The reign of the corgi is over, but which pooch will take up the torch and wear the royal dog crown? Here’s everything you need to know about King Charles III’s dogs.
If there’s one thing the royal family loves, it’s dogs. Everyone knows Queen Elizabeth’s famous corgis, but the identity of King Charles III’s royal dogs is more of a mystery. The Queen’s beloved Welsh Corgis will go down in history as one of the British Royal Family’s cutest pets, but the dogs that the new King Charles and his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, prefer their are sure to give a hard time once they take up residence at the palace.
When we think of dogs fit for royalty, it’s tempting to imagine a noble Great Dane or a racing dog with a pedigree that goes back as far as the royal family itself. But it turns out that Charles’ puppies didn’t come from a fancy breeder at all. In the timeline of royal dogs throughout history, these pooches will be the first humble rescues to reach the pinnacle of luxury. And there’s one thing we know for sure: we’re about to get obsessed with King Charles III’s dogs.
What kind of dogs did King Charles III have?
The first dog breed that comes to mind when you think of the British royal family is the cute corgi, the long-time favorite of Queen Elizabeth II. Considering the longest-reigning monarch was on the throne for 70 years before her death on September 8, 2022, corgis are just about the only pet the public associates with the royal family.
But when you think of King Charles III in particular, another breed comes to mind: the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, of course. This British dog was named for King Charles II in the 1600s, according to Linda Simon, veterinarian and consultant for FiveBarks. It’s not the favorite royal dog, however.
It turns out that King Charles III’s dogs are Jack Russell terriers. He and Camilla brought two of them – Bluebell and Beth – home from a rescue center in London in 2017.
If the new king and queen consort are going to popularize a breed of dog, the Jack Russell terrier is an excellent choice, says Dr. Simon. “They’re generally healthy, thanks to their sensitive body shape and the fact that they don’t have snub noses,” she says. And while they can be hyperactive and bark a lot, owners can manage their rambunctious tendencies with enough exercise and training.
These feisty little guys are wire-haired dogs that are small in stature but long in stamina. Erika Barnes, founder and CEO of Pet Smitten, notes that there’s a long-standing theory about the royal family’s choice of pets: the family might strategically choose smaller dog breeds so they “don’t appear not too dominating and dictatorial for the family”. British public,” she says.
She also points out that Jack Russell terriers have been bred in the UK for hundreds of years and have long been included in hunting packs on royal hunting trips. Despite their short legs, they have no problem keeping up with the royal family on horseback. After all, they are among the fastest dog breeds. With enough stamina for a royal working day, that long British heritage and a long-standing connection to the royal family, the choice of Charles’ canine companion makes sense.
Are they the first rescue dogs at Buckingham Palace?
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
The British royal pedigree is usually associated with pedigree, not strays. So, as Sabrina Kong, DVM, veterinarian at We Love Doodles explains, having Beth and Bluebell as the first rescue pets in the palace is a big deal. (However, they aren’t the only family pets. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have also adopted rescue dogs.)
Camilla adopted the puppies from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London, of which she is royal patron. In a 2020 interview with BBC Radio 5, she revealed the poor mutts were found separately in terrible condition – Bluebell was rescued while wandering in the woods and Beth had been moved her whole life.
“They found [Bluebell] two or three weeks later, wandering in the woods, hairless, covered in sores, practically dead,” she said during the interview. “And they brought her back to life, and her hair grew back. She is very nice but a little neurotic, shall we say.
Fortunately, the two dogs got along well. And given that they are now the dogs of King Charles III, they will certainly never lack for anything again.
‘Adopt, Don’t Buy’ now has the Royal Seal of Approval. And animal lovers are hoping it will spark a trend. The Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has operated from Battersea, London since 1860 and has housed thousands of animals. With such high-profile rescue pets now trotting alongside the King, the hope is that many more people will be inspired to adopt their next pet.
How many Jack Russell terriers has King Charles owned over the years?
As Dr. Kong explains, Beth and Bluebell aren’t the first Jack Russell terriers Charles has owned. In 1994, his beloved Pooh (named Winnie-the-Pooh) ran away, escaping into the woods of Queen Balmoral’s estate in Scotland. Unfortunately, he was never found.
A few years earlier, Pooh’s companion Tigga (named after fellow Hundred Acre Wood resident Tigger) became something of a celebrity after showing up in the palace’s unofficial Christmas cards in 1990, snuggled up with his human brothers, Prince William and the Prince. Harry. Charles was so devoted to Tigga that when the dog finally died aged 18, he buried his pet on the grounds of Highgrove House, Charles and Camilla’s longtime official residence.
In fact, Charles’ love of the breed dates back to his childhood, when he had Jack Russell terriers as pets. But like the rest of the British nobility, he likes other races too.
The heavy Labrador has been a favorite of the British upper classes for many years, and Charles found a loyal friend decades ago. He owned a yellow Labrador named Harvey in the 1980s, but according to royal expert George Grant, Princess Diana objected to him being ‘smelly’ and Harvey was rehomed with one of Charles’ advisers .
Will the dogs have the Buckingham Palace race?
Although Charles and Camilla will eventually move into Buckingham Palace, the heritage building is currently being rewired, so the royal couple and their canine companions will remain at Clarence House until renovations are complete. But there’s no doubt that these pooches will continue to live in luxury.
When Elizabeth was queen, the royal pack of corgis would have had a stately room in the palace to call their own, so Beth and Bluebell could walk in with high expectations for their royal lodgings.
Camilla told the BBC that although dogs are allowed almost anywhere in the house (including on the sofa), they are not allowed to sleep on the bed. We anticipate that the royal dogs will have their own bedroom, complete with canopy dog beds and plenty of chew toys. After the life they had before being rescued, these puppies deserve to be pampered.
And if you’re worried about the Queen’s corgis being evicted, fear not: Dr. Kong explains that the two corgis and a Queen’s dorgi (the super-cute name for a dachshund-corgi mix) will be in the care of a dachshund-corgi mix. another royal family. member, Prince Andrew, from now on. He may be shrouded in scandal, but his family will continue to provide the dogs with a lifestyle they’ve no doubt grown accustomed to.
- Linda Simon, veterinarian and consultant for FiveBarks
- Erika Barnes, Founder and CEO of Pet Smitten
- Sabrina Kong, DVM, Veterinarian at We Love Doodles
- BBC News: “Battersea Dogs and Cats Home: the Duchess of Cornwall celebrates 160 years of the centre”
- Battersea: “What we do”
- Yahoo Life: “Meet Beth and Bluebell: The New Residents of Buckingham Palace”
- Architectural Summary: “Where will King Charles live? And other royal housing questions answered”
- Fortune“Diana called them the Queen’s ‘conveyor belt’. What will happen to the royal corgis now?”