King Charles III's Dogs Through the Years: A Timeline of Devotion
At age 73, King Charles III became head of the British state after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on September 8, 2022. He's had an entire lifetime to prepare for his new responsibilities, often guided by decades of her influence and council.
The king, meanwhile, has long held affection for the spunk and intelligence of Jack Russell terriers (enough to include one of his favorites, Tigga, in a family Christmas card). He's also enjoyed the company of many other breeds over the years. So we thought it would be fun to take an historical look at the dogs who received the royal treatment from 1951 through today as King Charles prepares to move into Buckingham Palace.
Prince Charles, then a wee lad, sits in his pram next to his sister, Princess Anne, and one of his mum's favorite corgis as the trio enjoys pipe music from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders at Birkhall, a royal estate in Scotland.
Here he is at the Royal Lodge of Windsor Castle with Honey, the pet corgi of his grandmother, formally known as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. Honey was also the twin of young Charles's canine nursery playmate, Sugar.
Prince Charles awaits the hunt with the Queen Mother and Princess Anne—perhaps English foxhounds—at the royal residence Sandringham House in Norfolk, England.
A growing family enjoys their holiday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland: Prince Charles with Princess Anne, new brother Prince Andrew, mother Queen Elizabeth II, father Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, and of course, a darling corgi.
Many of the queen's corgis were descendants of her beloved Susan, who she received as a gift in 1944. It's possible that King Charles, shown here as the Prince of Wales with his aunt, Princess Margaret, and her son, Viscount Linley, may be holding on to one of Susan's progeny—there were 14 generations of them after all.
So. Many. Corgis. Prince Charles stands on the grounds of Windsor Castle in Berkshire, England, with the queen and his youngest brother, Prince Edward.
While the prince and his groom tend to polo ponies, one of his first Jack Russell terriers (name unknown)—which are different from Parson Russell terriers but likely related—provides essential supervision.
Another favorite canine friend of the prince was Harvey, a yellow Labrador retriever. Here are the two looking stylish at the Fernie Hunt Cross Country Team event. The prince's grandfather, King George VI, preferred Labs and raised them at various royal country estates.
During the Cheshire Hunt, it was wise of the prince to rely on the expertise of these hounds.
The prince and Harvey prepare to fish on the River Dee in Balmoral, Scotland. Rumors suggest his first wife, the late Diana, Princess of Wales, thought Harvey was too smelly, so the prince rehomed him with one of his advisors.
Meet Tigga, one of King Charles's dogs who was his absolute pride and joy. This Jack Russell terrier, who first entered the family as a puppy, died in 2002 at age 18. A few years later, the King memorialized Tigga with a willow sculpture at his country estate, Highgrove.
At one time, the prince had two Jack Russells—Tigga and Pooh—seen here with him and Prince Edward on the bank of the River Thames. Although supposedly not named for any characters in Winnie the Pooh, according to the Associated Press, there's speculation young sons William and Harry might have had a teensy bit of influence over the pup's name change from 'Roo to Pooh.
Scampering Jacks accompany the future king on a Royal Shoot in Sandringham.
Here, Prince Charles was accompanied by Princes William and Harry and possibly one of the royal heritage Labs at their Balmoral Castle estate in Scotland.
This delightful photo highlights King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla's two adorable rescued Jacks, Beth and Bluebell, the newly official royal dogs. Now that's a fairy tale ending worth all the wags!