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What will happen with Queen Elizabeth II’s corgis?

The late Queen was known for her fondness for animals but one particular breed of short-legged dog became the iconic royal companion of the Elizabethan age.

What next for the Queen's corgis?
Neil P. MockfordGetty

The death of Queen Elizabeth II shocked a nation and brought tributes from all around the world. For many, the Queen had been a constant presence in a changing world and her passing has brought with it many questions; some big, some small.

One of the most common questions posed online related to the late monarch’s iconic corgis, which became a common feature of life in Buckingham Palace. The phrase “What will happen to her corgis?” saw a spike in searches, according to data provided by Google.

Fortunately the BBC has been able to confirm that the Queen’s final two corgis, named Muick and Sandy, will life with her son Prince Andrew and his ex-wife, who still live together. The Duke of York and his daughters had given the two corgis to the Queen as a gift last year.

The BBC quotes a source close to Prince Andrew as saying: “The corgis will return to live at Royal Lodge with the duke and duchess. It was the duchess who found the puppies which were gifted to Her Majesty by the duke.”

“The duchess bonded with Her Majesty over dog walking and riding horses, and even after her divorce, she would continue her great friendship with Her Majesty, by walking the dogs in Frogmore and chatting.”

Corgis form a recent royal tradition

The Queen was a noted animal-lover and bred corgis throughout her life after being given one named Susan as at 18th birthday present from her father. Over the past eight decades the Queen owned more than 30 corgis and dorgis (dachshund-corgi cross), many of which descended from Susan.

But although the Queen made corgis a royal dog there was no history of the breed being linked to British royals in the past. Elizabeth and her sister, Margaret, are thought to have been the first members of the royal family to have owned them.

The Queen was so attached to her pets that she would often take them on overseas visits with her, and was frequently photographed walking them around the Windsor Castle estate. The particular breed, the Pembroke Welsh corgi, had a surge in popularity in the 1960 in the decade after the Queen ascended to the throne, with more than 8,000 corgi puppies registered in 1961.

But beyond their status as a popular pet, the corgis also served as a royal companion throughout the Queen’s reign. And those who know of the Queen’s relationship with the dogs believe that her fondness stems back to the first present, gifted to her by her father.

“Susan is the one who was with her during her courtship with Prince Philip, who accompanied her on her honeymoon, who was there when her father died,” said Ciara Farrell, the library and collections manager of the Kennel Club. “Susan was really a special dog for her.”