As 30 corgis and their owners sat quietly in Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s death on Thursday, one errant bark broke their minute’s silence.
Bianca Julicher, who attended with her corgi Barbie, said she was impressed with the canines’ impeccable behaviour.
Corgis gather at the Shrine of Remembrance to commemorate the Queen. Credit:Aaron Francis
“I think that [moment’s silence] was important and special to do with them all,” she said. “I am so proud that they all managed to hold in their barks for that moment. That was unreal.”
Barbie was dressed in a pink crown for the special occasion and Julicher said it was just one of several outfit changes she had brought with her for the dog.
“She has a little purple royal cape, a different crown,” she said. “[Barbie] definitely gets treated like royalty in our house. She is so spoilt.”
Bianca Julicher dressed her corgi Barbie in a crown in tribute to the Queen. Credit:Aaron Francis
Julicher got her first corgi when she was five years old and said the Queen’s devotion to her pets added a special poignancy to the day.
“We have always loved the breed and loved the fact that the Queen had grown up with them and had lots of them,” she said. “I definitely love the royal factor of the corgi.”
Corgis were the Queen’s constant companion and over her life she owned more than 30 of the breed, which became a symbol of the monarchy.
Such were their number that Princess Diana called the Queen’s corgis “a moving carpet” at the palace because of their tendency to follow the sovereign around.
The Queen’s last two remaining corgis, Muick and Sandy, stood waiting for the monarch’s hearse at Windsor Castle this week and will be looked after by her son Prince Andrew and his ex-wife, Sarah, the Duchess of York.
The Queen’s two remaining corgis, Sandy and Muick, wait for the coffin to arrive at Windsor.Credit:AP
Jacquie Chu organised the gathering of corgis and their owners at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance and said the meetup was prompted by a combination of having the day off and paying tribute to the Queen.
Chu said being a corgi owner meant constant references to royalty.
“Every time we are walking down the street someone will yell out ‘Is that the Queen’s corgi?’,” she said. “She has really contributed to the breed.”
However, not all in attendance at the corgi meetup were royalists.
Around 30 corgis and their owners attended the meetup. Credit:Aaron Francis
Megan Vowers-Vette, owner of Yuki, said she was attending not to mark the Queen’s death but instead to meet other corgi owners.
“I don’t know if I am a Queen lover, but she was a corgi lover, so that’s what it was for me,” she said. “Getting a corgi has made me like the Queen more.”
Australians were encouraged to observe a minute’s silence at 11am on Thursday to honour the Queen and to reflect on her 70 years of service.
However, many people were unaware of the moment of reflection with cafe owners and beach goers too busy enjoying their unexpected public holiday.
Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle in 2016 with four of her dogs: clockwise from top left Willow (corgi), Vulcan (dorgie), Candy (dorgie) and Holly (corgi). The official photograph was released by Buckingham Palace to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday.Credit:© Annie Leibovitz
Fitzroy local Sarah Thompson said she hadn’t known about the tribute, mainly due to it being a day off.
“If I was at work today, I may have known,” she said. “They have the papers there and we often talk about what is going on.”
Yarraville couple Peter and Julie Max said they would have paid their respects had they been aware of the moment.
“We weren’t aware of it,” Peter said. “We would have [done it] though. I think she did a marvellous job. I think she held a lot of things together that wouldn’t have stayed together without her.”
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