Queen Elizabeth is taking the death of her corgi especially hard, as Willow was the last corgi in her royal line of canines. After being a loyal and trusted companion to the Queen for the past 14 years, Willow had to be put down after suffering "a bout of damnable cancer," according to the Washington Post. This is the first time a beloved corgi is not underfoot in the palace since Elizabeth held her title as a princess.
The corgi is famous for being the dog of choice for the Queen, who usually had more than one of the little dogs by her side during her entire reign. Willow is the last of 30 corgis the Queen has owned in her lifetime. According to the Daily Mail, her very last corgi was put to sleep at Windsor Castle on Sunday. The Queen didn't want her beloved Willow to suffer, so euthanizing the dog was the humane thing to do.
While the Queen has mourned every one of her corgis as they've passed away in the past, Willow has hit her especially hard. The dog was the "last link to her parents and a pastime that goes back to her own childhood," explains the Washington Post.
The Queen was given a corgi that she named Susan when she was only 16. She also started a breeding program with Susan's line that spawned hundreds of corgi puppies over the decades.
Those puppies were never sold. Instead, the Queen opted to give them away to family and friends as gifts. It seems that the matriarch of the royal family quietly closed the breeding program a few years ago. She didn't want to leave any corgis behind after her death. The Queen didn't want other people to inherit the task of caring for the dogs.The corgis were not just photo props for the Queen, she loved those dogs and took care of them herself. She would feed and walk her corgis, who had full use of her home. They would sit on sofas and demand belly rubs and the Queen would happily oblige. They were often seen underfoot in pictures taken of the Queen and her family through the decades. Through the years those nippy little fellows have taken a bite of the trousers of a policeman, a chauffeur, the Royal Clock Winder and a member of the Grenadier Guard, according to the Washington Post. They also suggest "those are just the ones we know about." For those who remember the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012, Willow was one of the three corgis escorting Daniel Craig, who was in character as James Bond, into Buckingham Palace. Those pups, Willow, Monty, and Holly, are all gone now, with Willow being the last to die. The death of Willow is the end of an era for Queen Elizabeth, who is now without a beloved corgi by her side. After 80 years, this has to be a very tough time for the Queen who loved her corgis. Animal lovers and royal family watchers from all over the globe have expressed their condolences to the Queen for her loss of Willow via social media.