Photos of the late Queen Elizabeth II and her corgis to be exhibited in London

The Queen and her Corgis
Queen Elizabeth II of England at Balmoral Castle with one of her Corgis, September 28 1952 (Image credit: Bettmann / Contributor via Getty Images)

The whole world knows how much Queen Elizabeth II loved her corgis. And in honor of the unique connection that Her Majesty had with dogs, owning over 30 of them during her 70-year reign, The Wallace Collection in London will be hosting a special one-room exhibition of photographs titled 'The Queen and her Corgis'. 

This collection will map each decade of The Queen's life alongside her corgis, with a singular image for each era that captures Her Majesty and her love of the fearless breed of herding dog. The collection is open now and the images will remain on display until June 25 2023. 

• If you love your pups as much as Her Majesty, find out how to shoot pet portraits at home

Elizabeth owned her very first corgi when she was just seven years old, when two dogs were gifted to herself and her sister, Princess Margaret, by their father, the future King George VI, in 1933. The corgis were named Jane and Dookie.

Queen Elizabeth II sitting on rocks beside a waterfall on the Garbh Allt burn with two corgis on the Estate at Balmoral Castle, Scotland, September 1971 (Image credit: Lichfield Archive via Getty Images)

Since then, Queen Elizabeth II always had a corgi in her company. And this special breed of dog became an immortalized staple not only in the legacy of Her Majesty and how she was photographed in the press, but in some ways also as a mascot of London tourism – alongside the traditional British bulldog, of course.  

Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) with two corgi dogs at her home at 145 Piccadilly, London, July 1936.  (Image credit: Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Hulton Archive via Getty Images)

The display will also coincide with another of the Wallace Collection’s major new exhibitions, Portraits of Dogs: From Gainsborough to Hockney which will be opening on March 29, and running until October 15, 2023.  

This exhibition aims to explore our devotion to dogs spanning across centuries, and through carefully selected paintings, drawings, sculptures, (and even taxidermy), will highlight the unique bond that humans have with their canine companions.

Queen Elizabeth II walking her dogs at Windsor Castle, April 02 1994 (Image credit: ulian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)

One of the key images from the exhibition is of Elizabeth holding a puppy, Susan, on the grounds at Windsor Castle. Susan was a corgi she was gifted as an 18th birthday present, from which many of the dogs she would then own throughout her reign were directly descended. 

Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) pictured holding a corgi in the grounds of Windsor Castle, Berkshire, Great Britain, May 30 1944 (Image credit: Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Hulton Archive via Getty Images)

Another famous photograph from the display had been taken on October 15 1969, and shows Queen Elizabeth II with 4 corgis in tow, while returning from Balmoral to King’s Cross in order to meet the astronauts of Apollo 11 at Buckingham Palace.

Interestingly, The Queen also kept another breed of dog and had several dorgis – an accidental cross between corgi and dachshund, after an encounter with one of Elizabeth's dogs and Princess Margaret’s dachshund, Pipkin.

Queen Elizabeth II arrives at King's Cross railway, October 15 1969 (Image credit: STF/AFP via Getty Images)

"We are honored to pay tribute to Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth with this display," said Dr Xavier Bray, director of the Wallace Collection. 

"The Queen devoted her entire life to serving the British people, but we hope that this display will show a more personal side of her life – her deep love of animals and her abiding passion for her corgis. The display has been designed to complement our major exhibition opening in March on dog portraiture, 'Portraits of Dogs: From Gainsborough to Hockney.'"

The Queen Mother with her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, outside Clarence House, August 04 1983 (Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

• You may also be interested in these 8 tips to pose for photos like the Royal Family, as well as the best pet cameras such as the Enabot EBO Air for keeping an eye on your woofers, and take a look at these 10 pet photography tips for amazing pet portraits at home. 

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.