Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. She was 96 years old.
The longest-serving British monarch was known for leading the crown during times of turmoil and serving as the United Kingdom’s and the Commonwealth’s head of state for more than 70 years. For every moment of geopolitical tension, birth of a child, or peaceful transfer of power, Queen Elizabeth II carried out her duties both as a political figurehead and as a mother—most times, simultaneously. And while the world (and, avid watchers of the drama series The Crown) remember the way her unwavering duty and loyalty to service trumped all else in her life, most of us won’t forget the furry four-legged friends that followed her everywhere she went. Not only was Queen Elizabeth II one of the most important women in British history, but she was also a dog mom to many, many corgis throughout her life.
Her love of the breed, which originated in Pembrokeshire, Wales, began at an early age, with some of the earliest photos of Queen Elizabeth II being of the young royal wrapped around her childhood dogs. While Queen Lizzie was spotted with a few dachsunds here and there, the Pembroke Welsh corgis were her dog of choice: Reader’s Digest wrote that the late Queen owned 30 corgis during her time on the British throne (even having nine at once). Both fictionalized in The Crown and seen IRL when meeting the New Zealand Rugby League Team, Queen Elizabeth II’s loyal corgi servants often trailed behind her. If the royal corgis were spotted anywhere, you knew the queen was sure to be somewhere close.
Monty Roberts, a longtime advisor to the Queen, said that the queen stopped breeding corgis in 2015 because she “did not want to leave any behind.” While the queen is survived by her children and grandchildren, including the new King Charles III, she’s also survived by a few corgis that followed her into her later years. Although we’re unsure what will happen to her beloved pups, the royal family is sure to carry on her legacy of being a passionate animal lover.
Below, browse a few moments between the late Queen Elizabeth II and her beloved corgi friends.