The real reason Queen Elizabeth has owned so many corgis

What is the Crown without her corgis? The longest-reigning monarch in British history undoubtedly harbors an affinity toward the breed (not to mention neon outfits). In fact, many believe that Queen Elizabeth has owned more than 30 corgis over the course of 70 years. (That’s longer than her marriage to Prince Philip!)

Although English royals have long been devoted to their dogs, none have been quite so commonly identified with them as Queen Elizabeth. (Don’t miss the reason she always carries a purse, too.) The unbreakable bond between woman and pup began when the Queen’s parents got the royal family’s first corgi, named Dookie, in 1933. She later received her own pooch, Susan, in 1944 for her 18th birthday. Besides tagging along on the Queen’s honeymoon, Susan also gave birth to a pair of puppies in 1949. Thus began the line of royal corgi breeding, which the Queen herself engineered and has lasted for at least 14 generations of dogs.

RELATED: Queen Elizabeth and her Corgis

34 PHOTOS
Queen and her corgis
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Queen and her corgis
July 1936: Princess Elizabeth sitting on a garden seat with two corgi dogs at her home on 145 Piccadilly, London. (Photo by Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Getty Images)
Princess Elizabeth holding Sue, a corgi pup, in the grounds of Windsor Castle, Berkshire, 30th May 1944. (Photo by Lisa Sheridan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
circa 1946: Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret Rose (1930 - 2002) waiting at Ballater Station, near Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire, with two dogs. Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, purchased Balmoral Castle in 1846, and the small castle which stood in the 7,000 hectare wooded estate was redeveloped in the 1850s.The granite building was designed by Aberdeen architect William Smith with suggestions from Albert himself, who decided the interior decoration should represent a Highland shooting box with tartan or thistle chintzes, and walls decorated with trophies and weapons. Queen Victoria often visited the Highlands with her family, especially after Albertfs death in 1861, and Balmoral is still a popular retreat for the present royal family. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - 1957: (EDITORS NOTE: This image was released in connection with The Prince of Wales Jubilee Tribute documentary (first broadcast on BBC1 at 8pm on Friday 1st June) and can only be used in direct relation to the film (i.e. reporting on the film) until 31st December 2012.) In this undated handout photo provided by Clarence House, Prince Charles (L) and Princess Anne play in the sand with a corgi at Holkham Beach, 1957 in Holkam, England. (Photo by Buckingham Palace/Clarence House via Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II with her corgis at Virginia Water in Surrey, for the European Driving Championships, 12th May 1973. The Duke of Edinburgh is taking part in the sports. (Photo by George W. Hales/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
12th May, 1973 H,M, Queen Elizabeth II relaxes surrounded by her pet corgi dogs as she watches a horse competition at Home Park, Windsor (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)
31st October 1972: Queen Elizabeth II sitting in her study at Balmoral Castle, Scotland, dealing with despatch boxes containing State Papers sent from Whitehall. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II with her dogs at Liverpool Street Station in London, 28th December 1972. She is en route to Sandringham for a family holiday. (Photo by Peter King/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
British Royalty, pic: 29th December 1971, Members of the Royal Family leaving Liverpool Street Station for Sandringham, L-R: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones accompanied by H,M,The Queen Mother with corgi (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II with one of her corgis at Sandringham, 1970. (Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (R) meets members of the public with two corgi dogs during a visit at Sherborne in Dorest, southwest England, on May 1, 2012 during her Diamond Jubilee progress. AFP PHOTO / POOL / ARTHUR EDWARDS (Photo credit should read ARTHUR EDWARDS/AFP/GettyImages)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08: A cake depicting Queen Elizabeth II and a corgi dog made by cake and sugar artist Muchelle Wibowo is shown at the Experimental Food Society Exhibition on November 8, 2013 in London, England. A collective of food magicians, sonic food artists, cake sculptors, gastronomic tailors, culinary cabaret troupes and a dining conceptualist have gathered together for a two day exhibition featuring their unique edible creations. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
WINNIPEG, CANADA - JULY 3: Queen Elizabeth II chats to corgi dog-owners as she leaves Government House, where she unveiled a statue of herself on July 3, 2010 in Winnipeg, Canada. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are on an eight day tour of Canada, starting in Halifax and finishing in Toronto, to celebrate the centenary of the Canadian Navy and to mark Canada Day on July 1st. On July 6th the royal couple will make their way to New York where the Queen will address the UN and visit Ground Zero. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON - APRIL 1: Queen Elizabeth II's corgis walk past US President Obama's car in the grounds of Buckingham Palace while he has an audience with The Queen on April 1, 2009 in London, England.(Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
