Queen Elizabeth’s final royal corgi, named Whisper, died this month at Windsor Castle, Express UK reported. Whisper’s death marks the end of a decades-long love affair between the British monarch and the squat, intelligent dogs.
Whisper was adopted by the queen after another of her corgis, 14-year-old Willow, passed away in 2016, according to The Telegraph.
Vets were called in to look after Whisper after the wedding of Princess Eugenie on Oct. 12, according to Metro UK.
The queen still has two dogs named Vulcan and Candy, although they are corgi mixes known as “dorgis,” The Telegraph reported. She has said she does not want to have any more corgis because she does not want to leave any young dogs behind when she dies, according to The Washington Post.
She was also worried about tripping over the puppies, Metro UK reported.
The queen’s fascination with corgis dates back to when she was 7 years old and met a corgi named Dookie, who was owned by her father, King George VI, according to The Sun.
A royal line of corgis descended through the years from a corgi named Susan, which was gifted to Elizabeth on her 18th birthday in 1944, according to The Guardian. She went on to own more than 30 of the dogs in her lifetime, the paper reported, until the line ended with the death of her dog Willow in 2016.
The dogs have become de facto symbols of the royal family, with stuffed corgis sometimes sold in gift shops, People reported.
They lived a pampered life in her care. Robert Mugford, an animal psychologist who trained some of the Queen’s corgis, described how they were fed to Town and Country.
“The dogs sleep in the home with the Royal Family, and they certainly are well-fed! The context and content of their meals is very important to Her Majesty, who tailors what they are fed to their age, clinical needs, and so on,” he said, according to the magazine.
“The Queen is a great believer in homeopathy and herbal medicines, and each dog has a unique menu. Eight exotic porcelain bowls are carried in by a butler, each for a particular dog. Eight dogs are arranged in a semi-circle to sit and wait to be given their meal bowls.”