All of the Queens exotic animals as she rescues endangered birds

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The Queen's cute as hell corgis have featured with her in numerous official portraits. But the animal-loving monarch has looked after plenty of other furry and feathered pals during her reign.

And just this week it was announced that Her Majesty's Sandringham estate is set to become the new home of endangered curlew birds in a bid to help conservation efforts.

Here, we celebrate some of the pets lucky enough to have been treated like royalty by Her Maj…

Birds of a feather

The young Princess Elizabeth was given her first pair of Liberty budgies in the 1930s, and she now has a 100-strong flock of free flying budgerigars at Windsor Castle which she found relaxing to feed during the pandemic lockdowns.

"The Queen keeps budgies at Windsor," royal expert Ingrid Seward told OK.

"They're not pets, but she'll go and visit them." The 'liberty' flock, which were bred from a single pair given to the Queen as a child, are free to come and go from their spacious aviary via a mesh tunnel."

Unfortunately, the local hawks have been known to pounce on them, but Her Majesty once saved the life of a budgie when she spotted its foot caught in the wire caging.

A dog’s life

The Queen received her first pup, Susan, for her 18th birthday. Since then, she has owned more than 30 corgis and dorgis (a corgi-dachshund mix) during her reign, spanning 10 generations of royal canines.

"The Queen isn't one to sit still for long, so she'll be walking her two Dorgis every day," says Ingrid, referring to the Dachshund-Corgi cross breeds Vulcan and Candy.

She recently adopted two new corgi puppies – Fergus (who sadly died in May) and Muick – after her beloved Willow passed away in 2018. An adorable new male puppy was gifted to her by Prince Andrew on her official birthday in June.

Traditionally, her hounds are kept to a strict routine, eating at 5pm sharp every day, only after the Queen commands it. A menu of steak, poached chicken, liver and rabbit, carefully prepared by a royal chef, is served in sterling silver bowls.

They have their own bedroom and snooze in raised wicker beds with daily fresh sheets, a tradition started by the Queen Mother.


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The Queen is said to carry a magnet when she goes for dress fittings to pick up pins that could otherwise injure her pups’ paws. In the 1980s, Princess Diana called the Queen’s corgis, “the moving carpet”, because they followed their royal mistress everywhere.

Udderly adorable

Did you know the Queen is also a cattle queen? Some cows in the Royal Dairy at Windsor Home Park have bloodlines going back to the reign of Queen Victoria.

The monarch’s 165 cows are provided with big water pillows as beds. They have grassy pastures to graze on and an automatic cow brush for them to rub against, removing dirt and relieving stress. What a wonderful life!

Hold your horses

Aged six, the Queen started riding a Shetland pony called Peggy, cementing her love of horses. She first attended Royal Ascot in 1945 and has only ever missed two openings, last year due to Covid-19 and this year because she had an audience with Australian PM Scott Morrison.

"She loves riding, too, and will have missed getting out on her horse," says Ingrid. I don't think it'll look good if she's seen visiting the Royal Mews at Windsor, but she can quite safely and discreetly go out riding with her Stud Groom, Terry Pendry, if he brings the horses up to the castle quadrangle."

Over the years, she has owned many racehorses, 20 of which were ridden to victory by a jockey in the royal purple and scarlet racing silks. Her head groom, Terry Pendry, says one of her favourite horses was named Sanction.

The wild ones

If you’re meeting the monarch it’s best to bring a gift, and wild animals have featured heavily as mementos from her Commonwealth travels.

In the 60s and 70s, she was given a Nile crocodile named Mansa from Gambia, and two pygmy hippopotami from Liberia. A pair of black jaguars, Marques and Aizita, Y were presented to her by the Prefect of Brasilia. Cameroon gifted an African forest elephant named Jumbo and the Seychelles offered two Aldabra tortoises.

For her Silver Jubilee, the Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens sent six red kangaroos. The Queen had all the animals housed safely at London Zoo.

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