Thursday, May 23, 2013

Queen Victoria's birthday May 24

Queen Victoria was born May 24, 1837.  During her 64 year reign, the Queen fancied the King Charles Spaniel, Greyhound, Skye Terrier, Dachshund, Collie, Pekingese, Fox Terrier, Pomeranian, and Pug among others. It need hardly be mentioned that she wasn't the first royal to keep pet dogs, but she’s notable because she had so many, at one point eighty eight. 

The Queen with Tur
Many joined the family at mealtime.  Victoria's husband Albert fed his beloved Greyhound, Eos, from a fork at the dinner table. Some dogs, and surely Eos was one of them, had free run of the royal property, inside and out. 

Eos, by Edwin Landseer
Others were kenneled, but enjoyed household holidays on a rotating schedule. Working dogs, big and small, were treated as pets with sleeping and dining privileges.  One had his own business card that said, "Ratcatcher to HM Queen Victoria." 

Queen Victoria with her beloved Sharp
The death of Sharp, her favorite Collie (a dog rumored to be ill-tempered and, in the Queen's words,  prone to collie-shangies,  a Scotch word meaning quarrelsome), brought her to such grief that she could barely plan his elaborate funeral.  The dog is buried in the Queen's personal and private garden, Windsor Home Park, Berkshire.  His tomb stone reads:  "Sharp, the favourite and faithful Collie of Queen Victoria from 1866 to 1879. Died now 1879 aged 15 years."

If you want to know every detail about the Queen's menagerie, with paintings, photos and journal highlights, check out Victorian Royal Pets & Animals.

This link takes you to an article I wrote for the American Kennel Club Gazette, Queen Victoria's Canine Legacy

Read more about spoiled rotten royal dogs, King Edwards VII dog, Caesar.

1 comment:

  1. With eighty eight dogs one would definitely have to have a rotating roster, so everyone got a turn to have the run of the house!!!! Not to mention staff to care for them, feed, wash/groom them etc. I don't think spoiled rotten dogs are exclusive to the royals LOL!!! I know my first dog Shali, gets called HRH quite a bit!!!! just because she is... Thankyou for the great links!!!