THE QUEEN’S PAS­SION FOR POOCHES WITH PEDI­GREE

The Mail on Sunday - You - - PALACEPETS -

Su­san, the Queen’s first corgi, lived to be al­most 15. Wil­low, the 14th gen­er­a­tion of Su­san’s descen­dants and the last of the Queen’s cor­gis, died in April this year.

Queen Vic­to­ria’s dogs were buried in the gar­den of the res­i­dence where they died and Queen Eliz­a­beth has con­tin­ued this tra­di­tion. At San­dring­ham the pet ceme­tery is in a cor­ner of the gar­den, near a boundary wall in­set with memo­rial stones. There are touch­ing trib­utes to dozens of dogs, both pets and gun­dogs.

Af­ter Su­san’s death in 1959, the Queen wrote to her es­tate man­ager with in­struc­tions for the dog’s burial and drew a sketch of the grave­stone and the in­scrip­tion she wanted carved into it (pic­tured above). When Su­san’s daugh­ter Sugar died in 1965 she was buried along­side her mother with her dates and a sim­i­lar in­scrip­tion.

While the cor­gis’ long reign at Buck­ing­ham Palace may have drawn to a close, there is no doubt that dogs will roam around the royal cor­ri­dors of the fu­ture. Nei­ther Prince Charles nor Prince Wil­liam has ever been with­out a four-footed friend, al­though Prince Charles de­clared at an early age that he pre­ferred labradors to cor­gis.

And speak­ing in their en­gage­ment in­ter­view last year, Prince Harry de­scribed how well Meghan had got on with the Queen when they first met, giv­ing a clue to the rea­son: when he had first in­tro­duced Meghan to his grand­mother, the dogs had taken to her straight away. ‘I’ve spent the last 33 years be­ing barked at,’ he joked. ‘This one walks in – ab­so­lutely noth­ing…’

‘[The dogs were] just ly­ing on my feet dur­ing tea,’ con­firmed Meghan. ‘It was very sweet.’

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