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The dog's death leaves her with just one remaining member of her famed corgi/dorgi pack.

By Tracey L. Kelley
December 04, 2020
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Queen Elizabeth walking her corgis at Windsor Castle
Credit: Julian Parker / Getty

Formidable and proper when dealing with matters of state, Queen Elizabeth’s soft spot for her beloved dogs is widely-celebrated. The Queen’s pack, especially her corgis, often received as much news time as she does. But according to various sources, she’s grieving the loss of her special friend, Vulcan, a 13 year old dorgi who passed away a couple of weeks ago.

It’s never easy when a pet passes away, but when you’ve dedicated more than 85 years of your life to loving and caring for a special dog breed, we can imagine that makes it even harder to handle.

Dorgis are a combination of dachshunds and corgis, the latter a particularly favorite breed of Her Majesty. Vulcan and the Queen’s last remaining dorgi, Candy—who’s also the final member of her pack—are descendants of a line created when one of the Queen’s corgis mated with Pipkin, Princess Margaret’s dachshund.

For much of her life, Queen Elizabeth has doted on adorable and energetic stumpy-legged cuties, primarily Pembroke Welsh corgis. In Welsh, cor means ‘dwarf’ and ci/gi means ‘dog’. When she was young, the House of Windsor expanded to include corgis Dookie, Jane, and later, Crackers and Carol. Then, in 1944, Princess Elizabeth received a corgi of her very own, Susan, for her 18th birthday, who later accompanied her and Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, on their honeymoon. 

As Queen, she founded a special breeding program with Susan that lasted for decades. It ended in 2015 because, according to The Telegraph, she doesn’t want to leave any young dogs behind upon her death. In all this time, the Queen had more than 30 corgis, many of them descendants of Susan. The Queen’s last corgi of this fascinating lineage, Willow, passed away in 2018, representing the 14th generation of a royal dog dynasty.

Queen Elizabeth and her royal corgi dog

The Queen has staff to help care for the dogs, of course, but she’s quite hands-on, too. They live in her apartments, travel with her to various places, and receive regular feedings by and walks with her. The Telegraph once reported that “If the Queen came in wearing a tiara, they laid glumly on the carpet; if she was in a headscarf, they knew it was time for walkies.”  

Vulcan, Candy, and all of the Queen’s other dogs have met dignitaries, presidents, and other members of royalty. They’ve appeared on magazine covers and in movies. Throughout the four seasons of Netflix series “The Crown’, the Queen’s corgis are rarely far away, including in this scene where she has an intimate chat with First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy featuring stand-ins for Susan’s pups, Honey and Sugar. However, some of her other pets, including black Labrador retrievers and English cocker spaniels at her private home, Sandringham House, don’t get nearly as much press!

In celebration of Vulcan, Candy, and all the Queen’s dorgis and corgis, take a moment to watch one of their most famous appearances: James Bond meeting Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace for a special mission. The pups are right on their heels, ready for action!