Queen Elizabeth’s corgis, ponies: the role of animals in burial

Queen Elizabeth's corgis, ponies: the role of animals in burial
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LONDON – The world watched as Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin made its way to Windsor Castle, the final resting place of the British monarch. Her two corgi dogs and her beloved pony also watched.

Elizabeth was the head of state and had important constitutional duties. But those close to her tell how she was happiest living as a country woman and enjoying the company of her animals.

So perhaps it was fitting that these three favorites were present at the finale of the celebratory parade.

Corgis Muick and Sandy were taken outside Windsor Castle ahead of the coffin’s arrival on the Long Walk, a 2.6-mile avenue leading to the castle.

And right next to the avenue, saddled but riderless, her fur pony Emma was waiting.

The Queen is said to have tolerated London’s Buckingham Palace. She preferred Windsor Castle, where she could ride her horses, and was often seen trotting through Windsor Great Park. Castle staff proudly told visitors that they considered Windsor “home” and London “the office”.

At the start of the pandemic, she moved her main residence to Windsor – and showed no interest in leaving the country even after restrictions were lifted. Her corgis stayed there with her.

One of the public’s biggest concerns after the Queen’s death was where Muick and Sandy would go. A spokesman for Prince Andrew then confirmed that they would simply change residence at the estate. to move in with the prince and his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson. (Although divorced, the couple live together in the Royal Lodge on the premises.)

While the Queen had other breeds in her long life, she adored Corgis. She reportedly had more than 30 in her lifetime; Princess Diana once called it a “moving carpet”.

Her Corgi Susan, who she had when she was 18, came on her honeymoon – and started a royal breeding line that produced hundreds of puppies. Three of those offspring later appeared with the Queen when she teamed up with Daniel Craig, aka James Bond, in a skit for the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony.

The Queen had one too lifelong passion for horses and rode into her 90s. Earlier this year, health problems forced her to miss the State Opening of Parliament – a key date on the royal calendar – but a few days later she was driven to the Royal Windsor Horse Show to see her horses taking part in the events.

Some of these creatures featured prominently on Monday.

The Queen was Chief Commissioner-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and four horses with the RCMP Musical Ride, gifted to her during her reign, helped lead the funeral procession in London.

Margaret Rhodes, a close friend and first cousin of the Queen, once told the BBC: “It’s wonderful when she has a few days off duty that she can do the things she likes and that means being a country person too be and stand up for it, walk the dogs and think of dog and horse things.”

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