WELSHPOOL, WALES - APRIL 28: HM Queen Elizabeth II meets a corgi called Spencer as she arrives at Welshpool train station on April 28, 2010 in Welshpool, Wales. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are on a two day visit to North Wales. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 25: A bronze relief surrounds a new statue of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother on The Mall on February 25, 2009 in London, England. The tribute stands in front of a statue of her late husband King George VI. It is just a short way from the Queen Mother's former homes Buckingham Palace and Clarence House and includes a 9.5ft statue of the Royal matriarch. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 16: (NO PUBLICATION IN UK MEDIA FOR 28 DAYS) Queen Elizabeth II meets players and officials from the New Zealand Rugby League Team, the All Golds, inside the Bow Room at Buckingham Palace on October 16, 2007 in London, England. (Photo by POOL/ Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images)
LONDON - OCTOBER 28: Corgis who feature in the movie 'The Queen' attend the 'Fido Awards' at the National Film Theatre as part of the BFI 51st London Film Festival on October 28, 2007 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 08: Joined By One Of Her Pet Corgis The Queen Poses With The England Rugby Squad At Buckingham Palace To Celebrate The Rugby World Cup Win. Front Row (l-r): Matt Dawson, Paul Grayson, Dorian West, Lawrence Dallaglio, Martin Johnson, Her Majesty, Clive Woodward, Jonny Wilkinson, Neil Back, Phil Vickery And Kyran Bracken. Back Row (l-r): Jason Robinson, Julian White, Trevor Woodman, Steve Thompson, Mike Catt, Iain Balshaw, Dan Luger, Stuart Abbott, Andy Gomarsall, Josh Lewsey And Jason Leonard. Centre Row ( L-r): Mike Tindall, Ben Cohen, Joe Worsley, Martin Corry, Ben Kay, Danny Grewcock, Will Greenwood, Lewis Moody, Richard Hill, Mark Regan And Simon Shaw. (Photo by Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images)
401615 07: Britains Queen Elizabeth II meets members of the Adelaide Hills Kennel Club and their Corgis in the gardens of the Government House February 28, 2002 in Adelaide Australia. Britains Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke began their visit to Australia after arriving from New Zealand. The queen will formally open the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting March 2 at the resort town of Coolum, north of Brisbane. (Pool Photo/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 04: The Queen Mother Surrounded By Her Staff (including Lady In Waiting Angela Oswald And Butler William Tallon) Meeting Children At Clarence House In London For Her 101st Birthday. Her Corgi Came Too. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 04: The Queen Mother's Corgi Outside Clarence House In London. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 20: Princess Elizabeth, together with her pet corgi, board the Royal Train at Kings Cross. It is likely that this journey was made to Edinburgh on 28 February to 4 March 1949, and that the Duke of Edinburgh accompanied his wife. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)
WINDSOR - UNDATED: HRH Queen Elizabeth II carries one of her pet dogs at Windsor Great Park,England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 04: The Queen Mother's 95th Birthday At Her Home Clarence House.at Right Her Ladies In Waiting Lady Angela Oswald And Far Right The Queen Mother's Niece And Lady-in-waiting Margaret Rhodes. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 04: Queen Mother Corgis At Clarence House. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
The Queen Mothers Corgis Arrive Back At Heathrow Airport, After The Summer Visit To Balmoral. (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
The Queen Mother (1900 - 2002) carrying gifts from well-wishers outside Clarence House on the occasion of her 88th birthday, in London, England, Great Britain, 4 August 1988. A corgi stands behind the Queen Mother as she waves from the entrance to Clarence House. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 04: The Queen And Queen Mother With Her Corgis Outside Clarence House To Celebrate Her Birthday. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
SANDRINGHAM; UNITED KINGDOM - UNSPECIFIED DATE: Queen Elizabeth II relaxes at Sandringham with her corgis. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
ABERDEEN, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: The Queen's Corgis And Long-haired Dachshunds Pet Dogs Arriving At Aberdeen Airport Being Led By Members Of Staff To A Waiting Land Rover Car. Each Dog Has A Collar With A Metal Name Tag And Is Microchipped In Case Of Loss.circa 1980s (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
SANDRINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: A Grave For Sugar, One Of The Queen's Dogs, At Sandringham House.circa 1980s (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
SANDRINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: Among The Corgis' Graves In The Grounds Of Sandringham In Norfolk Is The Grave Of Heather, One Of The Queen's Favourite Dogs.circa 1980s (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
SANDRINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: Among The Corgis' Graves At Sandringham In Norfolk Is The Grave Of Susan, The First Of The Queen's Dogs, Who Was A Great Favourite Of The Queen And Whose Headstone Message Was Personally Chosen By Her.circa 1980s (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
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These pups have since become personal companions to the Queen, and she dotes on them—she even calls them “family.” Her corgis sleep in their own room and eat food prepared by a personal gourmet chef. But besides the endless amounts of love and affection she feels for (and receives from!) them, there’s also a more practical reason to keep her corgis around. They provide a way for the Queen, like any dog owner, to break the ice with strangers with conversation about their pups. Plus, the daily walks and feedings provide a comforting therapy for her, Vanity Fair reports.

