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Touching Moment Queen's Dogs and Personal Horse Waited For Her Final Return to Windsor

Queen's dogs and horse pay their last respect

For pet owners, we know how heartbreaking it is to lose a pet, but it's more painful for pets to lose their owners because they can't process the pain of losing them nor understand why their beloved owners had to leave them without coming back ever.

According to Russell Hartstein, a certified behaviorist, and dog trainer based in Los Angeles“When an owner passes away before her pet, it can be a confusing, sad, and difficult period, even if arrangements have been made for the animal to be taken care of by someone else". 

Queen's dogs Muick and Sandy
Muick and Sandy waited at Windsor Castle's quadrangle to watch the Queen's coffin passed

It’s not unusual for dogs to grieve the loss of a person they’ve bonded with who is no longer present. While they might not understand the full extent of human absence, dogs do understand the emotional feeling of missing someone who’s no longer a part of their daily lives.

Saying Goodbye

On Monday, September 19, Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest with Prince Philip at King George VI Memorial Chapel in Windsor. And during her final return to Windsor, her personal horse, Emma, and her two corgis, Muick and Sandy, were given an opportunity to bid their beloved owner goodbye.

Queen's dogs Muick and Sandy
Muick and Sandy accompanied by their handlers waited at the castle's quadrangle

Queen's horse Emma
Emma accompanied by the Queen's head groom, Terry Pendry

Even the hardest of hearts would melt at the moving sight of the Queen's personal horse and corgis loyally waiting for her final return to Windsor, where they had spent countless moments of riding and walking together.

The Queen left Windsor Castle on July 21, 2022, for her long summer break to Balmoral estate, she was expected to return to Windsor Castle by October (next month). But did not make it.

The Queen's Personal Horse

Emma, a 24-year-old glossy black Highlands fell pony, came to Her Majesty's stables in Windsor in 1998. Since then they were frequently spotted enjoying a morning ride at Windsor Great Park accompanied by Her Majesty's head groom, Terry Pendry.

Queen's horse Emma
Her Majesty and Emma enjoying a morning ride in Windsor Great Park

When her coffin made a final journey to Windsor for the committal service and burial, Emma was brought to the side of the road by Terry Pendry. And as the Queen's hearse made its way along the Long Walk through Windsor Great Park, Emma, stood at the side of the path.

In a touching gesture, Terry Pendry, laid out the Queen's Hermes headscarf - which she often wore while riding - across Emma's saddle.

Queen's horse Emma
Terry Pendry and Emma stood silently as the Queen's coffin passed along

Queen's horse Emma
A touching scene as Emma and Terry stood on the roadside to pay their last respects

And as the coffin approached, Emma stamped her foot once in what some commentators claimed may have been a sign of distress for her master.

Terry Pendry, 72, who worked for the Queen for the past 28 years, said that Emma is aware on some level that she will never ride with the Queen again.

"The Queen adored Emma and rode her for more than 20 years so it was only right she should have been there, and she behaved impeccably," he told the Daily Mail. "I think she probably had some sort of sixth sense that Her Majesty wouldn't be riding her anymore and she did her proud by standing there so respectfully."

Queen's horse Emma
Terry Pendry and Emma paying their last respects to the Queen

Pendry said that on their last ride, the Queen was physically frail but her mind was "crystal clear" and that she was still sharp as anything. "It was an honor", he said, "to have served her and to have been able to bring Emma to say goodbye".

Sharing his heartbreak, he added: "I'm sad to say that I don't think we shall ever see anyone like the Queen again and there are no words to express how much I shall miss her. I'm just so glad that Emma and I were able to say our goodbye at Windsor where Her Majesty enjoyed riding her horses so much."

Queen's horse Emma
Terry Pendry and the Queen enjoying a morning ride in Windsor Great Park

Carltonlima Emma was bred at the Murthwaite Stud farm in Cumbria by Thomas Capstick, who passed away in 2015. She was just four when the Queen first started riding her, and Capstick's aunt, Mary Airey, said he would have been "so proud".

"It was lovely yesterday (Queen's funeral) to see Emma with Terry," she told the BBC. "And - I don't know if people noticed - but when the coffin went past Emma lifted her foot and it was priceless."

Queen's horse Emma
Queen riding Emma one morning in Windsor Great Park accompanied by Terry Pendry

Royal biographer Claudia Joseph believes that Emma and the rest of the Queen's horses will go to a new home, probably to Princess Anne and her daughter Zara Phillips-Tindall, who are both Olympic Equestrians and shared the Queen's passion for riding horses.

