The Queen has two new corgi puppies after being given them as a present during lockdown.
The delighted monarch – who has long been synonymous with the breed – has been kept entertained by the dogs while the Duke of Edinburgh is in hospital and as Buckingham Palace braces itself for the Sussexes’ bombshell Oprah interview, The Sun newspaper said.
She has been without corgis at her side for more than two years after her final one Whisper, who was adopted following the death of his owner, a former Sandringham gamekeeper, died in October 2018.
At the end of last year, the Queen was left with only one pet dog, a corgi-dachshund cross called Candy, when Vulcan – her other dog of the same “dorgi” breed – died.
An insider told The Sun of the new puppies: “Both are said to be bringing in a lot of noise and energy into the castle while Philip is in hospital.”
It was thought the Queen had called time on welcoming any more puppies of the breed.
American horse trainer Monty Roberts, who is a personal friend of the monarch, told Vanity Fair magazine in 2012 he had offered to find one to replace a pet that died.
But he said: “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.”
Buckingham Palace declined to comment. It is not known what the puppies are called or their gender.
The Queen has been devoted to corgis throughout her life.
She has owned more than 30, as well as dorgis, black Labradors and cocker spaniels.
Her first corgi, Susan, was given to her as an 18th birthday present by her parents in 1944.
The Queen had fallen in love with her father’s dog Dookie, a Pembrokeshire corgi, and wanted one of her own.
Susan became the founder of the Queen’s royal dog dynasty, and was even taken on honeymoon by Princess Elizabeth.
But Susan was not always well-behaved. She bit a royal clockwinder on the ankle and was also rather partial to going for servants’ legs.
Her grandson, Whisky, apparently tore the seat out of a Guards officer’s trousers.
The Queen looks after her own dogs as much as possible.
During weekends at Windsor, the corgis would go too and lived in her private apartments.
Over the years, she would feed them herself, whenever her busy schedule permitted.
She mixed their feed with a spoon and fork, from ingredients brought on a tray by a footman.
If the Queen came in wearing a tiara, the corgis would lie glumly on the carpet; if she was in a headscarf, they knew it was time for a walk.
Corgis are liable to bite people’s legs because their forebears rounded up sheep by snapping at their feet.
At one stage, the Queen was forced to call in a dog psychiatrist when her corgis kept setting upon each other.
In 2003, as the royals were gathering for Christmas at Sandringham in Norfolk, Pharos – then one of the Queen’s oldest corgis – was savaged by the Princess Royal’s English bull terrier Florence and had to be put down.
In 2012, the Queen’s remaining corgis had a starring role in the James Bond sketch the Queen recorded for the London Olympics opening ceremony.
Monty, Willow and Holly greeted the secret agent, played by Daniel Craig, as he arrived at the Palace to accept a mission from the Queen.
Monty, who was 13, died a couple of months later.
Holly was put down in October 2016 after suffering from an illness, leaving Willow as the Queen’s final corgi descended from Susan, but Willow died in April 2018.