In the not so near past, the vision of a family dog who joins a royal household would be one of sophistication, high cost and of course, 100% pure breeding.
This still holds true today as far as the type of dog that most royal members choose to bring home. Princess Olga Romanoff, a direct descendant of Czar Nicholas II, currently lives in the English countryside in a grand house that she inherited from her mother and her two dogs which have high breeding.
Keeping her bills paid is a bit of a struggle for the Princess which is why she personally plays the tour guide, inviting in tourists to view her home. The obvious thing that shows how the modern day aristocracy is financially struggling is her agreement to appear on the reality show “You Can’t Get the Staff.” (Haven’t heard of it? Not many people have.)
On the reality show, we see Princess Olga’s two companion dogs, a dachshund and Jack Russell Terrier, who appear to take the most important position in her life, in other words they are constantly by her side. The two dogs are, of course, pure bred. It seems that while it’s socially acceptable for a human blue blood to appear on a tacky reality show, it is not acceptable for them to own a non-pure bred dog.
The types of dogs that most royal members choose to own often matches their own human characteristics: Pure, with a direct, clear line of royal descendants.
But not all members of the ruling class are actually “pure breds”.
Let’s applaud the Norwegians for welcoming a larger breed mix into their royal lives (versus purely bred lapdogs that most royals own). The Princess’ Labradoodle is a mix of a Labrador Retriever and a Standard Poodle. This means that the breed is not pure, it is a mix.
Her choice to bring a mixed breed into the Royal family is very appropriate seeing that she was a simple commoner prior to marriage. In fact, her father was an obnoxious drunk who married a stripper. The royal class distinctions are certainly falling compared to their lofty past.
There was an outcry by the Norwegian poodle club when the Labradoodle dog Milly Kakao was brought into the royal family’s realm. The club saw the approval of the mix as equivalent to tainting of the royal lineage. Their disapproval of the dog was likely a symbol of their feelings towards the Noregian mutt Princess more so than the dog.
On the other hand, the Danish Royalty is proud of their purely bred dogs.
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark & Prince Henrik with their dog at Their Summer House In Luzech, France. (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
One of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark’s dog Vega, a wirehaired dachshund.
Prince Albert II of Monaco, Princess Caroline of Hanover and her dog Romeo.
Romeo is a French Bulldog who has accompanied Princess Caroline over the years. She is the daughter of the beautiful and famous Grace Kelly, and therefore the dog is Kelly’s grandpup.
It is appropriate that Royalty owns a dog originating from their native culture in order to display their patriotism. For example, the people of Monaco speak French natively and therefore the family decides to get a french bulldog.
Princess Caroline has come across numerous instances of tragedy in her life. Her mother Grace Kelly died from a car accident with the Princess inside of the car during the tragic occasion.
She also dealt with the loss of her husband Stefano Casiraghi who died from a boating accident. At times like that, the loving accompaniment of her pet dog is almost invaluable. Dogs seem to understand the pain and suffering that humans feel and they are miraculously there to comfort their owner.
Japanese Royal Family and Royal Dog Yuri: Crown Prince Naruhito, Princess Aiko, Crown Princess Masako (Photo by Kurita KAKU/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
The dog Yuri was given to Princess Aiko in 2009. The internet is in a rumble as to what breed of dog is shown in the photo. Some reports say that the mother of the dog was a rescue mix which explains why no one can pin point the exact breed.
Many say that she is a Shiba Inu, some report that she looks more like a traditional Japanese breed named Shikoku (see wikipedia entry). Since the dog’s mother was not pure bred then this would explain the lack of a definite answer to the type of breed. Members of the public seem very confused at the fact that the Japanese royal family would surround themselves by what most would consider to be a “low ranking” breed. In other words, a good looking mutt.
Another thing to point out: did you notice the cat in the photo? It is sitting on Princess Aiko’s lap. This is likely the only example in the world of an true royal family member with a standard feline household pet in an official photo shoot. Of course, Queen Cleopatra was a cat lover, but in recent history there likely no associations of royalty with household cats.
What we see here is an unusual display of Royalty rarely shown in the press: the pure bred human royal members with two familial pets who are not pure bred. The cat looks like a typical pet taken from a shelter and the dog is an unknown mix. It’s actually an amazing and rare sight to see them side by side.
Crown Princess Masako (right side of photo above) has been out of the public eye for about 12 years due to her unfortunate depression. She has been diagnosed with long-term stress-induced ‘adjustment disorder’. Due to the pale publicity of the Japanese Royal family, there is little news on the family and fewer photos. Seeing that the ill Crown Princess had the ultimate companion for this type of illness, the dog Yuri undoubtedly helped her overcome this severe disability and recently brought her back into the public eye.
