The Queen's new corgi puppies are likely to play an important role consoling Her Majesty as she mourns the loss of her husband Prince Philip, a royal expert has claimed.
Poignant images from The Duke of Edinburgh's funeral on Saturday showed the monarch sitting alone in St George's Chapel at Windsor, while on Wednesday she will mark her 95th birthday and will only able to meet those outside her household in the open air.
But the grieving Queen will have two lively new companions - a corgi called Muick and a dorgi (a Corgi-Dachshund cross) named Fergus - running around her feet and providing a 'distraction', along with her elderly dorgi Candy.
Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty Magazine, said: 'The thinking was enough was enough, and that she was getting too old for new dogs and who would look after them when she was gone.
The Queen's new corgi puppies are likely to play an important role consoling Her Majesty as she mourns the loss of her husband Prince Philip, a royal expert has claimed. The Queen is pictured with Prince Philip and her Corgi in 1974
Poignant images from The Duke of Edinburgh's funeral on Saturday showed the monarch sitting alone in St George's Chapel at Windsor, while on Wednesday she will mark her 95th birthday and will only able to meet those outside her household in the open air
'But clearly that decision was reversed and, as it turned out, it probably is very fortuitous. I think it's useful to have these puppies in her life now as way of a distraction.'
The Queen's life-long love of horses and dogs is well known and, while Philip spent his final period in hospital, it emerged the Queen had been given the puppies.
Mr Little believes that, while Buckingham Palace will remain the seat of the royal court, the Queen may make Windsor Castle her permanent home, only travelling to the capital for official events.
The Queen's birthday will fall during the period of royal mourning so any public events to mark it - such as the release of an official picture - are likely to be cancelled.
The Queen's life-long love of horses and dogs is well known and, while Philip spent his final period in hospital, it emerged the Queen had been given the puppies . The Queen with some of her corgis at the Windsor Horse Trials in 1980 (left) and walking with two of the dogs in the the grounds of Windsor Castle (right)
Mr Little said: 'She will mark her first birthday as a widow, and 95 is quite a significant birthday.
'I don't think there would have been a fuss made of it, but nevertheless 95 is quite something. This is going to be a private day for her and that's how it should be.
'Royal mourning continues until Friday so that makes it even more of a sombre occasion.'
In February, the monarch reportedly bought two new puppies on popular pet-buying website Pets4Home, paying £2,650.
One of the furry companions, Fergus, is a dorgi, a cross between a corgi and daschund, he was named after Fergus Bowes-Lyon, the Queen's maternal uncle who died in France during World War I.
The royal has always been synonymous with pets and has owned more than 30 during her reign. Pictured: The Queen as a girl with one of the family's corgis. The breed has been synonymous with the royal family since the 1930s
The second, a corgi, is called Muick - pronounced Mick - after Loch Muick, a lake on the Balmoral Estate in Scotland.
Fergus Bowes-Lyon, the Queen mother's brother, died during the Battle of Loos in 1915, aged 26.
In 1932, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the future Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, laid her bouquet on the grave of The Unknown Soldier at Westminster Abbey in memory of her brother Fergus, starting a tradition for royal brides
Her Majesty was pictured at the around the loch last summer with Sophie, Countess Wessex, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.
It comes after Her Majesty's loyal companion Vulcan, a dachshund-corgi cross, died a few weeks before Christmas last year
Earlier this month, breeder Denise Thomas, 60, claimed she was not aware who the puppy, who was at first called Charlie, was for, but was promised the cute pet would have 'the best life.'
Denise had advertised her litter of two puppies online: Charlie, who was swept away to Windsor Palace, and his brother George. The Queen only took Charlie - now Muick- and it is not known where the other new puppy comes from.
Denise’s son, Craig Skyrme, 40, told The Sun that a woman pulled up in a blackout Range Rover on February 26 to take the pup away, and wouldn't reveal the identity of its new owner.