Queen riding horse with Princess Anne and Zara
The Queen (center) with her daughter, Princess Anne (right), and granddaughter, Zara. Pictured in 2004, riding together at Windsor Great Park during Easter. Credit: Getty Images

The Queen, who was a passionate horse breeder, had seen her horses win more than 1,800 races. Her annual presence at the Royal Ascot, Royal Windsor Horse Show, and the Epsom Derby reflected her deep personal interest in horses.

An enthusiastic owner and breeder, with the Royal Stud at her Sandringham estate, she had a deep knowledge of the sport and seemed happiest when the discussion turned to horses.

Queen Elizabeth and her fell ponies
The Queen's birthday photo with her two fell ponies 

An official photograph released by the Royal Windsor Horse Show to mark Her Majesty's 96th birthday in April this year, featured her standing on the grounds of Windsor Castle with her two fell ponies.

Trainer Richard Hannon said the Queen knew her pedigrees inside out and recalled to the Racing Post how she enjoyed visiting the stables because "it's nice to come to a place that doesn't smell of fresh paint".

Queen Elizabeth and her fell ponies
The Queen and Prince Philip in Balmoral estate

Nicky Henderson, another royal trainer, also told the Racing Post how Her Majesty had watched one of her horses win a race on television. 

"She told me she'd been watching it in the sitting room. Her horse led over the last, but it was a tight finish so she stood up and screamed it home".

Hearing the Queen's screams, her security guards rushed to open the door, only to find Her Majesty happily glued in front of the television watching her horse win the race.

The British Horseracing Authority, which paused meetings last week in her honor, said the Queen had "helped to shape the breed and contributed to moments on the track that will go down in sporting folklore".

Queen Elizabeth II final appearance Royal Windsor show
Queen made a surprise appearance in May this year at the Royal Windsor Horse Show and watched her horse won the race

Queen Elizabeth II attended every edition of the Royal Windsor Horse Show since its inception 79 years ago, including in May this year, her last appearance.

"She was often there very relaxed, in a headscarf and a quilted jacket, watching her own horses compete," Tracy Casstles, the British Horse Society's head of fundraising, said.

Princess Haya of Jordan, an Equestrian and horse breeder, who formed a close bond with the Queen due to their passion for horses, said, "I think Her Majesty has left a living legacy. There are so many of the young and up and coming royals who are competing at the highest level already".

The Queen's corgis

Apart from horses, Queen Elizabeth II was known for her love of the corgis. She was known to have had more than 30 dogs during her lifetime. 

The late Diana, Princess of Wales hilariously called her mother-in-law's dogs “ moving carpet,” according to biographer, Sally Bedell Smith, in Diana in Search of Herself: Portrait of a Troubled Princess, because the royal dogs can be seen everywhere in royal palaces and castles, trotting around the Queen. 

Princess Elizabeth and Susan
Princess Elizabeth and her first-owned corgi, Susan

The Queen received her first-ever Pembroke Welsh corgi, named Susan, in 1944 as a birthday present from her father, King George VI, when she turned 18. Registered as “Hickathrift Pippa,” the dog at first went by the name Sue, which became Susan later. 

Susan and Princess Elizabeth became so attached to one another that Susan accompanied her on her honeymoon with Prince Philip in Broadlands and Balmoral, hidden under blankets in the royal carriage.

Princess Elizabeth and corgis
Princess Elizabeth with her father, King George VI, and their two corgis, Dookie and Jane

However, the Queen was already known as a dog lover since childhood. According to American Kennel Club, in 1933, breeder Thelma Gray brought a litter of puppies to show the then-Duke of York, the future George VI, and his family. 

The family chose a dog and named him Dookie. A few years later, Gray gave the royal family another Pembroke Welsh Corgi called Jane. And thus, there were two.

Princess Elizabeth and corgis
Princess Elizabeth with Dookie and Jane

At the start of World War II, Dookie passed away, but Jane gave birth to a puppy called Crackers, and there were two royal Pembroke corgis again. 

When Jane was accidentally run over and killed in 1944, Princess Elizabeth was heartbroken but wrote to the driver to tell him that she was sure it wasn’t his fault, according to Michael Joseph Gross in Vanity Fair. 

Susan then became the first Pembroke Welsh Corgi to belong solely to then Princess Elizabeth and also became the foundation of her royal breeding program.