Catherine Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William with their first baby and English Cocker Spaniel named Lupo. With the public announcement of Lupo’s name, the public’s desire for owning a Black Cocker Spaniel has increased more than 50%.
The dog has been seen in numerous photos with Kate, but we do see a lessening of affection towards the dog with the new baby Charlotte now in the picture. Poor Lupo got the boot from the most recent family photos. We’ll have to remember Lupo from the glory days when she took center stage in the family photo. She’s certainly still apart of the family, but not as front-and-center as she used to be. This of course is common in any household – the new baby will obviously take precedence over the dog.
The English Cocker Spaniel that Kate and William decided to bring into their lives is a “working” cocker spaniel. This specific breed doesn’t like being alone much of the time and has more energy than other types (such as the American Cocker Spaniel). Undoubtedly, there is a staff member whose job is to spend time with the dog when the Royal Family are out and about. Because the public are running out to get a dog just like Lupo, they generally aren’t taking into consideration that they might not have a dog nanny at home to entertain the pup while the owners are at work.
The breed of English Cocker Spaniel is not a passive lap dog. The typical type of dog for a member of royalty is a lap dog, but obviously the young couple are not typical. Lupo fits their athletic lifestyle perfectly.Embed from Getty Images
Duchess of Cambridge Catherine with her pure bred dog Lupo
King Bhumibol Adulyadej sits with his stray adopted dog
The King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej, owns a prized dog named Copper, a rescued mutt (now passed). Thailand’s view of dogs seems to differ from the western world’s view. If you insult the King’s dog, you could face a 15 year prison sentence. Knowing this, the public of course absolutely loved the dog. A picture book of Copper sold more copies than the Harry Potter series. The Thai civilians didn’t have much of a choice in loving the dog, but it is still a great feeling to know that a man of such high ranking would embrace a rescue.
Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden Accompanied By King Carl Gustav, Queen Silvia & Dog Spinee
Labs are very popular with the younger English and Scandinavian royal set. The English Labrador Retriever only came into the picture about 100 years ago. Labradors were recognized by the Kennel Club in England in 1903. The TV show Downton Abbey depicts an English Lord with a labrador. This means that he would have been on the cutting edge of aristocractic dog breed interests since the show takes place in the 1920s. A bit unlikely, but still a great story.
Lord Grantham from the TV show Downton Abbey
The popular television series Downton Abbey is set during a time in England when the class barriers are beginning to tumble. We see the aristocratic daughter of the household Sybil marry the chauffeur. The family’s financial stability at the palace is for the first time uncertain and the lower working class (the servants) are for the first time seen breaking free from the previous generation’s fate of servitude.
Although we see the slight intermingling of human based roles and classes of the characters at Downton Abbey, we still exclusively see the aristocracy owning pure-bred dogs, never a mutt or a mixed breed. Lord Grantham, for example, only owns pure bred labradors. His pet Isis, a well behaved yellow lab shown to follow him around in many scenes, presents an ideal image of what a cutting edge English aristocrat would own.
Downton Abbey and the dog who played Isis (Lord Grantham’s yellow labrador) with her trainer.
Here are some photos of Royalty with their Labrador Retrievers:
The Royal Family of Netherlands and their black labs. Princess Ariane, King Willem-Alexander, Princess Amalia, Queen Maxima, and Princess Alexia. (Photo by Freek van den Bergh/Getty Images)
The adorable family of five, with three princess daughters, took their two black labs to the beach for a day of photoshoots. Not long after, the Queen suffered from a kidney illness which made her take to resting while in recovery. As expected, the two loving black labs were by her side as she arrived home from the hospital. Queen Maxima rebounded very quickly and is now back to her normal routine. The royal dogs were a major help with speeding up the Queen’s recovery.
Labrador Retrievers are becoming more and more popular with contemporary royalty. Labs are built to be more athletic rather than the less energetic lap dog which has been very popular option for a breed of human not meant to work in their lifetime. The environment is changing in many ways and a suitable dog companion is needed. A official photo shoot of royalty running down the beach is the prime example of how our royal leaders no longer lead a sedentary life and therefore an athletic dog is a more appropriate option for the royals of today.
The elite of our world have chosen a wide variety of dogs to accompany them in their day-to-day tasks. As we have seen, members of the aristocracy have primarily chosen to own pure bred dogs but a few have opted for a mutt of unknown origin or a mixed breed. This would never been thought possible even 50 years ago, but it will begin to emerge more and more just as the boundaries we put up for our own human race is becoming less rigid.
Let’s enjoy the beautiful Royal dogs that are often in the press. Whether these dogs are pure bred or pure mutts, the fact is that they are a sight to be seen and probably live a nicer lifestyle than most humans.
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