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The British Royal Family and Their Pets: Which is Your Favorite?

Ready to make a fire pit a part of your backyard entertainment scene? Here's what you need to know before you start.

© Elizabeth Manneh

By Elizabeth Manneh, The Family Handyman

The Queen

© Elizabeth Manneh

The QueenThe Queen's love of the Pembrokeshire corgi is legendary. On her 18th birthday, her father gave her a corgi named Susan, and since then every royal corgi (more than 30 of them) descended from her original pet.In 2018, after her last corgi died, the Queen decided to stop breeding corgis due to her age, but when her gamekeeper died, she decided to adopt his corgi that she had been dog-walking for the last two years.The Queen also has dorgis – a cross between a corgi and a dachshund.The royal dogs have their own room, and food specially prepared by a chef, but the Queen feeds them personally at 5 pm sharp each day and walks them herself.

Prince Philip

© Elizabeth Manneh

Prince PhilipOf course, the royal family members are often given exotic animals as pets when on their international visits. Prince Philip was once given a pair of pygmy hippopotami as a gift from President Tubman of Liberia. The Prince sent them on permanent loan to London Zoo! He was also given a baby elephant when visiting Sri Lanka, which also found a forever home at London Zoo.It's not only the British royal family that have bizarre pets.

The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge

© Elizabeth Manneh

The Duke & Duchess of CambridgeWilliam and Kate have carried on the royal tradition of owning a dog: a black cocker spaniel named Lupo. However, Prince George caused something of a scandal when he was photographed offering Lupo a lick of his ice cream (not considered good for dogs).The Cambridges also have a pet hamster, said to be a great favorite with Princess Charlotte because the whiskers tickle her face.We don't recommend ice cream for hamsters either, but fresh fruit is a different story.

The Duke & Duchess of Sussex

© Elizabeth Manneh

The Duke & Duchess of SussexMeghan was said to be broken-hearted at having to leave her beloved rescue lab Bogart in Canada, as he was too old to settle in a new home. But she brought her other rescued pooch, a beagle named Guy, with her.It's rumored that the Sussexes have recently welcomed another dog into the family, this time a Labrador retriever.Beagles and retrievers both shed their hair readily, so regular grooming is important.

The Duke & Duchess of Cornwall

© Elizabeth Manneh

The Duke & Duchess of CornwallIt caused a bit of a scandal when Prince Charles admitted that he preferred labradors to the traditional royal corgi as a breed, but he's owned several in his time. One beloved lab Tigga lived to be 18 years old, before dying in 2002.Camilla is also a fan of rescue dogs, owning two Jack Russells she adopted from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.Sometimes our older pets need a little more support to live comfortably each day.

The Princess Royal

© Elizabeth Manneh

The Princess RoyalBest known for her love of horses – Princess Anne competed for Great Britain at the 1972 Olympics – the princess also own bulldogs. Known as a tough and hardy breed, bulldogs are strong and loyal, and the princess can often be seen walking them herself.The Princess Royal is no stranger to unusual pets either. In 1956, she was given a 3-month old bear cub by Russian President Nikita Khrushchev. The cub was named Nikki, presumably after the president himself.Some dogs are resilient enough to be kept outside rather than in the home.

Zara Tindall

© Elizabeth Manneh

Zara TindallAs the Princess Royal's daughter, it's hardly surprising that Zara Tindall inherited her mom's love of horses, and she too represented Great Britain in the Olympics, winning a silver medal at London 2012.Although not strictly a pet, Zara was devoted to her horse Toytown, and they won many equestrian events together.

The Duke of York

© Elizabeth Manneh

The Duke of YorkOn a visit to The Gambia in West Africa, the Queen was once given a crocodile as a pet for Prince Andrew. It's said that her Private Secretary, Sir Martin Charteris, was persuaded to keep the reptile in his bathtub before it was sent on to London Zoo!Now, Prince Andrew's pets are more mainstream – he has five Norfolk Terriers.We don't know about keeping pets in a bathtub, but you might need to give your pets a bath.

Princess Michael of Kent

© Elizabeth Manneh

Princess Michael of KentYou might think it would be a brave royal who preferred cats to dogs, but Princess Michael (while owning dogs and horses), has a deep love of cats. She owns several Siamese and Burmese cats, as well as supporting rhino and elephant conservation organizations in Africa.

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Pets Magazine: The British Royal Family and Their Pets: Which is Your Favorite?
The British Royal Family and Their Pets: Which is Your Favorite?
Ready to make a fire pit a part of your backyard entertainment scene? Here's what you need to know before you start.
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