Queen Elizabeth II is the most important royal person in Great Britain. She started being Queen on February 6, 1952, after her father, King George VI died. So this means that she has been Queen for 58 years. And ever since she was a little girl, she has really, really loved horses and dogs.
The kinds of dogs that Queen Elizabeth loves most are Welsh Corgis, which are a short-legged type of herding dog. This breed of dog probably first came to Wales with Flemish weavers in the 1100s. Then they bred with local herding dogs and got to be really good at herding cattle and other livestock. The word corgi is Welsh for "small dog," so it kind of fits, even though corgis aren't as small as some other types of dogs.
King George VI brought the first corgi into his family in 1933, and this dog was named Dookie. Later on, Princess Elizabeth got her very own corgi, who was named Susan. Most of the corgis in the Queen's family have Susan as their ancestor.
Queen Elizabeth liked to breed her corgis, and she let each female have one litter of puppies. She kept some of these puppies, but she gave the other ones to friends and relatives. The Queen also crossed corgis with dachshunds to make a dog she called a "dorgi." One time a photographer asked her how these two breeds of dog could mate, since one was taller than the other, and the Queen said, "It's very simple. We have a little brick."
In 2009 the Queen decided that she would stop breeding her dogs. And the reason for this is because she is now 84 years old, and by the time the last dog she has gets old and dies, she will be in her 90s. Also two of her dogs died of cancer last year, which made the Queen very, very sad.
So the corgis she has left now are Linnet, Monty, Holly, and Willow. And her dorgis are Cider, Berry, Candy, and Vulcan. All of these dogs live like royalty, so to speak. They have their very own Corgi Room, where they sleep in wicker baskets, but they also can run around the royal apartments wherever they want to. And in every room there is a big pile of blotting paper, in case someone has an "accident."
The daily menu for the corgis is typed up and posted on the kitchen wall. Some days the corgis have chuck steak, and other days there is poached chicken or liver or rabbit. The meat is chopped up and mixed with boiled cabbage and white rice. Besides fixing this yummy food for the dogs, the royal chefs also bake buttered scones to serve the Queen every day at tea. Except she never eats these. She gives them to the dogs instead.
Whenever the Queen travels to one of the other castles, she takes the dogs along. If they go in a plane, the dogs have to be carried up the steps of the plane. Usually it is the Queen's footman who gets to do this. One time, a footman named Paul Burrell, was taking nine corgis on leashes down some steps at Sandringham, and the dogs pulled so hard that he fell down and got knocked out.
Some other people in the royal family don't like corgis as much as Queen Elizabeth does. This includes Prince Philip, her husband. One time someone heard him saying, "Bloody dogs! Why do you have to have so many?" And Prince Charles prefers labradors to corgis.
Nobody is allowed to discipline the dogs except for the Queen. And because they are herding dogs, the corgis sometimes nip people on the leg. And by "nip" I mean "bite." The royal clock winder got a bad bite one time, and the guard officer had the seat of his trousers torn out. Even the Queen got a nasty bite on her hand once when she was trying to break up a fight between two corgis.
Anyway, after doing my research on Queen Elizabeth and her corgis, I'm thinking that living in a royal palace might be a very good thing. I wonder if the Queen would consider adopting a cute little black-and-white basenji girl. Maybe I'll send her my resume and find out!