June 11th marks the official 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II but it also marks the 83rd anniversary of her love affair with corgis! A Corgi, short for The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, is a cattle herding dog breed which originated in Pembrokeshire, Wales. In living memory, no world leader has been as widely identified with a particular animal as Elizabeth II has been with her corgis.
While Queen Elizabeth II has already received many tributes leading up to her big day, one tribute in particular stood out from the rest. Spoonflower.com, a textile company that allows customers to design, print and sell their own fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap, created 90 corgi dog-pillows, plus one life-sized body-pillow of the Queen herself.
The Queen, who has loved corgis ever since she was a child, has personally overseen a program of corgi breeding that is based on the grounds of Windsor Castle. “My corgis are family,” the Queen has said. The first corgi she ever owned was called Dookie, which her father King George VI brought home for Elizabeth and her sister Margaret in 1933.
“It is a token of our affection and admiration for the Queen – and her life-long love of corgis,” says Allison Polish, President of Spoonflower, which has released photographs showing the 90 corgi pillows, plus one body-pillow of the Queen herself, in a variety of poses.
Spoonflower plans to send two extra pillows as a gift to the Queen, one for each of the two remaining corgis, Holly and Willow. On this birthday, the surviving royal corgis will cross the threshold into canine twilight, as the average lifespan of a corgi is between 12 and 13 years.
Here 12 Fun-Filled Facts About the Queen and Her Corgis:
1. The Queen has owned more than 30 corgis (but none, as far as we can tell, with a name longer than two syllables).
2. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are her favorite breed.
3. She has loved corgis since she was a small child, after first encountering those owned by the children of the Marquess of Bath.
4. The first corgi she ever owned was called Dookie, which her father, the future King George VI, brought home for his daughters Elizabeth and Margaret in 1933.
5. Elizabeth, age 7, picked Dookie from a choice of three Corgi pups, reportedly because of his longer tail – “So that we can see whether he’s pleased or not”.
6. When still young princesses, Elizabeth and her sister Margaret, invented the “dorgi”, by cross breeding Elizabeth’s corgi, Tiny, with Margaret’s dachshund, Pipkin.
7. On her 18th birthday in 1944, the future queen was given a corgi named Susan.
8. She was so fond of Susan that she took her on honeymoon after marrying Prince Philip in 1947.
9. Susan founded a corgi dynasty, producing at least 10 generations of royal corgis.
10. Susan became one of several royal corgis to bite royal servants, when she nipped Leonard Hubbard, the Royal Clockwinder, as he was entering the Royal Lodge Windsor in 1954.
11. Holly and Willow, the Queen’s current corgis, are the last two remaining of a once 13-strong pack.
12. Holly and Willow seem likely to be the Queen’s last corgis, after the announcement last year that she had ended her breeding programme.
If you or someone you know is interested in adopting a Corgi click here for more information and adoptables in your area!
Click here to create your own fabric printed with photographs of your pets by Spoonflower!
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