Royal Dogs: A Commoner’s Guide to the Canine Crown

Listen up, peasants. All dogs may believe they’re royalty, but only The Chosen Few have been tasked with the duty of knocking over the royal garbage can. Read on for more about these 5 royal dogs and how they sat, stayed, and curtsied their way to the crown (and the castle toilet bowl).

Great Pyrenees 

In the seventeenth century, French nobility “discovered” these massive cloud-bears of dogs and put ‘em to work guarding the Chateau of Lourdes. In this role, they were considered equivalent to two men—no surprise to anyone who has ever attempted to share their bed with a Great Pyr.

Great Pyrenees laying in the snow | Royal Dogs
2 men? Try 4. | Alex Ware

Shih Tzu

Their highnesses graced tapestries dating back 2000 years, and it’s easy to see why. Rumor has it the breed was created by Tibetan Monks to gift to Chinese emperors (Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi, who ruled from 1861-1908, famously revered the pups as sacred). And though the noble Shih Tzu certainly has a storied history, some things never change: just as today, noble women of the past used them as bed and feetwarmers and even stuffed them in their robes.

Shih Tzu looking at camera while wearing a ponytail | Royal dogs
Actually, your feet are actually keeping my butt warm. | Shrey Khurana

Corgi

At this point the Queen’s love of Corgis goes without saying. But did you know that this cultural phenomenon was all started by the Corgi her father, the Duke of York, brought home way back in 1933—whose name was Dookie?! Doesn’t sound very proper to us.

Corgi laying in bed with twinkle lights
I’ll show you “Dookie” alright. | Jacob Van Blarcom

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

In addition to honestly just being better looking than most animals, these spaniels have evidently been chosen by Dog to run the earthly kingdom. King Charles I’s spaniel also accompanied him to his execution. How’s that for loyalty?

Cavalier King Charles looking at camera
I would literally watch you die for you. | Austin Kirk

Beagle

While there have certainly been many a royal Beagle, we’re going to spill some tea involving two of the most important: Guy and Bogart. Meghan Markle had made the difficult decision to leave her elderly Beagle Bogart behind when she made the long trip to the U.K., and Guy sadly broke 2 legs after making the journey, which obviously really upset Markle. And while Megxit may have stunned the world, any astute dog lover would have known. Long before the news broke, she had been photographed hiking with BOTH dogs in Canada—and would she really have dragged Guy onto a longer-than-pup flight like that if she were actually planning on ever going back?!

Happy Beagle smiling at camera
Who wouldn’t rather live with me than in a castle? | Marliese Streefland

Black Lab

Alright, clearly we’re just Markle stans. This one goes out to her 2018-adopted Black sheep…er, Black Lab, Pula. She and Prince Harry kept the pup’s name on the low for quite a time, but it turns out Pula’s named after the currency in Botswana, where they went on their third date. I mean, it’s no Applebees, but okay.

Black Lab in front of a cactus.
TBH you can just take me on a nuggets date. | Einar Jónsson

Which of these royal dogs is your favorite? Let us know in the comments and share with anyone who ruvs the royal family.

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