Queen Elizabeth II Suffers Sad Loss

While 2020 has been irrevocably marred by great loss due to the coronavirus pandemic, Queen Elizabeth II must now endure her own personal heartbreak as she mourns her beloved pet corgi Vulcan. According to TMZ, the Queen's corgi-dachshund mix passed away at Windsor Castle, where she and Prince Philip have been quarantined throughout the ongoing global health emergency. Unlike most dogs, however, the Queen's late pup once graced the pages of Vanity Fair, immortalized alongside his human by legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz in celebration of the reigning monarch's 90th birthday in 2016.

Although Vulcan's age remains unreported, royal watchers will agree that the adored pup led his best life while in Queen Elizabeth II's care. As Page Six reported in June 2020, her majesty's corgis were assigned their own footmen and à la carte menus. "The most important part of the meat was everything had to be cut into a fine dice ... to be sure there were no bones at all in the meat," Darren McGrady, who worked as a chef for Buckingham Palace for 15 years, explained (via YouTube). "Imagine if any of the dogs were to choke on the — I'd be in real trouble."

McGrady also commented on the Queen's lifelong love for corgis, as they have become an integral part of her identity in the years since she welcomed her first pup on her 18th birthday in 1944. Yet, while she has had more than 30 dogs throughout her lifetime, the Queen only has one pet left — and this pup may be her last one ever.

Queen Elizabeth II does not want to leave her beloved dogs behind

Queen Elizabeth II fell in love with Welsh corgis when she was gifted her first pup at age 18. She named the dog Susan and maintained her first purebred's bloodline until Susan's final descendant passed away in 2018, leaving her with two "dorgis," Vulcan and Candy — a mixed breed for which many have credited her for "inventing." According to TMZ, the Queen "engineered" the corgi-dachshund mix by mating one of her corgis with one of her sister Princess Margaret's beloved dachshunds. Yet, while the jury's still out on whether this mix was purposely orchestrated or simply nature taking its own course, in 2015, Vanity Fair reported that Vulcan and Candy — now the lone survivor — would likely be the Queen's last dogs.

While Queen Elizabeth used to replace each corgi that died, she "quietly stopped breeding sometime after she got her last litter of puppies in 2003, perhaps because of the difficult experience the Queen Mother's corgis had adjusting to a new home after her 2002 death" (via Vanity Fair). Ultimately, she does not want any of her beloved pups to survive her, lest they endure the same transitional issues her mother's dogs had to go through when she passed away.

As Victoria Ward told The Telegraph in 2015, "It is understood that the monarch has stopped breeding Pembrokeshire Welsh Corgis because she does not want to leave any behind when she dies." Thus, it is likely that Candy will be the final pup to claim the monarch as her human. In this moment, however, our thoughts are with the Queen during this difficult time.