The Queen's canine companions have been a familiar sight since her coronation in 1953, but the presence of corgis in the Royal household actually dates back to her father — King George VI — when he took in a dog called 'Dookie'.
It would be hard to think of another head of state so closely associated with a specific animal, as that of Queen Elizabeth and her corgis. They've even appeared alongside James Bond in a special film for the 2012 Olympics.
This cracks me up. James Bond, the Queen, and the Corgis. pic.twitter.com/XgTK2FR0J9— Madame Crab (@madamecrab) 9 March 2014
So, as the Queen turns 90, it seems appropriate to pay tribute to the real stars of Britain's royal household — with 8 things you probably didn't know about Queen Elizabeth's corgis…
Young Queen Elizabeth II with her corgie Dookie. pic.twitter.com/wp4WI6hBlF— Historical Photos (@Historical_Pht) 19 September 2014
#1 The Queen has owned over 30 corgis since she began her reign.
#2 The Queen currently has 2 corgis — Holly and Willow — and they are direct descendants of Susan, who was the corgi given to the Queen on her 18th birthday. Holly and Willow will likely be her last corgis though, as she's ruled out any new dogs.
#3 The royal corgis reportedly eat extremely well. Lunch is cooked from scratch every day, from a constantly changing menu, by a royal chef. If you were a royal corgi, the sort of dishes you might expect could range from fillet steak to poached chicken or even rabbit.
#4 One of the corgis had to be put down in 2003, after being savaged by Princess Anne's bull terrier. This led to Anne becoming the first ever member of the Royal family to receive a criminal record under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
#5 Back in the nineties, one of the Queen's staff was demoted after allegedly spiking the corgis' water with whisky and gin.
#6 Paul Burrell, who was a footman for the Queen and later butler to Princess Diana, claimed to have been knocked unconscious when nine corgis pulled him down the steps at Sandringham House.
#7 They've been vicious in the past — the Queen's first corgi, Susan, bit the royal clock winder in 1954. They've also been known to bite the postman, and other royal staff. One of the Queen Mother's corgis even bit a policeman. In 1989, an animal psychologist was actually hired to deal with this.
#8 According to Brian Hoey, who wrote the book 'Not In Front of the Corgis', the dogs have pretty much the run of the household:
"They cock their legs and do what corgis do wherever they want — on antique furniture, priceless carpets…"
Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 90th birthday today in Windsor.