Royal Dog Lovers: The Joy and Pain of Owning and Losing a Pet Dog

Most Royals of Europe are dog lovers who doted on their pets just like how they have taken care of their families, bringing them on family outings and posing with them in official portraits. 

We often saw cute fur friends roaming around the castles and palaces, and even accompanied them on outings, and outdoor pursuits, and posed with them in official portraits. However, it's the same close bond that often gives them heartache when one of their fur friends passes away.

Here are royals who find joy, as well as sorrow in raising a dog pet.  

1. Queen Elizabeth II

The British Queen, who just celebrated her 96th birthday, is also known for her unconditional love for dogs. She started raising dogs when in 1944 on her 18th birthday, she was given by her father, King George VI, her first-ever corgi named Susan. 


Since then, all her corgis came from Susan's lineage in her home, but the Queen stopped breeding corgis in 2015, her reason? She reportedly said it might be a sadder thing to die while her dogs are still alive, after all, dogs are known to carry the burdens of heartbreak when their owners pass away. 

Sadly, Willow, the last corgi from Susan's lineage, died in 2018. Another dog of Her Majesty, a dachshund-corgi mix named Vulcan, passed away in 2020. She has one dog left, Candy.

However, following Prince Philip's long hospitalization in March 2021, their second son, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, who is aware of his mother's affinity to dogs, gifted her with two corgi puppies. 

These two new furry companions of Her Majesty are later named, Fergus (named after the Queen's uncle, Fergus Bowes-Lyon who died fighting in the front line during World War I), and Muick, named after Loch Muick on the Queen's Balmoral estate in Scotland.

A royal source said: “The Queen did not plan on getting any new dogs as she feared she was getting too old. But it was Andrew who surprised his mum with two new puppies when she felt down and alone in the Castle after the Duke was taken to hospital.”

Her Majesty is known to have had more than 30 dogs during her lifetime. And now she's down to only have three corgis. 

The Queen and Prince Philip took a walk in the woods in Balmoral estate accompanied by four corgis. Photo taken by Prince Andrew, the Duke of York

The first corgi, Susan, accompanied then Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip on their honeymoon in 1947 to Broadlands and Birkall in Balmoral.

The Queen's dogs are very pampered. They have their own room in Buckingham Palace. They slept on  wicker beds and receive fresh sheets daily. 

Their meals are prepared by the palace chef and menus are individually designed for the dogs, and served by a butler on a silver platter.

In February this year, the public was treated to some adorable footage when her dog, Candy, bounced from nowhere and dashed to Her Majesty while she was going through royal memorabilia in her sitting room in Windsor Castle.

The Queen, who was obviously delighted, pinched Candy's nose and uttered, "I know what you want". Her Majesty meant treats. Candy wants some treats ☺️ 🐕

Candy, a dachshund-corgi mix, bounced from nowhere and trotted to Her Majesty's working table

Her Majesty's Candy took the spotlight in February this year

2. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark

Another monarch also known as a passionate dog lover,  is Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. She has several dachshund breeds, which she regularly takes for a walk. The dogs often appeared with her in official portraits.

Queen Margrethe II in her sitting room with her dachshund dog

The Queen seems not to mind if her beloved pet dog is interrupting her routine in her sitting room. It has a special chair reserved in her office and seems to get to use for meeting important guests of the Queen.

Here are some of their sweet moments:

The Queen's love for the dog was shared by her late husband, Prince Henrik, who died in February 2018. All of the Queen's sons and grandchildren have their own pet dogs and usually appeared also in their respective family portraits. 

Princess Athena of Denmark, Queen Margrethe II's granddaughter, posed with her beloved poodle, last Christmas season 2021

3. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden,  Duchess of Vastergotland. She has a pet dog named Rio, a Cavapoo crossbreed. This type of dog breed is defined as a cross between a miniature poodle and a medium-sized Cavalier.

The Crown Princess, Prince Daniel, their children, Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar, and baby Rio

The Crown Princess's Rio is a mix of a Cavalier King Charles spaniel and a poodle. And since acquiring Rio in 2020, the Crown Princess has been targeted by criticism due to her breed choice. 

Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar posed with Rio for her 9th birthday portrait

The most vocal critic was the Swedish Kennel Club, which urged her in an open letter to think more about the breeding she supported. 

Rio regularly accompanied the Crown Princess's family outdoor, on family portraits, and public engagement. 

Just this week, she visited the Garphyttan national park with her beloved Rio in tow. The visit was part of the crown princess initiative to visit all 30 national parks in Sweden to promote outdoor life and let people see what Sweden has to offer in terms of nature experiences.

Rio is a Cavapoo crossbreed, a mix of Cavalier King Charles spaniel and Poodle

Accompanying Crown Princess Victoria visiting a National Park in Sweden

4. Crown Prince Haakon of Norway's family

Crown Prince Haakon, his wife, Crown Princess Mette-Mariet, and their children, Princess Ingrid Alexandra and Prince Sverre Magnus, are known to be dog lovers. However, unlike other royals, which seem to favor spaniel and corgis, Prince Haakon's family loves Labradoodle.

The Crown Prince of Norway's family in May 2019 with Muffin and Milly

Labradoodle is a Labrador Retriever and Poodle crossbreed. They have Milly Kakao who later gave birth to Muffin Fiskebolle. These two cuties even appeared with the royal family outside their home during the National Day celebration in 2019.

Princess Ingrid Alexandra with Milly and Muffin

However, in August 2021, Crown Princess Mette-Mariet announced the sad news of the passing of Muffin Fiskebolle, on her instagram account.

Mette-Mariet of Norway with Milly and Muffin
 Crown Prince Haakon with Muffin during happier times

“This week, our dog Muffin died from cancer. The whole family’s fun urchin and best friend was born at home in the living room. Ever since she came into the world, she has been a natural center of our lives. She has always given us love, comfort, and laughter.” - Crown Princess Mette-Mariet

On Christmas day of 2021, the Crown Prince's family announced the newest member of their family, Molly Fiskebolle. 

The announcement was accompanied by the photo of Princess Ingrid Alexandra and Prince Sverre Magnus cuddling Molly Fiskebolle.

Princess Ingrid Alexandra with Molly

5. Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark's family

Prince Frederick's family clearly inherited Queen Margrethe's love for dogs. His family already owned Grace, whom they welcomed in 2017. And last year, they announced the arrival of Grace's puppies on the official Instagram account of the Danish royal family.

"Here on the fourth Sunday in Advent, we would like to introduce two new residents at home. A little over six weeks ago, Grace became the mother of two of the cutest puppies, to the great joy of us all.” The post simply signed, The Crown Prince Family.

The cute puppies were later seen in the official birthday portraits of Prince Frederick's fraternal twins, Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent, cuddling each puppy.

8. King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands' family

Just like other members of the royal family, having a new fur baby is worthy announcing in the official social media account of the royal court. So, when the Dutch royal family acquired a new cute family member, it was but worthy to make an official announcement.


"Today is Animal Day! Meet Mambo, the newest member of the royal family", read the caption of the Dutch royal family's official instagram account, accompanying the photo of Mambo. 

Mambo joined Luna, Skipper and Nala, the three black labradors of the king who often accompanied them on family outings. They also appeared with the royal family in photoshoot. 

The royal labradors accompanied the king's family on a beach trip 

Mambo debuted with the royal family in an official portrait to mark the Christmas season, and he was cuddled by Queen Maxima. 

The portrait served as the royal family's official Christmas Card for 2021. It is not known however, what happened to the third labrador because the official portrait only showed two black labradors. 

The Dutch royal family's official Christmas Card in 2021

9. The Prince of Wales

Prince Charles is a dog lover ever since he was a kid, something he inherited from his mother. He grew up around dogs and has been surrounded by dogs since his younger years.

The young Prince of Wales with his white labrador, Harvey

He owned a white labrador named Harvey, which he raised prior to his marriage to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. When they honeymooned in Balmoral estate, Harvey accompanied them. 
During honeymoon in Balmoral. The Prince and Princess of Wales were accompanied by Harvey

No one really knew what happened to Harvey following the honeymoon. The bouncy white labrador was never to be seen again in the household of the Prince and Princess of Wales. 

