20 Photos of the Queen and Her Corgis

Queen Elizabeth II reportedly once said "my corgis are family." Below are 20 photos of the monarch with her cherished dogs.

The queen has had more than 30 dogs over the course of her life and had at least one continuously until 2018.

She has even bred the dogs herself though stopped because she did not want to leave any behind, it emerged in 2015.

Queen Elizabeth II and Corgi at Sandringham
Queen Elizabeth II smiles during a picture-taking session in the salon at Sandringham House, Norfolk, England, on February 4, 1970. The photos were taken in connection with the royal Family's planned tour of Australia and New Zealand. Bettmann / Contributor/Getty Images

Former royal aide Monty Roberts told Vanity Fair magazine at the time: "She didn't want to have any more young dogs."

"She didn't want to leave any young dog behind. She wanted to put an end to it."

He expressed his sorrow at the decision, but added: "I have no right to try to force her into continuing to bring on puppies if she doesn't want to."

She began her love affair young, with some of the most heart warming images of the monarch and her dogs dating back to the days before she ever knew she would one day take the throne.

Princess Elizabeth Holds Corgi
Queen Elizabeth II, then Princess Elizabeth, with two Pembroke Welsh Corgi dogs, Dookie and Jane, at her home at 145 Piccadilly, London, UK, July 1936. At the time, she did not know she would one day be queen. Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The queen was not originally a direct heir, with the line of succession passing through her uncle, Edward VIII.

However, he abdicated in December 1936 to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.

Images in the Getty archive show a young Princess Elizabeth playing in the grounds of her then home in Piccadilly, London, in July, 1936, months before her family was plunged into crisis.

Queen Elizabeth as Child With Dog
Queen Elizabeth II, then Princess Elizabeth, hugging a corgi dog in July 1936 months before the Abdication Crisis involving her uncle Edward VIII would set on her on a path to becoming queen. Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

In one, she stands with Pembroke Welsh Corgis Dookie and Jane, holding one in her arms like a baby while the other is at her feet.

Dookie was her first dog, brought home for her and younger sister Margaret in 1933, when she was just 7 years old, Grazia reports.

Jane arrived three years later in 1936, the same year the family were photographed for the book Our Princesses and Their Dogs, published that December.

Princess Elizabeth Walks Corgi Before Becoming Queen
A gelatin silver print of Princess Elizabeth walking a Corgi in London's Hyde Park, ca. 1940. Hulton-Deutsch/Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis via Getty Images

In the other, the 10-year-old Princess Elizabeth hugs one of her dogs tightly while the pet appears in a state of bliss.

After the abdication, the young royal's life changed forever as her father went from being Duke of York to King George VI, making her next in line to the throne.

Just three years later, World War II broke out and her dogs were important company as she was evacuated to Windsor Castle.

Queen Elizabeth II and Corgi During WW2
Queen Elizabeth II, then Princess Elizabeth, reads to her sister Princess Margaret and Jane the corgi by a window in Windsor Castle on 22 June, 1940. Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

She shared an experience of with many in Britain at the time, when young "evacuees" were sent away from their families in big cities to live with strangers in the countryside.

In 1944, then Princess Elizabeth was given a third and very important corgi as an 18th birthday present.

Named Susan, the dog would later be used to breed 14 generations of new puppies.

Queen Elizabeth II With Father and Dog
King George VI (1895 - 1952) with his daughters Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret (1930 - 2002) in the grounds of the Royal Lodge in Windsor, England on July 08, 1946. Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Getty Images

Not only that, in 1947 Susan accompanied Elizabeth on her honeymoon after marrying Prince Philip.

The final of Susan's offspring was named Willow and died in 2018 after having cancer, The Guardian reported at the time.

Queen Elizabeth II Holds Corgi
Queen Elizabeth ll relaxes with her pet corgis in Windsor Great Park on May 1, 1977 in Windsor, England. Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

She gave birth to her first litter of puppies in 1949, with Sugar going to Prince Charles and Honey living with the Queen Mother, Vanity Fair reported.

The world first heard the queen's father was experiencing health problems in 1948.

Queen Elizabeth II and Corgi at Balmoral
Queen Elizabeth II of England at Balmoral Castle with one of her Corgis on September 28, 1952, just months after taking the throne. Bettmann / Contributor/Getty Images

In February 1952, George VI died and Elizabeth took the throne, not long after famously pledging to give her "whole life" to public service.

However, she did not give up her love of dogs and would go on to include them in family photographs as well as some public engagements.

Queen and Royal Family With Dogs
Queen Elizabeth II, husband Prince Philip and children Prince Charles and Princess Anne walk the dogs at Balmoral Castle during their summer holiday in August 1955. Princess Anne tempts the queen's corgi, Sugar, with a ball, and the Duke of Edinburgh's dog, Candy, looks up at Queen Elizabeth. Bettmann / Contributor/Getty Images

By then the royal couple had a family, with Prince Charles and Princess Anne brought up around her corgis.

She also did not give up breeding, and in the mid-1950s used Sugar to produce a new pair of royal puppies.