Sadly, Buckingham Palace is no longer echoing with the chirps and barks of the Queen’s many dogs. The last surviving members of the royal corgi family are Holly and Willow; after they were born, Queen Elizabeth stopped breeding.

RELATED: See the royal over the years 

44 PHOTOS
Queen Elizabeth's Style Transformation
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Queen Elizabeth's Style Transformation

June 1927: A positively precious portrait of Princess Elizabeth, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York. 

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

January 1932: Princess Elizabeth, wearing a sharp little coat, walks in to visit the Royal Tournament at Olympia.

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

January 1933: Princess Elizabeth stands beside her younger sister, Princess Margaret Rose.

Photo: Universal History Archive/Getty Images

June 1936: Wearing a sweet pink dress, Princess Elizabeth looks quite charming, standing with her mother and sister.

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

January 1938: Princess Elizabeth standing with her grandmother, Queen Mary, matching her younger sister in a long trench coat and mary-jane shoes.

Photo: Fox Photos/Getty Images

June 1940: Princess Elizabeth looking studious (if unhappily so) at Windsor Castle.  

Photo: Lisa Sheridan, Getty Images

May 1944: Princess Elizabeth wearing a summer dress and sunhat in the grounds of Windsor Castle. 

Photo: Lisa Sheridan, Getty Images

February 1952: An official picture of when Princess Elizabeth acceded to the throne, becoming Queen, and wearing some impressive jewels.

Photo: APIC/Getty Images

December 1953: Talk about a long train! Her Majesty at her wedding to the Duke of Edinburgh.

Photo: Keystone/Getty Images

March 1954: Queen Elizabeth II on the balcony of Government House, Melbourne, during her tour of Australia.

Photo: Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

April 1954: The Queen in a floral-patterned dress for a tour of Aden, Yemen.

Photo: Universal Picture Group/Getty Images

November 1954: Queen Elizabeth dancing with Air Marshal Sir John Baldwin, at a ball held at the Hyde Park Hotel, London, 26th November 1954. The ball celebrated the centenary of the Battle of Balaclava.

Photo: Dennis Oulds via Getty Images

June 1956: Queen Elizabeth II in Sweden, wearing a lot of pearls and an interesting hat.

Photo: M. McKeown, Hulton Archive/Getty Images

January 1960: The Queen wearing a classic jacket as she stands with Prince Charles and Prince Edward at Windsor castle.

Photo: Anwar Hussein, Getty Images

July 1965: Queen Elizabeth II wore a vibrant coat and hat at Ventnor during a royal visit to the Isle of Wight. 

Photo: Fox Photos/Getty Images

January 1969: The Queen, in a fuchsia dress, walks beside U.S. President Richard Nixon.

Photo: Hulton Archive, Getty Images

January 1973: Now that is glamour: from the intricate pattern, to the fur and crown, there's not much else we can ask for!

