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The Queen and her Corgis

8 March 2023 to 25 June 2023 The Wallace Collection

Credit: Queen Elizabeth II of England at Balmoral Castle with one of her Corgis, 28 September 1952. Bettmann / Contributor via Getty Images
In 2023, a special one-room display at the Wallace Collection –The Queen and her Corgis – celebrates through photographs the unique connection The Queen had with her corgis. Each decade of her life will be marked by a single image that captures Her Majesty and her love of the breed.

The display will coincide with the Collection’s major exhibition, Portraits of Dogs from Gainsborough to Hockney (29 March – 15 October 2023), which explores our devotion to four-legged friends across the centuries. Through carefully selected paintings, sculptures, drawings, works of art and even taxidermy, the forthcoming exhibition highlights the unique bond between humans and their canine companions.

The Queen’s own passion for the fearless breed of herding dog began in 1933 at the age of 7, when she and her sister, Princess Margaret, were given a pair named Jane and Dookie by their father, the future King George VI. From then on, they were always by her side. Being a constant presence in her life often led to them being immortalised with her in photographs taken by the press – a selection of which form this display.

The earliest image dates from July 1936 and is of the young Princess Elizabeth playing in the large garden of 145 Piccadilly – the London house where she lived much of her early childhood – with Jane and Dookie. Other images show corgis accompanying The Queen during her work, which often led to them appearing at important events.

One of the most heart-rending images in the display was taken on 19 September 2022 – the day of Her Majesty The Queen’s funeral. Although she stopped breeding corgis in 2015, Prince Andrew gifted Muick and Sandy to his mother after Prince Philip’s death. Faithful friends, they remained with The Queen until her own death, and were caught on camera waiting patiently for her return to the committal service at Windsor. The pair now live with Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson. 

Further Information:  The Wallace Collection - The Wallace Collection