Corgis: The royal family in danger of dying out

02/02/15

The Queen with her corgis at Virginia Water watching competitors, including Prince Philip in the marathon of the European Driving Championship, part of the Royal Windsor Horse Show, in 1973

The Queen is said to have decided not to breed any more corgis because she worries she'll trip over them.

Buckingham Palace won't confirm the demise of its canine dynasty, but according to the Sunday Express the Queen is not replacing the animals as they die.

She has two corgis named Holly and Willow and is thought to have owned more than 30 during her 63 year reign.

At one time Her Majesty owned nine corgis simultaneously.

Dogs' dynasty

Corgis were introduced to the royal family in 1933 by the Queen's dad, when he bought one at a local kennels.

Black and White photos of Princess Margaret and Princess Elizabeth playing with a corgi in a basket and Queen Elizabeth II on an official tour with her corgis
Image caption Left: Princess Margaret and the then Princess Elizabeth (R) play with a corgi. Right: The Queen regularly takes her dogs on official tours

For the then Princess Elizabeth's 18th birthday in 1944, King George VI bought his eldest daughter a corgi named Susan.

During Susan's reign as leader of the pack, she sunk her teeth into a policeman, a sentry, a detective and the royal clock watcher.

When Susan died, she was buried at Sandringham where a royal dog cemetery for other royal dogs now rest in peace.

Ten generations of Susan's canine relatives have ruled the four-legged throne at Buckingham Palace over the past 70 years - they even make it into official pictures.

Queen Elizabeth II poses with the Rugby World cup winning England team in 2003
Image caption Queen Elizabeth II poses with the Rugby World cup winning England team in 2003
The Queen with James Bond in a sketch for the Olympics opening ceremony
Image caption The Queen was joined by her corgis in the James Bond sketch for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics

Royal etiquette says you should never walk in front of the Queen, always be at least one step behind.

It's something her husband, Prince Philip, has had to endure for their 67 year marriage.

The corgis take no notice of that though - they lead Her Majesty, not the other way around.

Holly and Willow even made a cameo in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.

A young Prince Charles and Princess Anne play with a corgi as children
Image caption A young Prince Charles and Princess Anne play with a corgi as children

Dorgis

The Queen has also introduced a new breed of dog known as the "dorgi".

She mated one of her corgis with a dachshund named Pipkin which belonged to her sister - Princess Margaret.

There have been 11 dorgis - Tinker, Pickles, Chipper, Piper, Harris, Brandy, Berry, Cider, Candy and Vulcan. Yes... Vulcan. Are the royals secret Trekkies?

Candy and Vulcan are still alive and in royal residence with Holly and Willow.

Corgi puppies being carried on to a flight in 1981
Image caption The dogs were used to travel from an early age. Here corgi puppies are carried to board the Queen's flight at Heathrow Airport to Aberdeen in 1981

The future of the corgis or in fact the dorgis reign in the House of Windsor is unknown.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have an English Cocker Spaniel named Lupo.

Prince Charles doesn't have any of dogs but when he becomes King, who knows, he might decide on the more royal King Charles Spaniel.

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