Photo: Tim Graham, Getty Images

February 1977: Queen Elizabeth looks like she's ready for spring in this plaid dress and bright hat.

Photo: Serge Lemoine, Getty Images

July 1982: Navy and white is always in style, and we appreciate the small pattern on her dress mixed with the bold lines of the hat.

Photo: Tim Graham, Getty Images

October 1986: Queen Elizabeth II stands out in robin's egg blue during a visit to Hong Kong.

Photo: Tim Graham, Getty Images

May 1993: The Queen and Prince Philip attend a formal banquet, the queen in a bright pink gown and a very expensive -- and we expect heavy -- accessory on her head.

Photo: Tim Graham, Getty Images

March 1995: The Queen visited South Africa and wore a bright yellow hat with this patterned dress.

Photo: Tim Graham, Getty Images

November 1998: London must be chilly in November! The Queen wore this large fur coat as she left the House of the Lords.

Photo: Johnny Eggitt, Getty Images

November 2002: The Queen and Prince Philip attend the premiere of the "Die Another Day" James Bond flick, dressed to impress!

Photo: Nicolas Asfouria, AFP/Getty Images

November 2003: U.S. President George W. Bush is formally welcomed to the U.K. by the Queen, dressed here in a lilac coat and hat.

Photo: Kristy Wigglesworth, AFP/Getty Images

June 2004: The Queen's hats keep getting better and better, and we love the top hat vibe this one has for Trooping the Colour.

Photo: James Quinton, WireImage/Getty Images

June 2005: A lady in pink always shows up men in black (though they look quite dapper as well!).

Photo: Tim Graham, Getty Images

October 2005: Her Majesty looked stunning in this white coat to visit the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade Watch House and Museum.

Photo: Anwar Hussein, WireImage/Getty Images

May 2006: Queen Elizabeth II attends the Order of the Bath service, dressed in traditional garments, and looking lovely.

Photo: Anwar Hussein, Getty Images

June 2006: The Queen looks chic in this dress as she and Prince Philip attend a performance at the Royal Opera House.

Photo: Tim Graham, Getty Images

May 2007: The Queen dials up the fun of this look by wearing vibrant, neon pink in her accents, paired with a lavender wool coat.

Photo: Chris Jackson, Getty Images

October 2007: Her Majesty attends the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, dressed in silk.

Photo: John Stillwell, AFP/Getty Images

June 2008: The Queen hosts a garden party at Buckingham Palace, and we're loving the sheer umbrella.

Photo: Tim Graham, Getty Images

October 2008: The Queen wore this intricately patterned dress during a two-day tour of Slovenia.

Photo: Chris Jackson, Getty Images

December 2008: The Queen attends the Christmas Day church service, looking lovely in a holiday-themed outfit.

Photo: Chris Jackson, Getty Images

June 2009: Her Majesty knows how to accessorize, and we can't get enough of her great looks!

Photo: Indigo/Getty Images

November 2010: The Queen wore this floral dress during a visit to Abu Dhabi.

Photo: Julian Parker, UK Press/Getty Images

April 2011: Prepping for the royal wedding in style, the Queen attends a dinner in this metallic and periwinkle gown.

Photo: Danny Martindale, WireImage/Getty Images

May 2011: Dashing leaders! Looking stunning in an embellished dress, Queen Elizabeth prepares to attend a State Banquet with U.S. President Barack Obama.

Photo: Chris Jackson, AFP/Getty Images

June 2012: Queen Elizabeth accessorizes this monochrome ensemble with vibrantly colored flowers.

Photo: Julian Parker, UK Press/Getty Images

June 2012: The Queen shares a laugh at the Queen's Cup Polo Day in 2012, dressed in the color of success.

Photo: Nick Harvey, WireImage/Getty Images

March 2013: The dark trim on this coat adds another level of sophistication, as if the Queen needed any help in that department!

Photo: Mark Cuthbert, UK Press/Getty Images

April 2014: This portrait of Queen Elizabeth by photographer David Bailey was released on April 20, 2014 to mark her majesty's 88th birthday on Monday April 21. 

Photo: Getty Images

April 2015: The Queen attends a reception at Canada House on April 19, 2015 in London.

Photo: Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images

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