Whether you love or hate the British royal family, you can’t deny the Queen’s love of corgis is pretty damn cute.
However, following the death of her final corgi Willow last week, the Queen has decided to stop breeding them bringing to an end the eight-decade-long love affair.
Willow in particular had a special place in her heart as a descendant of the dog Susan who the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, received as an 18th birthday present.
Suffering from a cancer-related illness, 15-year-old Willow was put to sleep at Windsor Castle on Sunday (April 22) leaving the Queen simply heartbroken.
Her most devoted companion, Willow accompanied the monarch as she travelled between her four royal homes.
A Buckingham Palace insider told the Daily Mail she had been hit ‘extremely hard’ by the loss saying:
She has mourned every one of her corgis over the years, but she has been more upset about Willow’s death than any of them.
It is probably because Willow was the last link to her parents and a pastime that goes back to her own childhood. It really does feel like the end of an era.
Willow represents a significant thread running through the Queen’s life from her teenage years to her 90’s.
For many, many years she bred and raised corgis and to think that the last one has now gone is something of a milestone.
It is understood Willow has been buried in the castle grounds with a headstone which reads ‘a faithful companion of the Queen’.
You may remember Willow from her starring role in the James Bond sketch created for the 2012 London Olympic Games:
Although Willow’s death doesn’t bring to an end the Queen’s dog-owning life (she has two ‘dorgis’ – corgi dachshund crosses – Vulcan and Candy), she has said she will no longer breed Pembroke Welsh corgis.
In 2012 actually this news emerged with the decision being taken for several reasons.
The Queen reportedly feared tripping over a young dog hurting herself in the process and was unhappy leaving behind a puppy when she dies.
Monty Roberts, a horse whisperer who has regularly advised the Queen and even had a corgi named after him, told Vanity Fair:
I said to the Queen, ‘I want you to tell me the best breeder of corgis that you revere. Who’s doing the best job? Because I want a puppy to be named Monty, to be a replacement’.
But 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.
Dogs live for less time than human beings and we know we’re going to lose them – but they are part of the Queen’s family.
I understood that we would discuss it further at a later date. Well, we never discussed it at a later date, and I have no right to try to force her into continuing to bring on young puppies if she doesn’t want to.
That isn’t my right. But it still concerns me. Because I want her to believe in her existence until she’s no longer here, because she’s just too important to the world to contemplate checking out. For me, the Queen can’t die.
We honestly thought this love affair would never end but sadly it had to one day.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.