Though Queen Elizabeth’s corgis have all passed, we will always associate these short-legged, long-bodied dogs with her. During Queen Elizabeth’s more than six decade-long reign, the monarch has accomplished many things. Her corgis, who were by her side even longer, mostly enjoyed a life of luxury. From personal chefs to a dog bed with sheets (they were changed daily, we might add!), Queen Elizabeth’s corgis lived better than most spoiled pups. Keep scrolling to learn more about the many ways Queen Elizabeth and her royal staff indulged the monarch’s fur babies.
1. The royal corgis have their own butlers.
Would you expect anything less given the bond between Queen Elizabeth and her corgis? “The context and content of their meals is very important to Her Majesty, who tailors what they are fed to their age, clinical needs, and so on. The queen is a great believer in homeopathy and herbal medicines, and each dog has a unique menu,” animal psychologist Roger Mugford, PhD, who was hired by Queen Elizabeth, revealed to Town and Country in 2015. “Eight exotic porcelain bowls are carried in by a butler, each for a particular dog. Eight dogs are arranged in a semi-circle to sit and wait to be given their meal bowls. It’s all disciplined and well-organized by Her Majesty; few other owners can exert such control over their dogs to ‘wait’ for their food in turn.”
2. Canned food is never on the menu.
“When I worked at the palace, we actually had a royal menu for the dogs,” former royal chef Darren McGrady told HELLO! Online in 2016. “It would be chosen and sent to us in the kitchen every month by Mrs. Fennick, who took care of all the dogs at Sandringham [the queen’s home in Norfolk, England].”
“It would list each day what the dogs were to have. One day it would be beef, the next day chicken, the next day lamb, the next day rabbit and it alternated through those days. The beef would come in, we would cook it, dice it into really fine pieces and then we did same with the chicken. We’d poach them, and again chop them really, really small to make sure there were no bones so the dogs wouldn’t choke.”
Sometimes Prince William and Prince Harry would provide the fresh meat from game they had hunted, McGrady also revealed.
3. And dog beds are out of the question.
The royal corgis may not get to snuggle in bed with the queen, but that doesn’t mean their sleeping quarters aren’t as luxurious. “Each dog has its own wicker basket in which the bed is raised an inch or two above the floor to escape the [drafts],” according to a 1954 issue of The Sunday Mail. Queen Elizabeth’s mother started this tradition, and the dog’s bed sheets are changed daily.
4. Queen Elizabeth doesn’t take lightly any pranks at her pets’ expense.
If you’re guilty of lightly teasing your dog, you should give thanks that you don’t work for the queen. One of the monarch’s footmen “was demoted for spiking the dogs’ food with whiskey and gin as a practical joke,” according to a 2012 book, Royal Family Life (Amazing and Extraordinary Facts) ($33.70, Amazon).
5. Don’t you dare scold the royal corgis.
“Nobody is allowed to raise a finger or a voice to any of the dogs. They cock their legs and do what corgis do wherever they want — on antique furniture, priceless carpets,” Brian Hoey wrote in his book, Not In Front of the Corgis: Secrets of Life Behind the Royal Curtains ($11.95, Amazon) As a result, the queen’s staff carried cleaning supplies on their person in case the corgis had an accident.
6. Non-corgis are banned at royal family holiday events.
The queen’s corgis have a history of not getting along with other dogs, so the queen instituted a ban on all other pets at family functions. “One of the Queen’s corgis nearly lost an ear when it was involved in an attack with Princess Beatrice’s Norfolk terrier Max. And in 2003 one of the Queen’s corgis had to be put down after it was attacked by Princess Anne’s bull terrier Florence at Sandringham,” The Daily Mail reported in 2013. As a result, Kate Middleton was not allowed to bring her beloved spaniel, Lupo, to Sandringham for Christmas that year.
7. Each corgi get their own Christmas stockings.
The queen herself would fill the stockings full of goodies for her fur babies to enjoy every Christmas — something us pet owners can relate to. We can only imagine what kinds of treats and toys the queen ordered for her corgis for Christmas, but we imagine they’re truly fit for royals.
8. The queen has been hospitalized because of her corgis.
In 1991, the queen and the queen mother’s chauffeur were injured trying to break up a dogfight. The Queen needed three stitches after she was bitten in the 10-dog melee. John Collins, the chauffeur, received a tetanus shot for his injuries.
9. Royal family pets are buried in a special graveyard.
Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth’s great-great grandmother, started this graveyard for her pet collie, Noble, when it died in 1887. Queen Elizabeth has continued the tradition for all of her corgis, starting with Susan, who was an 18th birthday gift in 1944. The monarch commissioned a special gravestone for Susan that reads, “For almost 15 years faithful companion to the Queen.”