'She would only say he is going to a home in Windsor — but wouldn’t tell my mum who the owners were,' Craig said.
'My mum asked if it was anyone famous and the woman said, "I can’t say, but he’s going to have the best life possible",' he added.
Queen Mother and then Princess Elizabeth on the grounds of their London home in 1936 with two of their corgis
The family had a strong hunch the corgi pup might be on its way to meet the Queen, who is historically very fond of the breed.
Craig revealed the curious family googled the name of the woman who came to pick up the pup and saw she worked for the royal household, which allowed them to connect the dots.
Craig said it was an honour to see their puppy selected to go live with the Queen and rejoiced it might appear in royal pictures in the future.
According to the publication, Palace sources confirmed the new pup was indeed Charlie, but added he might have been given a new name. Skyrme admitted the dog was initially called 'Charles' due to the corgis' royal associations.
The pup, which was born on 5th December, is described as a playful fellow who loves to play fetch, but would do well with some house training.
Craig admitted to walking in wet patches and that the teething pup had nibbled his way around a few items around the house.
A source close to the royal household who was not named by the Sun revealed it was 'highly unusual' for the Queen to buy one of her dogs off a website and that Charlie must have been a very special pup.
In 2012 Her Majesty's dog Monty appeared alongside James Bond's Daniel Craig in a clip for the opening ceremony of the London Olympics
They added Her Majesty was very involved with the breeding of her dogs in the past and was a very responsible dog owner who always made sure the dogs were healthy.
It is believed the canines were a gift who are said to bring a lot of noise and joy to the Palace.
They are also the first corgis Her Majesty has owned that are not direct descendants of her very first corgi Susan - which she was given in 1944 by her parents for her 18th birthday.
In December, the Queen's loyal companion Vulcan, a dachshund-corgi cross, died at Windsor Castle, leaving her with just Candy as the last remaining descendant of Susan.
In December, the Queen's loyal companion Vulcan, a dachshund-corgi cross, died at Windsor Castle, leaving her with just Candy as the last remaining descendant of Susan. The Queen is pictured with Candy
He had had been the Queen's loyal pet since at least 2007, making him more than 13 years old - a good age for the breed.
The Queen's love of dogs is well documented. One of her favourites, Monty, appeared alongside her and James Bond actor Daniel Craig in a skit for the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. Sadly, Monty died that same year.
In 2018, her corgi Willow, who was the 14th generation descended from Susan, was put down after suffering from cancer.
In paying tribute to Philip, who died peacefully at Windsor on 9th April, aged 99, members of the royal family have been rallying to the Queen's side and said they will continue to support her in the future.
Prince Philip died on 9th April peacefully at Windsor Castle, aged 99. His funeral was held on Saturday. Pictures is his coffin being taken into St George's Chapel
The Queen returned to public duties a few days after the death of her 'beloved' husband and is expected to return to a full diary of official events after the period of royal mourning ends this week.
Mr Little added: 'I think she will be personally devastated by this, but I don't think the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, her husband of 73 years, is going to impact on her working role.
'I think, as monarch, although she doesn't have him there for guidance, I think her role will continue pretty much as it has for the last 69 years.
'There's the public queen and there's the private queen, and she's great at being able to compartmentalise.'
The Queen has been spending the lockdown at Windsor Castle with a reduced number of staff and aides dubbed HMS Bubble and, under Covid regulations, will be restricted in the number of birthday well-wishers she can see outside.
But Philip's funeral would have provided the opportunity for her to speak with the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of Sussex and her other grandchildren.
Asked about the funeral during a briefing, the Prime Minister's official spokesman highlighted that Boris Johnson had observed the national minute's silence in memory of the duke on Saturday afternoon.
He added: 'Alongside many of us across the country, he thought that the funeral was a poignant and fitting tribute to a much-loved and highly respected public figure, whose extraordinary life we will forever remember with gratitude for his decades of selfless service to this country.'