Until royal writer, Penny Juror, revealed in her book, "The Firm", that Prince Charles was forced to give up Harvey because the young Princess of Wales could not stand the poor dog's smell. 😢

The Prince and Princess of Wales and the young Princes William and Harry. The Princess of Wales cuddled their puppy, Pooh, a Jack Russell Terrier

Later on, Prince Charles acquired a Jack Russell Terrier, Pooh (named after Winnie the Pooh), and Tigger, also a Jack Russell Terrier, a gift from Lady Salisbury. However, Pooh had given Prince Charles a heartbreak in 1994, two years after separating from Diana.

Prince Charles in a magazine cover with his beloved pet, Pooh

While visiting Balmoral castle in 1994, he went for a walk with Tigger and Pooh in the woods and around the River Dee. Unfortunately, Pooh got separated. 

He may have chased a rabbit and got stuck down the rabbit hole somewhere. Jack Russell Terriers are known to be rabbit chasers.

The Prince of Wales postponed his return to London and assisted the search team to recover Pooh from the woodlands of Balmoral estate. He even ran an Ad in Aberdeenshire with a reward money to help find his beloved Pooh. But to no avail. 

The heartbroken prince returned to London with only Tigger in tow. Pooh was never to be found again. And the Prince of Wales was extremely devastated.

Tigger died a few years later and he was buried at Prince Charles's country residence, the Highgrove estate.

Later in his marriage to Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, they adopted two rescue dogs, both Jack Russell Terriers, named Beth and Bluebell.

On the occasion of their 15th wedding anniversary, Clarence House posted a photo of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall cuddling Bluebell and Beth with a caption:

"Ahead of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall's 15th wedding anniversary tomorrow (April 9), we are sharing this photo of Their Royal Highnesses with The Duchess's dogs - Bluebell and Beth".

10. The Cambridge's Family

Prince William's family has a pet dog named Lupo. He was born in December 2011, and became part of the Cambridge's family in 2012, accompanying them on many outing adventures. 

Prince William and Lupo

Lupo, an English cocker spaniel, was older than Prince George and according to the Duke of Cambridge, had helped them make a decision of naming George. Sadly, Lupo died in November 2020.

Prince George and Lupo


Their official instagram account posted a photo of Lupo (above) with a caption: "Very Sadly last weekend, our dear dog, Lupo, passed away. He has been at the heart of our family for the past nine years, and we will miss him so much" - W & C

Prince William's family acquired a new dog recently, but no photos have been shared so far on instagram.

11. Princess Astrid, Mrs. Ferner

Princess Astrid is the second daughter of King Olaf V and Crown Princess Martha of Norway. She is the older sister of King Harald V of Norway. She was born on February 12, 1932, and named after her maternal aunt, Queen Astrid of Belgium, who died in a car accident in 1929.

Princess Astrid in 2017 to mark her 85th birthday

Princess Astrid got married in 1961 to Johan Ferner, who died in 2015. She regularly posed for a birthday portrait cuddling her cute puppy. 
Princess Astrid posed for her 90th birthday with her beloved fur friend
Just in February this year, when she turned 90, the official social media account of the Norwegian royal court released a photo of the princess with her fur baby comfortably sitting in her lap.

12. Princess Eleonore of Belgium

She is the youngest child of King Philippe of the Belgians and Queen Mathilde. In April 2020, when she turned 12, she was snapped cuddling her beloved pooch. And just this April when she celebrated her 14 birthday, she also posed with her cute pooches.

Princess Eleonore in April 2020
Princess Eleonore on April 16, 2022 posed with her cute pooches for her 14th birthday

Having a pet dog is remarkably relieving. It brings healing and happiness to owners, they provide a unique joy in which no human beings can equate, at least to devoted dog lovers. 

However, the amount of sadness the owners felt when they passed away or lost, is also immeasurable.

It is always sad to lose a pet. And nothing can ever prepare us for the pain it will cause. Even the royals know it. 🐕

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