Prince William and Kate Middleton Are Mourning the Death of ‘The Heart’ of Their Family

2020 has been a rocky year for everyone, including the British royal family. In the spring, the shock announcement that Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex were stepping down from their roles as senior royals rocked Buckingham Palace. And now, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are dealing with a rough patch of their own.

Prince William and Kate Middleton officially announce their engagement at St James's Palace on November 16, 2010
Prince William and Kate Middleton | Samir Hussein/Getty Images

Prince William and Princess Kate lost ‘the heart’ of their family

William and Kate are no stranger to turmoil in their family. Last year, rumors swirled that William had an affair with Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley, and the rumors continue to haunt William today.

Their latest family tragedy didn’t involve either of them directly. In a post on Instagram, William and Kate shared that Lupo, their beloved English Cocker Spaniel, had died after nearly a decade with the royal family.

“Very sadly last weekend our dear dog, Lupo, passed away,” the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said. “He has been at the heart of our family for the past nine years and we will miss him so much.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton | Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

RELATED: How Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Dog Picked Out Prince George’s Name

Dogs have been a part of the royal family for centuries

Although the idea of “first pets” as four-legged friends of politicians or people in power seems like a relatively recent phenomenon, the British royal family has actually been a dog family for generations.

As far back as the 17th century, royal family portraits featured the royals’ furry friends. King Charles I and his son Charles II owned several King Charles Spaniels and popularized the breed throughout the UK. Charles II even reportedly issued a royal decree that King Charles Spaniels were permitted in any public place, including the House of Parliament.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were also noted dog lovers. In one family portrait, the royal couple can be seen with their nine children and four dogs: a Greyhound and three Skye terriers.

Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince George, and Lupo
Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince George, and Lupo | Kensington Royal Instagram

Queen Elizabeth II is a dog lover

Being a dog lover is clearly a part of the royal blood, as Queen Elizabeth II herself is also a noted canine queen. Her breed of preference: corgis.

Elizabeth notably owned more than 30 Pembroke Welsh Corgis throughout her life, even before she ascended to the throne in 1952. She’s been a corgi lover since she was a small child and fell in love with the ones owned by the Marquess of Bath.

Elizabeth’s father, George IV, brought home their first corgi, Dookie, in 1933 when Elizabeth was just 7 years old. On her 18th birthday, Elizabeth received her first corgi of her own, Susan. The corgis that Elizabeth has owned since then are descended from Susan.

Throughout her reign, Elizabeth began to bring in other dogs into the fold. In addition to her corgis, she owned several cocker spaniels and two “dorgis” — a cross between a dachshund and a corgi.

None of Elizabeth’s full-bred corgis are alive today, with Elizabeth’s two furry companions being her two dorgis, Vulcan and Candy.