There’s no doubt: The corgis at Buckingham Palace live a charmed life. Queen Elizabeth II is rarely photographed at home without her beloved dogs nearby. Her Royal Highness has loved the breed since she was given her first corgi, Dookie, when she was seven years old.
At one point she had 13 corgis. Currently, the queen has a much smaller pack: A corgi named Willow and two corgi-dachshund mixes (known as dorgis) named Vulcan and Candy. Rumor has it she has recently adopted a corgi named Whisper who belonged to her groundskeeper Bill Fenwick before he died.
Here we’ll take a look at the pampered life of Queen Elizabeth II’s corgis. If you’ve never been jealous of a dog before, that’s about to change.
1. Pembroke Welsh corgi
- Price of a purebred: $600-$1,000
Corgis, once on the endangered list in the United Kingdom, have increased in popularity thanks to the Netflix drama The Crown. The dogs feature heavily in scenes where actress Claire Foy portrays the queen in her younger, more fashionable days.
In fact, people’s interest in acquiring corgi puppies shot up by 22% after the second series of The Crown hit Netflix in December 2017.
Next: They eat better than some humans.
2. Gourmet meals
- Palace chef salary: $28,450
How many of us humans have a personal chef at our beck and call? Well, the queen’s dogs do. The pups enjoy gourmet meals of beef, rabbit, steak filets, and chicken breast. At 5 p.m. each evening, they eat their dinner, with each dog receiving an “individually designed menu, including an array of homeopathic and herbal remedies,” said Dr. Roger Mugford, an animal psychologist and behavioral therapist.
The meals are usually hand-delivered to the dogs by a footman. However, the queen likes to feed them personally whenever she can. She has been known to pour gravy over their feast just before they dig in.
Next: They have good table manners.
3. The royal dogs’ training regimen
- Private classes with a professional dog trainer: $30-$100 per hour
Mugford, the animal behavior therapist, was enlisted by the queen to train her pack of corgis. At one time when there were eight dogs in all, they were trained to sit in a semi-circle to wait to be given their meal bowls. “It’s all disciplined and well-organized by Her Majesty; few other owners can exert such control over their dogs to ‘wait’ for their food in turn,” Mugford said.
While we don’t know for sure what the queen paid for her dogs’ training, the general rate for private classes with a professional dog trainer ranges from $30 to $100 per hour.
Next: Their own multi-million dollar room
4. Their own room in Buckingham Palace
- Estimated value: $3.9 million
The dogs have their own special quarters in the palace called the Corgi Room. There they sleep in raised wicker beds that have fresh sheets put on daily, a tradition started by the Queen Mother. To determine the room’s value of $3.9 million, we simply divided the estimated value of Buckingham Palace by the number of rooms it contains, which is 775.
Next: A royal line of dog products includes 24-carat gold china bowls.
5. Corgi grooming
- Price of Buckingham Palace grooming brush: $13.76
The queen’s dog grooming table was once photographed, featuring an array of brushes and combs. Groomers recommend that corgis’ fur be brushed (or combed with a metal comb) daily to avoid tangles. Their short, fluffy coat doesn’t require much effort to keep groomed. This is fortunate for Her Royal Highness, who has had more than 30 corgis since her coronation in 1953.
For pet owners who admire the queen’s well-kept pooches, the Royal Collection Trust sells dog accessories commissioned by Buckingham Palace. A double-sided grooming brush sells for $13.76. Other royal dog items for sale include a bandana, bed, blanket, leash, and china bowl.
Next: A Christmas fit for royal pups
6. They’re spoiled rotten at Christmas
- Estimated cost: $100s
Each year, the queen makes each of her beloved dogs a Christmas stocking and fills them with toys and treats. Included are delicacies like cookies, crackers, and non-squeaking toys. In 2016, a wax figure of a corgi was featured at Madame Tussauds in London, along with wax representations of the royal family, all wearing ugly Christmas sweaters. The wax queen’s sweater featured a corgi wearing a crown — what else? All the royals’ wax counterparts are standing, except for the dog, who is seated on a plush red throne with gold fringe.
Next: They played a role in the London Olympics.
7. Appearing in a 2012 Olympics video with Daniel Craig
- Cost: Priceless
Two of her majesty’s corgis were catapulted to international fame in 2012 when they were included in a video shown at the London Olympics’ opening ceremony. While the dogs didn’t accompany the queen to the Olympics, they were in the video as James Bond actor Daniel Craig arrived at Buckingham Palace to escort the queen to the ceremonies in a helicopter.
One of the pups that trotted alongside the queen in the video was named Monty. Sadly, Monty died soon after the 2012 Olympics.
Next: Mess with the dogs at your own peril.
8. No jokes are allowed at the dogs’ expense
- Footman’s pay cut: $3,500
In 1999, a royal footman was demoted with a pay cut of $3,500 after it was reported he spiked the queens’ dogs’ food with whiskey and gin for fun. Matthew King was one of the queen’s two personal footmen at the time. His responsibilities included walking the dogs. He also apparently played bartender for them when the queen wasn’t around.
“He thought it was all a bit of fun which didn’t do the dogs any harm. But the powers-that-be were not amused,” said to a source quoted by the New York Post.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!