Whisper was the last of Queen Elizabeth’s four-legged companions and the last of a tradition that spans the 20th century. The queen has had pet corgis since childhood, and since the 1930s, the dogs have enjoyed complete control of Buckingham Palace. Whisper reportedly followed the queen from room to room in Buckingham Palace, ate meals prepared by the palace chefs, and accompanied the queen as she met with foreign dignitaries.
Whisper, 12, had been suffering from illness for the last several weeks, and died last week at Buckingham. Queen Elizabeth has been breeding corgis since she was 18, but stopped in 2015 intentionally. According to royal insiders, she did not want to leave any of her beloved dogs behind after her death.
Queen Elizabeth, 92, fell in love with corgis at age 7 when her father, King George VI, brought one to Buckingham Palace. Corgis have been the royal family pet of choice ever since, according to the Miami Herald.
She received her beloved corgi Susan on her 18th birthday. For the next 70 years, Elizabeth bred corgis from Susan’s line. The last of these dogs, Willow, passed away in April, according to Town & Country.
Elizabeth loved her dogs so much, they accompanied her on her honeymoon and on royal trips around the world.
This is the first time since 1933 that there have been no corgis at Buckingham Palace, ending a tradition that stretches back to the reign of King George VI.
Queen Elizabeth is so famous for loving corgis, stuffed versions of the breed are sold in gift shops all over England. Royal watchers know of the queen’s affinity for the animals, and on her birthdays and special events, she often receives pictures of corgis, statues and other items related to the dogs from her public.
— K Carroll (@singlenoun) October 26, 2018
There are two types of corgi, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, according to the American Kennel Club. Corgis are known for being smart, alert, and affectionate dogs. They generally stand 10 to 12 inches high and weigh up to 30 pounds. Corgis are classified in the herding group at dog shows.
Over the years, Queen Elizabeth has owned about 30 corgis. Most of them originated with Susan. Whisper, however, used to belong to a worker at Buckingham Palace. The dog became the queen’s pet in 2016.
Elizabeth is hardly the only English monarch to be closely associated with a specific breed of dog. King Charles II was so immensely fond of one particular breed he gave them his own name: Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. He kept a pack of them with him at all times, and according to historians, he never went anywhere without at least three of the dogs.