Princess Elizabeth and corgis
Graveyard of Queen's dog in Sandringham estate

Susan final resting place
Susan's graveyard in Sandringham estate

Susan passed away in 1959 and was buried in a special cemetery built for Her Majesty's dogs in Sandringham estate.

For decades, the Queen had at least one dog from Susan's lineage in her home. Her final corgi in Susan's line, Willow, sadly passed away in 2018.

In 2015, when the Queen was 89 she decided to stop breeding corgis. Her reasoning was that she was too old to take care of young dogs and does not want to leave so many dogs behind when she die. 

Queen Elizabeth II and her corgis
The Queen was seen leaving Buckingham Palace in March 2020 with Vulcan

After Willow's death in 2018, Her Majesty left with only three dogs, Lissy, Candy, and Vulcan. The latter was seen accompanying her in the car in March 2020 leaving Buckingham Palace to live permanently in Windsor Castle during the pandemic, sadly, Vulcan passed away that year.

Candy caught royal fans' attention in February this year when the pup sneaked into Her Majesty's sitting room in Windsor Castle while viewing memorabilia related to the Platinum Jubilee celebration.

Queen Elizabeth II and candy
Candy sneaked to the Queen's sitting room in February 2022

“And where did you come from?” Her Majesty was heard asking the cute pup, stroking Candy on the nose. “I know what you want,” she added, likely referring to a treat.

Sadly, in July this year, a day after the Queen's arrival at Balmoral estate, Candy passed away, which left the Queen heartbroken according to reports. 

The death of Candy, Her Majesty's longest surviving dog and companion of 18 years, was said to have “hit the Queen hard” leaving her "distraught."

The Queen was seen walking Candy and Vulcan in Windsor Great Park

In 2021, while Prince Philip was in the hospital, it was reported that their second son, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, gifted his mother two dogs to keep her company while his father was hospitalized. 

It was later revealed the names of the new corgis were Fergus (named after the Queen's uncle who died in action during World War I) and Muick (pronounced Mick) named after Loch Muick on the Queen's beloved Balmoral estate in Scotland.

Queen Elizabeth II and her dogs Muick and Sandy

Prince Andrew decided to give his mother two puppies to keep her company in Windsor Castle when his father's condition worsened, according to reports. 

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.”

But three months later, Fergus died of illness, so Prince Andrew gave his mother another Welsh corgi named Sandy. At the time of her death, the Queen had three dogs, Sandy, Muick, and Lissy, a cocker spaniel.

Queen Elizabeth II and her dogs Muick and Sandy
Muick and Sandy at the castle's quadrangle on Monday, Sept19 

Queen Elizabeth’s dogs lived a life of privilege in royal residences. They have their own room where they sleep on wicker beds and receive fresh sheets daily. 

According to the Queen's former personal chef, Darren McGrady, meals of Her Majesty's dogs are prepared by the royal chef, and their menus, which are individually designed for the dogs, consisted of freshly cooked meals, vegetables, liver, steak, and poached chicken. The food is also served by a butler on a silver platter.

Queen Elizabeth II and her dogs Muick and Sandy
Muick and Sandy. Photo: Getty Images

On Monday, when the Queen made a final return to Windsor Castle, Sandy and Muick waited at the castle's quadrangle to watch her pass through one last time, allowing them to pay their last respect. 

Queen Elizabeth II and her dogs Muick and Sandy
Muick and Sandy waited at Windsor Castle's quadrangle for the Queen's coffin to pass

Queen Elizabeth II and her dogs Muick and Sandy

It is also reported that Muick and Sandy will be taken care of by Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York at the Royal Lodge. While Lissy will be taken care of by another member of the Royal Family. 

Royal author, Penny Junor, wrote: "Dogs and horses are her passion and it is with them, and the people who share that passion, that she truly relaxes. Horses are a rich man's game but dogs are not. They are a great leveler, they attract people from all walks of life and, over the years, the Queen has had strong and genuine friendships with many of her fellow dog enthusiasts."

Her Majesty with one of her corgis

Throughout the Queen's extraordinary reign of 70 years, the corgis became part of her life. They were by her side, accompanying her on official tours or whenever she switches royal residences. 

Her Majesty with her four dogs

Walking them every day was a part of her routine before mobility issues affected her final months. And in bygone years, she liked nothing more than piling the pack into an elderly Vauxhall estate, donning a headscarf, and setting off for a drive.

Goodbye Your Majesty, may you find peace and happiness in the afterlife.

Queen Elizabeth II and her dogs Muick and Sandy
Saying goodbye to their beloved royal owner

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