Royal Pet Cemetery


The little-known plot, with small headstones of Royal pets that spent years as "faithful companions", is hidden away in a quiet corner of the 20,000-acre Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

It was created by Queen Victoria after the death of her Collie, Noble, in 1887, and revived in 1959 when Elizabeth II wanted somewhere to bury her first own Corgi, Susan, an 18th birthday present from her father King George VI. Since then the Queen has used the graveyard for all of Susan's descendants.


The graveyard does, however, not house all of the Queen's former pets. For instance Monty, who starred with Her Majesty in the James Bond sketch for the Olympics 2012 opening ceremony, is laid to rest at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where he died at 13 years of age.
At Balmoral, the young Elizabeth would take the Corgis out onto the moor to help find grouse. However, although the Corgis were expert at locating the shot birds in the heather, they had difficulty retrieving them. So she would watch them find the game and then rush over to retrieve the grouse herself.

The Queen is now left with just two Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Willow and Holly, and two Dorgis, Candy and Vulcan. The Dorgis are a cross-breed resulting from an unplanned liaison between a Corgi and Princess Margaret's Dachshund Pipkin.


A stone boundary wall, inset with plaques commemorating the lives of the family's many other pets, separates the pet cemetery from the rest of the estate.

One commemorates the life of Candy, a yellow Labrador who died in 1958 after having belonged to Prince Philip for six years.

Another is engraved with the name Sandringham Slipper - a black Labrador who died in 1980 after eight years as the faithful companion of the Queen.

Sandringham Brae, another black Lab, is described as 'a gentleman amongst dogs' on his grave, while roan Cocker Spaniel Sandringham Fern is remembered for being a 'tireless worker and mischievous character'.


The kennels at Sandringham, established by Edward VII in 1879 to house 100 dogs, are now home to Gundogs, Labradors and Cocker Spaniels. The Queen chooses the names for all the puppies at the kennels. One of her current Labradors, Gryffindor, is from a litter named after Harry Potter characters.

Daily Mail Online, 27 Nov. 2012

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24.01.2013