Sunday 25 September 2016

Steak served on a silver platter - it's a dog's life for the Queen's corgis

Published 22/02/2016 | 09:26

The Queen has owned corgis since she was a teenager
The Queen has owned corgis since she was a teenager
The Queen meeting a corgi when she visited the Roman site of Vindolanda near Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland

They may be Britain's poshest pets, but the Queen's corgis and dorgis know their place at meal time.

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The beloved dogs enjoy dishes of steak, rabbit or chicken from their own menus, yet they must follow a strict dinner protocol, with each receiving their dishes in order of seniority .

An animal psychologist who has worked for the royal household for decades also revealed the monarch ensures her knee-high companions are kept in good health with homeopathic remedies.

Dr Roger Mugford described witnessing the dogs' dinner time at Buckingham Palace for an upcoming special edition of Town & Country dedicated to the Queen's 90th birthday in April.

He said: "At feeding times, each dog had an individually designed menu, including an array of homeopathic and herbal remedies.

"Their food was served by a butler in an eclectic collection of battered silver and porcelain dishes.

"As I watched, the Queen got the corgis to sit in a semi-circle around her, and then fed them one by one, in order of seniority. The others just sat and patiently waited their turn."

Corgis have been the Queen's favourite breed throughout her life, and she has owned around 30 of the diminutive dogs.

Her father, George VI, was the first member of the Royal Family to have one of the breed in 1933 and 11 years later she was given a corgi named Susan for her 18th birthday.

The sight of the Queen's dogs running ahead of their owner is one that has greeted staff and visitors to Buckingham Palace on many occasions, made famous in the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, when the corgis made a cameo alongside their owner and 007 - Daniel Craig - for a James Bond-themed filmed segment.

Today Queen has two corgis, Willow and Holly, and two dorgis, corgis mated with a dachshund, called Candy and Vulcan.

Dr Mugford told how the monarch showed deep compassion for her pets and was dismayed by any cruelty to animals, and she took a dim view of US President Lyndon Johnson who picked his dogs up by the ears.

He said: "When she's talking about her dogs or her horses you see a completely different side to her: she relaxes.

"Dogs are great levellers, and they're not influenced by social status, which must be a great relief to her. No wonder she enjoys being around them."

The animal behaviour expert has worked with the corgis and dorgis on several occasions, said to stretch back to 1988 when he rid them of a habit of biting staff.

:: The full interview with Dr Mugford will appear in the spring issue of Town & Country which goes on sale on Thursday.

Press Association

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