over 60 founded by Margaret Manning. Our editorial team publishes articles on lifestyle topics including fashion, dating, retirement and money.

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