The Queen’s Beloved Dorgi, Vulcan, Has Died, Just Weeks After Prince William and Kate Lost Their Family Dog, Lupo
Her Majesty is famous for her love of dogs. Here she is in the gardens of Balmoral Castle with a beloved pet. Photo: © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II has lost her loving companion, Vulcan, to old age. The dog passed away at Windsor Castle where the Queen and Prince Philip are currently isolating amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Vulcan, a dorgi – a cross between a Pembroke Welsh corgi and a dachshund – was reportedly bred from a dog belonging to the Queen’s late sister, Princess Margaret. The dog also famously appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair with the monarch in 2016 in honour of her 90th birthday. The cover, shot by celebrated portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz, also featured the Queen’s corgis, Holly and Willow, and another dorgi, Candy.
Sadly, Candy is thought to be the Queen’s only remaining dog. Her Majesty, whose great love of both hounds and horses is legendary, has owned more than 30 dogs since she started breeding her beloved corgis at Windsor Castle in the 1950s. In fact, she was so attached to her original corgi, Susan — who she got when she was 18 — that she reportedly took her on her honeymoon with Prince Philip in 1947.
Since then, her canine friends have accompanied her on tour and even delighted royal fans when they made a surprise appearance in the 2012 James Bond London Olympics Sketch with actor Daniel Craig.
Queen Elizabeth previously said she has no plans to add more pups to her pack, saying that she “didn’t want to leave any young dog behind.”
The sad news of Vulcan’s passing comes only weeks after Duchess Kate, Prince William and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis had to say goodbye to their cherished nine-year-old black English cocker spaniel, Lupo.
On Nov. 21, William and Kate shared a picture of Lupo on Instagram, writing: “Very sadly last weekend our dear dog, Lupo, passed away. He has been at the heart of our family for the past nine years and we will miss him so much. –W & C.”
Lupo, who became part of the Cambridge family back in 2012, several months after William and Kate’s wedding, would go on to take a starring role in photographs alongside the royals, including one of the first official portraits of Prince George (below).
In 2014, Lupo became the subject of a children’s book called Lupo and the Secret of Windsor Castle, a royal romp involving wicked traps and stolen treasure but, at its heart, the story of the loyal bond between the dog and baby Prince George.
Other Royal Companions
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle also share a love for dogs. When Meghan moved to the U.K. in 2017 following the couple’s engagement, she brought her rescue dog, a beagle named Guy, with her. Her other dog, Bogart, was reportedly too old to make the transatlantic journey and was taken in by a friend in Toronto.
Since this time, she and Prince Harry have adopted another dog, a black Labrador named Pula. The Sussexes’ pups were spotted recently in the background when Meghan took part in a video conversation with feminist icon Gloria Steinem.
Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla are proud parents of a pair of Jack Russell terriers, named Bluebell and Beth, rescued from the animal welfare organization Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, for which Camilla is royal patron.
Prince Edward, the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, has two dogs in his royal household, a black Labrador and a cocker spaniel.