How the Pembroke Welsh Corgi became 'family' to the Queen

The Queen's love of animals was well-known and she was especially famed for her fondness of corgis.

Since her death, the fate of her beloved dogs has come into question but it has now been confirmed that Prince Andrew and his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, will look after them.

The Queen owned more than 30 corgis and dorgis - a corgi crossed with a dachshund - and their numerous appearances gained them a prominent role in their own right.

The corgis even became stars of the screen - appearing in a James Bond sketch alongside Her Majesty and Daniel Craig for the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics.

The late monarch's love of dogs started at an early age, but it wasn't until 1944 that her royal relationship with corgis officially began.

She became particularly passionate about the Pembroke Welsh Corgi - known for their small stature and big personalities.

Mary Davies bonded with the Queen over corgis during several meetings with the late monarch. Credit: ITV Archive National Library of Wales

In 1992, Welsh breeder Mary Davies' dog was selected to help the Queen breed a new litter.

Mary, from Ammanford, has been breeding corgis for more than 30 years.

"The Queen was looking for a stud dog to use on one of her bitches and I think there were eight of us that had to go up to Windsor Castle - she chose my dog and that started it really.

"The Queen has always been interested in corgis right from the time she was about 18 and I'm very proud to have been a small part of that."

The Queen was never far from a corgi, or dorgi, like Candy pictured here. Credit: PA Images

Mary went on to meet the Queen on several occasions, even receiving a puppy of her own from of the Queen's royal litters.

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi was once placed on the endangered breeds list, but has since made a comeback.

The name corgi comes from a rough translation of the Welsh words cor and ci, meaning "dwarf" and "dog", respectively.

While Mary thinks their royal status will live on for now, she questions their future within the Royal Family.

"Right back in the sort of fifties and sixties, everybody was buying a corgi because the Queen had them and they saw them with Prince Charles and Princess Anne, and thought 'they have them as a family, we'll have one as a family dog'.

"I think for a few years they'll still be associated with the Royal Family, but I don't think any of the younger royals have any interest in them, which is a pity because I think if they only had one of their own they'd love it."

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