It’s not entirely joyful news out of the British royal family of late: The last living corgi belonging to Queen Elizabeth II has passed away.
According to the UK’s Guardian, a corgi named Willow was put down on April 15 due to worsening health conditions caused by cancer. She lived to be almost 15 years old.
The loss of a pet is never easy, even for a queen. After a longstanding history of keeping corgis as pets, this really is quite the loss.
The queen bred corgis for nearly eight decades and has kept 30 has pets over the years.
Willow was a 14th-generation corgi bred from Susan, a dog who Elizabeth received for her 18th birthday in 1944.
Vanity Fair reported that the monarch decided to stop breeding corgis in 2012 because “she didn’t want to have any more young dogs,” according to Monty Roberts, her horse adviser.
“She didn’t want to leave any young dog behind,” he said.
The queen felt strongly about her pups, reportedly saying that her “corgis are family.” Any dog lover knows exactly what she means.
The queen still has two dogs romping around the grounds of her palaces, however. Vulcan and Candy are “dorgis,” or dachshunds bred with corgis.
According to the Guardian, the dorgis came about after one of the queen’s corgis mated with Pipkin, a dachshund owned by her sister, the late Princess Margaret.
Willow’s death comes just days before Her Majesty’s 92nd birthday on April 21.
In 2016, the queen celebrated her 90th birthday with a series of royal portraits, where Willow and other corgis posed alongside her.
Here she is posing for photographer Annie Leibovitz in Vanity Fair:
Queen Elizabeth may not be celebrating her birthday with her beloved corgis, but she nevertheless has a lot to look forward to in her 92nd year.
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Our deepest sympathy goes out to the queen for her loss.
The Queen is currently the longest-reigning monarch in British history. Her 60-year reign was celebrated in June 2012 with the Diamond Jubilee. One million people attended the celebration.
Speaking of animals, the Queen has received a number of interesting gifts during her reign, including two tortoises, an elephant and a canary.
She received the canary after a visit to Germany in 1965 and the tortoises and elephant in 1972.