Their fate had until now remained in suspense: the famous corgis of Queen Elizabeth II, small dogs that have become inseparable from the image of the sovereign who died Thursday at the age of 96, have finally found a home with his son Prince Andrew and his ex-wife, the Duchess of York.
It was he who had offered his mother the two puppies last year. A way, no doubt, to brighten up the pandemic daily life of the confined monarch. Muick and Sandy were the last proud representatives of the more than 30 corgis that the queen owned during her long life.
It is said that Princess Diana once referred to them as “moving rugs,” always being at her mother-in-law’s feet. Small, stocky, hairy dogs, corgis were the late queen’s constant companions since she was a child.
According to a BBC count, the royal line of corgis spanned 14 generations over the years.
The young Elizabeth discovered this breed of dogs as a child, when her father, King George VI, introduced Dookie into the family in 1933. In 1944, her parents gave her her very first corgi, Susan, for her 18th birthday, from which most of her subsequent dogs were descended. The last descendant of this dynasty, Willow, passed away in April 2018, leaving the Queen without a corgi, until recently.
Muick had joined the family in early 2021 with another pup named Fergus. However, the latter died a few weeks later, at the age of five months, shortly after the death of Prince Philip, husband of the Queen. To replace him, Andrew and his daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, had given the sovereign the little Sandy on the occasion of his 95th birthday.e birthday.
The monarch’s love for her corgis, several of which were immortalized at her side in many official photos or paintings, was well known. They were even featured in the hit TV series The Crownwhich retraces the reign of the monarch. They were also the star of the jubilee celebrations in June marking 70 years of the monarch’s reign, with a gathering of 70 corgis at Balmoral.
What will happen to the Queen’s other two dogs, Candy, a dorgi – a cross between a dachshund and a corgi – and Lissy, an English cocker spaniel, remains unclear.
What about the rest of the royal fortune?
The queen also had a well-known passion for horses. Her personal stable alone earned her more than 7 million pounds over the years.
But what did the monarch own besides corgis and horses? During her 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth II accumulated a personal fortune estimated at 370 million pounds ($558 million), according to the Sunday Times. Part of this colossal sum is known and managed by the government, but another part remains private.
The private purse, which refers to the queen’s private income, comes, among other things, from the proceeds of some 650 million pounds ($980 million) of assets in the Duchy of Lancaster, which has been owned by the royalty since the Middle Ages. It includes some 315 residential and high-end commercial properties and thousands of acres of agricultural land.
The income from this colossal estate amounted in the last fiscal year to about £24 million, some of which the queen distributes to her relatives. This private income is taxed as long as it is not used for official purposes.
Balmoral Castle, the royal family’s summer residence, is valued at about 100 million pounds ($151 million), and the country manor, Sandringham, at 50 million ($75 million). Unlike Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, these two residences belonged to the monarch and were bequeathed to King Charles III.
Some elements of the royal collection are also privately owned by the queen. This is the case of a collection of stamps started by King George V, more than a decade ago.
Symbols of power and spirituality, the British crown jewels, valued at some 3 billion pounds ($4.5 billion), also belonged to the queen, although symbolically, and are automatically passed on to the next monarch.
Recall that the queen’s fortune was splashed by the Paradise Papers scandal, an investigation into tax havens on a massive scale. These revelations of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) claimed in 2017 that Elizabeth II had, through the Duchy of Lancaster, about ten million pounds of assets in funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, overseas territories of the United Kingdom assimilated to tax havens. Investments that do not appear in the annual declarations of the Crown.
The Queen’s legacy is in addition to her son Charles’ personal fortune, estimated at 87 million pounds ($130 million) by celebritynetworth.com.