News that some of Queen Elizabeth’s beloved dogs will be taken in by Prince Andrew has sparked a backlash online.
Queen Elizabeth II died Thursday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland and was renowned for her love of animals, especially her beloved corgis.
It is believed the monarch, 96, had about four or five dogs at the time of her death, including two corgis named Muick and Sandy, a dorgi (a cross between a dachshund and a corgi) called Candy, and two cocker spaniels.
Shortly before her death, Newsweek reported the two corgis would most likely go to live with Prince Andrew in the event of the queen’s death, and now the prince and his former wife, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, will look after Muick and Sandy.
“The corgis will return to live at Royal Lodge with the duke and duchess. It was the duchess who found the puppies that were gifted to Her Majesty by the duke,” a source close to the prince told the BBC.
“The duchess bonded with Her Majesty over dog walking and riding horses, and even after her divorce, she would continue her great friendship with Her Majesty, by walking the dogs in Frogmore and chatting,” the source said.
Prince Andrew gifted his mother the two puppies along with a dorgi, Fergus, after the death of her husband, Prince Philip, in April 2021.
Sadly, Fergus died three months later, and so Prince Andrew and his daughters, the princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, gave her another corgi named Sandy.
Even though they are divorced, Prince Andrew and the duchess continue to live together in Royal Lodge, a mansion within the Windsor Estate in Berkshire, England. Frogmore is an estate next to Windsor Castle.
But backlash online to the reported decision has been swift following controversy over the prince’s involvement with the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.
“BREAKING: It has been decided Prince Andrew will adopt the Queen’s Corgis because everyone loves dogs and they’re hoping to convince you he’s nice now. It’s called emotional manipulation x,” wrote one Twitter user.
Another tweeted: “Nobody is sadder than the Queen’s corgis right now… They have to live with Prince Andrew.”
And a third wrote: “Prince Andrew got the corgis? COULDN’T IT HAVE BEEN LITERALLY ANYONE ELSE?”
The queen’s second son, 62, stepped down from royal duties in 2019, after he was accused of raping a 17-year-old Epstein sex-trafficking victim in a civil lawsuit in New York. Prince Andrew denies wrongdoing.
In January, the prince lost an attempt to have the case thrown out and vowed he would clear his name, before later being stripped of his honorary titles and patronages by the queen. Prince Andrew then settled the civil lawsuit out of court for an undisclosed sum.
On Thursday, royal expert Ingrid Seward told Newsweek that corgis were the queen’s most enduring love.
“She loves animals, and she absolutely adores dogs. She always has done, They were her first love, and they will be her last,” the royal biographer said, before news of the monarch’s death was revealed.
“I imagine the dogs would be looked after by the family, probably Andrew [as] he’s the one that gave them to her. They’re quite young, the corgi and the dorgi.”
Queen Elizabeth II’s love for corgis began in 1933 when she was gifted Susan the corgi for her 18th birthday, and all royal corgis bred by the monarch descended from Susan. Since her ascension to the throne 70 years ago, the queen owned more than 30 corgis and other pets, including different breeds of dogs and horses.
The queen stopped breeding corgis in 2015, because she “did not want to leave any behind,” in the event of her death, according to horse trainer and long-time adviser to the queen, Monty Roberts.
Queen Elizabeth II also played a role in creating a new breed of dog, the dorgi.
One of her corgis bred with Princess Margaret’s dachshund Pipkin to create a cross between the two.
Royal biographer Penny Junor described why the queen’s love for corgis has long captured the world’s attention.
“It is her love of dogs, as much as anything else, that enables so many of us to feel we have a special connection with her,” she wrote in her book, All the Queen’s Corgis.
“Strip away the wealth, the privilege and the palaces, and the bond she has with her dogs is no different from the bond the rest of us have ours, no matter our station in life.”
Newsweek has reached out to representatives for Prince Andrew, the Duchess of York and King Charles III for comment.