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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had a lifelong love of the countryside.

Born in Mayfair, she once told a friend that, if she hadn’t been Queen, she would have loved to have to lived in the Trough of Bowland in Lancashire.

From childhood she was immersed in shooting sports and has always had a particular affinity with horses and dogs.  

Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022

Sandringham and Balmoral are both famous sporting estates. She would accompany shooting parties at both and loved to see the working dogs in action.

As Princess Elizabeth, she even reportedly sent her corgis to pick up downed game.

Princess Elizabeth loved shooting sports as a child

As Queen she developed a passion for gundogs. She started with black labs Snare and Sabre in the early 1960s.  

Her Majesty went on to begin a programme of breeding and producing her own gundogs. She hired trainer Bill Meldrum from Scotland to oversee the kennels at Sandringham.

Many of her dogs became Field Trial Champions. The Sandringham labrador became a famous breeding line. 

The Queen’s most celebrated dog was FTCh Sandringham Sydney, three-time winner at the Game Fair. 

She has also bred, trained and worked cocker spaniels.

Throughout her life the Queen continued to work her dogs.

In 1992, the Queen acquired a new dog,  a four-year-old cocker spaniel called Lissy.  

Lissy won the 91st Kennel Club Cocker Spaniel Championship, under her official name of Wolferton Drama, seeing off 38 competitors to take the top spot. Ian Openshaw of Rytex Spaniels trained the dog.

The Queen was fascinated by breeding, everything from horses to racing pigeons.

Public service and charity were close to the Queen’s heart. Patron of more than 500 organisations, she reportedly donated an undisclosed sum to the Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust.

Queen Elizabeth was fascinated with breeding from racing pigeons to horses

In 2016 she adopted a 12-year-old corgi called Whisper after the death of one of her gamekeepers at Sandringham.

She spent her last summer at Balmoral in Scotland.

The 96 year old monarch will be remembered as the Queen of the countryside.

A d v e r t i s e m e n t


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