Meghan Markle may have passed muster with Prince William, Kate, and Prince Charles, but both she and Prince Harry knew Queen Elizabeth had the final say on the couple’s wedding plans. Prince Harry needed his grandmother’s approval in order to marry his American girlfriend.
And it all came down to one thing: The Queen’s corgis, Holly and Willow.
Well, not really, but even Harry admitted when he brought Meghan to Buckingham Palace in September to meet the Queen, he was bowled over when the usual cantankerous canines took an instant liking to Meghan.
“I’ve spent the last 33 years being barked at, this one walks in, absolutely nothing,” Prince Harry said during the couple’s televised interview after announcing their engagement. The dogs were “just wagging tails, and I was like, ‘Argh.’ ”
Meghan added that some of the dogs were “just laying on my feet during tea. It was very sweet.”
This, no doubt, won they royal newcomer some serious brownie points in the eyes of Her Majesty, whose love of Pembroke Welsh Corgis has played a significant role in her life.
Here are 15 fascinating facts about the Queen and her corgis. And for more on the royal family, See William and Kate’s Adorable Royal Family Christmas Card.
The Queen has had a lot of them.
The Queen has owned more than 30 corgis starting with her first dog named Dookie which her father, the future King George VII, gave to his daughters in 1933, when Elizabeth was seven and Margaret was six. And if you’re on the fence about getting a corgi of your own, learn the 15 Amazing Health Benefits of Adopting A Pet.
Not every royal corgi is technically a corgi.
When Elizabeth and Margaret were young princesses they crossbred one of Elizabeth’s corgis named Tiny with Margaret’s dachshund, Pipkin, and invented the “dorgi.”
Yes, there’s a matriarchal corgi, too.
On Elizabeth’s 18th birthday, she was given a corgi she named Susan, which became her favorite. She took Susan on her honeymoon when she married Prince Philip in 1947.
And yes, she spawned a dynasty.
Susan was the matriarch of the Queen’s corgi dynasty that has spanned 10 generations of royal dogs.
At one time, the Queen had more than a dozen corgis.
The Queen’s two corgis, Holly and Willow, are the last of a pack which at one time numbered 13. Candy and Vulcan (Could the Queen be a Trekkie?) are the last surviving Dorgis.
They have a scheduled meal time.
The dogs are fed every day at 5 pm sharp. They do not eat until the Queen gives the command herself. They eat out of sterling silver bowls. Because of course they do.
They have a prim and proper palate.
They eat a rotating menu of steak, poached chicken, liver, and rabbit (shot by members of the royal family), prepared by a royal chef. What, you were expecting Mighty Dog?
They have top notch medical care.
When they are ill, they are treated with homeopathic medicine.
They have a driver.
They travel in chauffeur driven cars. When accompanying the Queen on the royal plane, they are carried down the aircraft’s steps by royal aides.
The dogs have been known to bite the Queen’s servants, ruin priceless rugs, and chew on antique furniture. They are never, ever reprimanded.
Not everyone in the palace is fond of them.
Paul Burrell, who was at one time the Queen’s personal footman, was reported to have been knocked unconscious when he became tangled up among nine leashed Corgis. Afterwards he said, “They’re yappy, snappy, and we bloody well hate them.”
Princess Diana had a nickname for them.
Princess Diana called the Queen’s corgis, “The moving carpet,” because they were constantly underfoot.
One famous corgi’s death devastated the Queen.
After the death of Monty, the corgi that famously appeared in the James Bond video with the Queen and Daniel Craig at the start of the 2012 Olympics, Her Majesty was said to be so devastated she decided she would not add any more dogs to the royal household.
The dogs have their own Christmas traditions.
The dogs have their own Christmas stockings which the Queen fills with treats and non-squeak toys. For more wacky holiday traditions, don’t miss the 22 Worst Christmas Traditions of All Time.
The Queen saved the entire breed.
Once a breed in danger of disappearing, the worldwide renewed interest in the royal family is credited with helping increase Pembroke Welsh Corgi registrations by 54 percent since 2015.
Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and the author of Imagining Diana: A Novel.
To discover more amazing secrets about living your best life, click here to sign up for our FREE daily newsletter!