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The royal family's love of dogs is well documented

By Stephanie Petit
January 28, 2021 11:07 AM
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Queen Elizabeth II and Camilla
Queen Elizabeth and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
| Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall may have two Jack Russell terriers at home, but it's Queen Elizabeth's dog breed of choice that made an appearance in her Reading Room.

On Thursday, Camilla shared a new video about the joy reading provides amid lockdown on her online book club Instagram account. At the end of the clip, there's a close-up shot featuring a painting of a corgi. It's well known that the Queen loves corgis — and has had dozens of corgis (and dorgis!) as pets throughout her life.

The furry companions, who would travel with the Queen between her various homes, are synonymous with the sovereign, and stuffed versions are even for sale in the palace shops. (She does also have some beloved Labradors, kenneled mainly at Sandringham.)

corgi painting
Credit: duchess of cornwalls reading room/ Instagram

As a young princess, the future monarch received a corgi named Susan as a special gift on her 18th birthday in 1944, but it was her father, King George VI, who introduced the first of the short-legged dogs into the family with a corgi named Dookie in 1933. A second, Jane, was added — and when she had a litter of puppies, two named Crackers and Carol were kept.

The Queen's last corgi – a dog named Whisper that she adopted from a former staffer – died in 2018. She was left with two dorgis, a mix between a corgi and a dachshund, until Vulcan died in December, making Candy her last living dog.

Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral Castle with one of her Corgis
Queen Elizabeth and her dogs
| Credit: Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Getty Images

Dogs are popular pets within the royal family. Prince William and Kate Middleton recently added a puppy to their family, another cocker spaniel like their recently deceased dog Lupo. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have two pups: a beagle named Guy and a black Labrador retriever named Pula.

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Camilla, 73, has two Jack Russell terriers named Beth and Bluebell. In addition to both pets starring in a Prince Charles and Camilla's 15th wedding anniversary photo, Beth helped Camilla unveil a plaque during their December visit to the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

The Duchess Of Cornwall Visits Battersea Dogs Home In Windsor
Beth and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
| Credit: Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty

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Camilla spoke about how book sales have gone up during the coronavirus pandemic, with reading providing an escape for many people who are confined to their homes.

"I think it's sort of a renaissance of reading really," she said. "You know, whatever other awful things came out of lockdown, I think reading has come out extremely well. I think it's revived, and we just want to keep that going."