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and Corgi
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip at Windsor Castle with one of their corgis, in Berkshire, England, June 12, 1959. Bettmann / Contributor/Getty Images

She reportedly told her children: "Don't tell your father we've got two puppies. Two new puppies!"

Susan died at Sandringham in 1959 with Vanity Fair reporting that Elizabeth wrote a letter to her estate manager asking that the gravestone be inscribed: "For 15 years the faithful companion of the Queen."

Queen Elizabeth II and Family Walk Corgis
Queen Elizabeth II with Prince Philip, Princess Anne, and Prince Charles walking their corgis on the Balmoral Castle estate, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, during a family holiday, 18th September 1957. Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The queen made a rare visit to dog show Crufts in 1969 where she told one official: "I've had one of my corgis trained for working cattle."

Elizabeth then asked the man, "Why do dogs yawn?" before suggesting hers yawned "when it didn't want to do what it was told."

Queen Elizabeth and Corgis Meet Apollo Astronauts
Queen Elizabeth II arrives at King's Cross railway station in London 15 October 1969 with her four Corgi dogs after her holiday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland and before welcoming at Buckingham Palace US astronauts of Apollo 11 who walked on the Moon. Getty Images/STF/AFP

The queen also created a new breed of dog after one of her corgis bred with Princess Margaret's daschund Pipkin.

The queen had a uniquely open approach to the mating process, according to one breeder whose help she required.

Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mother Walk Dog
The Queen and the Queen Mother with her Corgis outside Clarence House to celebrate her birthday. Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

Maureen Johnston told Vanity Fair: "[The queen's gamekeeper] Nancy [Fenwick] rang me up one day and said, 'The Queen wants you to come up to Windsor to mate one of her bitches.'

"I was slightly amused when I got to the gates because normally the bitch comes to the dog. But when it was the Queen, you couldn't ask for that.

Queen Elizabeth Photographing Corgis
Queen Elizabeth II photographing her corgis at Windsor Park in 1960 in Windsor, England. Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

"So I motored up with Such Fun, and when I got there I said, 'Well, where do you go? Have you got an outhouse for the mating?'

"Nancy said, 'Oh no, we do it in the kitchen here. We don't go into a shed'."

Queen at Sandringham With Corgis
Queen Elizabeth II relaxes at Sandringham with her corgis. Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

Dog breeder Ally Boughton also told the magazine the queen had an advantage through her position which helped her breed good dogs.

She said: "If you muscle up a bitch and keep her fit, they can push and they can get their puppies without any trouble at all.

Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle
Queen Elizabeth II with her husband Prince Philip Duke Of Edinburgh near the King George IV gateway at Windsor Castle on 6th June 1959. Central Press/Getty Images

"It's only these namby-pamby things that never get any exercise that you have to rush to the vet with them and have Caesars [Caesarean sections].

"The royal dogs were very, very fit. They had a big garden."

Queen With Dog and Horse
Princess Margaret holding a young corgi dog up to a horse which Queen Elizabeth II, then a princess, is holding in the grounds of Windsor Castle, Berkshire, on 30th May 1944. Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The royal corgis had huge tracks of land to roam in, from the 50,000 acres of Balmoral Estate, in Scotland, to another 20,000 acres at Sandringham in Norfolk.

However, they are not just country pets. Many of the queen's corgis have been photographed by the press, even peaking out of cars amid a volley of flash bulbs.

Queen Elizabeth and Corgi on Charles' Birthday
Queen Elizabeth II with one of her dogs, as she arrives at Buckingham Palace in London from Windsor, for Prince Charles' 7th birthday, 14th November 1955. Monty Fresco/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

And three of Elizabeth's beloved pets were center stage when Britain hosted the London 2012 Olympic Games and the monarch agreed to a jokey sketch with James Bond star Daniel Craig.

The actor was invited to Buckingham Palace to film a segment with the head of state, which featured corgis Monty, Willow, and Holly, rolling around the Buckingham Palace carpets and walking alongside the pair.

Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip With Corgi
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh relax with their corgis and a newspaper at Balmoral Castle in 1974 in Balmoral, Scotland. Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

An official told the Daily Mirror: "It was not a case of having to persuade the Queen to take part.

"Her Majesty said 'yes' to it straight away. She thought it was such brilliant fun. And when the idea for the format was explained to her she was happy with that, too.

Queen Elizabeth With Corgi at Airport
Queen Elizabeth ll arrives at Aberdeen Airport with her corgis to start her holidays in Balmoral, Scotland in 1974. Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

"When we came to filming it the Queen was a natural. Did it take long? No. Let's just say we only had to film it once.

"And yes they were the Queen's corgis. We had others on stand-by if it was required but we never needed to use them."

In 2007, her corgis were also left to roam free as members of the New Zealand rugby league team visited Buckingham Palace on October 16.

Queen Elizabeth With New Zealand Rugby Players
Queen Elizabeth II is introduced to members of the New Zealand Rugby League Team, the All Golds, by their captain Ruben Wiki (centre right), inside the Bow Room at Buckingham Palace on October 16, 2007 in London, England. Her dogs made an appearance. POOL/ Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images