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why the queen owns corgis…..and not great danes

26 April 2011
The Queen and her corgis

helen mirren playing queen elizabeth II playing with her corgis (the queen: miramax films, 2006)

There’s a Royal Wedding this week. I’ll be asleep in bed.

MW is attending one of those women-only, early-morning ooh-fests to slobber over Kate’s dress and the bouquet colors. Our Great Dane puppy Luna and I will be sleeping. (OD might slip downstairs to watch it on YouTube. Not sure).

Luna is too young to consider whether the monarchy is an institution worth keeping. Her only concern is probably why Queen Elizabeth II has so many corgis and has never tried other breeds….like a much larger but less naturally-inclined-to-nip Great Dane.

Note: I speak from experience, having had a Welsh corgi as a kid. It wasn’t psycho but still nipped. Small teeth are unusually sharp when you’re 8. I was bitten at least twice.

If Luna could speak English, this is how I’d try and explain why I think the Queen owns corgis and not Great Danes:

The Queen Prefers Packs of Dogs

Dog ownership for the Queen isn’t about owning 1 or 2. Since receiving a corgi as a pet on her 18th birthday in 1944, she’s had lots of dogs. And lots of dogs at one time. Up to 9, in fact. In total, she’s had more than 30 dogs over the years, each descended from the first one. She currently owns 4 corgis and 3 dorgis (a dachshund-corgi combo).

The Queen is nothing, if not, loyal to a bloodline.

Corgis are Smaller Than Great Danes

Welsh corgis (the specific type the Queen owns rather than the Pembroke or Cardigan varieties) average about 27 lbs for males and 25 lbs for females. They’re between 10-12.5” tall, regardless of the gender.

Great Danes are only slightly larger and heavier.

Adult Great Dane males weight 140-200 lbs., while females are usually in the 115-145 lbs range. Males are 30-34″ tall at the shoulder and 29-32″ for females.

The Queen Can Only Afford Corgis

The Queen currently receives an annual government stipend of well over $35 million to run her estates, her private life, purchase scone ingredients, and provide allowances for family members who don’t have real jobs but still come over for tea every week.

Although often listed as one of the richest women in the world, most of the Queen’s wealth is in the form of trusts, stocks, bonds and investments, and in historic buildings, crown jewels, art and other such heritage assets. She also chose, after a big public fuss in 1992, to start paying income tax like the common people she has dominion over.

What all this means is she doesn’t have as much liquid cash as we may think. And Great Danes cost a lot more than corgis to feed, house, and clothe (think pet toys and rawhide bones).

The Bentley’s Too Small

The Queen divides her time between Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, and Sandringham House (in Norfolk). When she needs to get away, she flees to Scotland and drafty Balmoral Castle. Transport is usually via specially-made Bentleys, the Royal Family’s car of choice.

How many great adult danes could you possibly fit in a Bentley? Probably not more than 3.

The fuel economy of her Bentley is probably less than 13 mpg. A Buckingham Palace-Balmoral Castle roundtrip is approx. 1,050 miles. That’s a lot of gas. Especially if you have to drive a second car loaded just with dogs.

For the blessed sake of Al Gore, corgis just make more environmental sense.

The Queen’s Job is the Preservation of Tradition

Whether attending The Epsom Derby horse race or visiting former African colonies, the Queen’s essential job is to ensure that tradition continues. Why else does the British Commonwealth continue to exist?

Queen Elizabeth 2 was doing the corgi thing while World War Two still raged. Not even Yankee Stadium has lasted that long.

Supermodel Claudia Schiffer

one of the few germans the british public can stomach

General British Dislike of Things German

The only thing Danish about Great Danes is the name. Everything else is 100% German.

While the British aristocracy was famous for its 1930s affection for The Third Reich, the current British public generally hates most things German, other than Claudia Schiffer, and the drinking opportunity that is Munich’s Oktoberfest.

Most of the animosity is sport-related, arising from frequent soccer defeats of England’s national team at the hands of the Germans, most recently the Round of 16 loss at the 2010 World Cup.

The Bottom Line

Compared to Great Danes, corgis are smaller, cheaper to keep, offer tradition to the tradition-friendly British public, and are environmentally friendlier if you’re regularly vacationing via Bentley to Northern Scotland.

These credible reasons notwithstanding, the primary reason why Queen Elizabeth II
owns corgis rather than Great Danes, is because there is no way her subjects would put up with images of her schlepping around a pack of Germans, even if they are canines.

Images of Prince Harry and Claudia, perhaps, but not the Queen surrounded by something also known as the Deutsche Dogge. That wouldn’t be cricket, at all.


Related Reading:  Scottish Dog Breeds (We’re Dog People Post)

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