Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Hulton Archive/Getty Images Queen Elizabeth and her dogs
Queen Elizabeth‘s lifelong love of dogs has been well-documented, but not everyone realizes she’s actually credited with inventing an entire breed.
So the story goes, the dorgi hybrid was created when Princess Margaret’s dachsund Pipkin got a moment alone with one of the Queen’s corgis.
The royals love the squat little furballs so much, they continued to breed them and have a had a veritable pooch parade over the years, with names including Cider, Rum, Berry, Candy, Brandy, Chipper, Harris, Pickles, Piper, Tinker and Vulcan. (Sadly, Vulcan died in December 2020, and the next dorgi the Queen welcomed to her pack, Fergus, also died this past May.)
The Queen, 95, also carries her love of dogs over into her official capacity as monarch. She is the Patron of the Dogs Trust dog welfare organization in the U.K., and she has passed down that love of animals to her children and grandchildren.
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And while Prince Harry and Meghan Markle don’t personally own any of the Queen’s beloved corgis, the Queen’s pack famously adored the soon-to-be-Duchess of Sussex when she was first introduced to the monarch.
“The corgis took to her straight away,” Harry revealed during the couple’s engagement interview in 2018. “I’ve spent the last 33 years being barked at — [Meghan] walks in, absolutely nothing.”
Added Meghan, “They were laying on my feet during tea!”
Harry confirmed, ‘Just wagging tails — and I was just like, argh.”
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The Queen’s love of corgis in particular goes back to her childhood. And on her 18th birthday, she was gifted a corgi named Susan by her father, King George VI. The then-Princess Elizabeth loved the dog so much she reportedly brought Susan on her honeymoon with Prince Philip.
Over the years, the royal companion became quite the sensation, setting off a corgi boom in the U.K. Today, corgis have fallen off the list of most popular dog breeds for Britons — though dachsunds made the list at No. 6.