The Queen will be using her two new dogs to help her cope with her grief following the death of her husband Prince Philip, say friends.
The 94-year-old monarch, who was married to the Duke of Edinburgh for 73 years before he died at Windsor Castle on Friday morning, is well-known for her love of dogs, especially corgis.
When 99-year-old Philip was hospitalised in February, it emerged the Queen had two new companions – a dorgi, which is a dachshund-corgi cross, and a corgi.
The dorgi, Fergus, is named after her uncle Fergus Bowes-Lyon, who was killed as he led an attack on the Germans during the First World War, while the corgi is named Muick (pronounced “Mick)” after Loch Muick on the Queen’s Balmoral estate in Scotland.
It is said the Queen had vowed not to get any more dogs after her beloved dorgi Vulcan died last year, leaving her with her elderly dorgi called Candy.
It is thought her two new dogs were gifts, and friends told the Mail on Sunday she will use them to help her cope with her grief following Philip’s death.
A source told the newspaper: “The Queen was left with only one dog at the end of last year. She had made the decision not to get any more because she didn’t think it fair at her age.
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“But it would be unthinkable for her not to have any. It’s like the Tower of London not having any ravens. The new puppies are adorable.”
Royal biographer Penny Junor added: “(Her corgis) have over the years been closer to her than any human being.”
The UK is officially in a period of national mourning for the next week, up to and including Philip’s funeral on Saturday afternoon.
The royal service in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, will be like no other, with the Queen and her family wearing face masks and socially distancing as they gather to say their final farewell amid coronavirus restrictions.
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Only 30 people – expected to be the duke’s children, grandchildren and other close family – will attend as guests.
Prince Harry, 36, will attend the televised service, but his pregnant wife Meghan Markle, 39, has been advised by her doctor not to travel to the UK for the funeral, a Palace spokesman said.
Mourners coming from outside England are required to self-isolate for the first full 10 days after they arrive, but are allowed to leave on compassionate grounds to attend a funeral of a close family member.
Harry, who is travelling from California, could be released from a 10-day Covid-19 quarantine if he gets a negative private test on day five under the Test to Release scheme.
Philip’s wishes are the driving force behind the funeral plans, and on the day his coffin will be transported from the castle to the chapel in a specially modified Land Rover he helped to design, and followed by Prince Charles and senior royals on foot.
The Prince of Wales has said the Royal Family are being helped through this “particularly sad time” by the public outpouring of support following the death of the “much-loved” duke.
Charles, 72, spoke movingly of his “dear Papa”, who he said had devoted himself to the Queen, his family and the country for some 70 years.
Speaking from his Gloucestershire home of Highgrove, Charles said his father had “given the most remarkable, devoted service to the Queen, to my family and to the country, but also to the whole of the Commonwealth”.
He added: “As you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously,” and said Philip would be “deeply touched” by the people around the world sharing “our loss and our sorrow”.
Charles said: “My dear Papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him, and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that.
“It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time.”