The Queen of England may no longer have the ability to arbitrarily decapitate citizens — or even simply banish them — but she may be in the process of slowly exiling dogs from the royal Presence.
On second thought, that may be a little bit hyperbolic — it’s not like Queen Elizabeth has issued a royal decree that henceforth all dogs shall be expelled from the grounds of Buckingham Palace. However, age seems to be tempering her enthusiasm for dog ownership.
For the last 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II has been the world’s most famous Corgi owner. Corgis have been almost as iconic to Elizabeth’s reign as the crown itself. More so perhaps because while there are many people who have seen the Queen without the crown, few have seen her without her Corgis. There have been as many as eight Royal Corgis at any one time, and over time, they’ve certainly been more well-behaved than the human members of the Royal Family. None of the Corgis have shown up at public events dressed like Nazis, for instance.
But age may be tempering Elizabeth’s passion for her dogs, according to the English papers. The Queen is down to two Corgis now, and she’s not trying to replace them as they die. Her granddaughter, Princess Beatrice, offered the Queen two pups from a litter recently birthed by her own Norfolk Terrier. The Queen politely declined. According to one of her assistants, Queen Elizabeth is beginning to see the dogs as a hazard in her old age.
“The fact is she worries about too many dogs around her feet and the danger she will trip up and hurt herself badly. She is after all 88 and not getting any younger,” the unnamed courtier told the Daily Express. “Her Corgis are getting on a bit and move along at a sedate speed, but a young dog would obviously be very lively and much more active. Her main fear is that if she fell and broke her arm or even a leg she would not be able to perform her duties for many weeks, if not months, and that would upset her greatly.”
In addition, her aide Nancy Fenwick, known as “Keeper of the Queen’s Corgis,” recently retired. Fenwick was known for keeping track of each dog’s quirks and foibles, and she knew exactly what each one’s needs were.
For Buckingham Palace to be empty of Corgis is not quite as drastic as if the ravens left the Tower, but it certainly would be the end of a tradition. But just as we love to see people adopt dogs and give them good homes (and certainly few could be more well-appointed than Buckingham Palace or the other homes of the Windsor family), it’s also good to know when it’s not a good time to have a dog. That’s as true when your home is literally a palace as when it’s just an apartment.
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