Royal pets fit for a queen

Apr 28, 2011 at 12:15 p.m. ET

After William and Kate tie the knot, a regal canine would be a nice addition to their royal family. Kate already owns a cute black cocker spaniel named Otto, but we’re sure he would love to race the grand corridors of Buckingham Palace with a furry friend. Check out our picks for royal pets.

When it comes to finding the perfect pooch, they could follow the lead of William's grandma, Queen Elizabeth II, and get a cute Pembroke Welsh corgi. Or perhaps they'd prefer a cuddly cavalier King Charles spaniel, a favorite of Queen Elizabeth I.

Whatever breed the royal couple chooses, the gracious prince and his new princess might consider adopting from a shelter or rescue group.

Shelters and rescue groups

Royal Dogs

"You're not just saving a life when you adopt a pet. Oftentimes he or she is saving yours," says Betsy Banks Saul, co-founder of, a website with more than 322,000 adoptable pets from more than 13,500 shelters and rescue groups across North America.

"We learn so many wonderful things from our pets. They are our constant companions, and certainly part of our family. Pets not only offer emotional support, they are physically beneficial to your health as well. When times are tough, they always offer unconditional love. Through good times and bad – they'll be your best friends."

How does Petfinder work?

Whether you're a royal or a commoner, allows you to easily search for adoptable pets from the comfort of your home, which makes the process much less daunting. Simply start by entering your zip code and the kind of pet you're looking for, including breed, age and other characteristics.

" has every kind of animal imaginable -- from reptiles to barnyard animals," Banks Saul says.

Picking your Royal pet

Pembroke Welsh Corgi: According to, Queen Elizabeth's breed of choice grew to popularity in England and the US in the early 20th century. "Cor gi" means "dwarf dog" in Welsh, so it's fitting this breed has the distinct, diminutive proportions of big ears, short legs and a long, stocky trunk. Most of these sweet, even-tempered dogs are 10 to 12 inches tall with an average weight of 25-30 pounds.

Skye terrier: The Skye terrier is a rare and fiercely loyal breed. Legend has it that Mary Queen of Scots' pet Skye terrier hid under her skirt while she was beheaded and died (of a broken heart, perhaps?) a few days later. According to the American Kennel Club, this is one of the oldest terriers and originated on the Isle of Skye off the west coast of Scotland. Skyes are typified by their long, double coat and shaggy hair covering their face. This medium-size dog with short legs, long body and a large head has an average weight of 35–45 pounds.

Pekinese: In ancient China, Pekinese were considered sacred and could only be owned by royalty. At that time, the punishment for stealing a Pekinese was death. This compact yet confident dog of Chinese origin has a stocky, muscular build with a heavy front and slimmer hindquarters. A healthy weight for Pekinese dogs is up to 14 pounds.

Pug: Favored by Queen Victoria, this royal breed was also owned by Marie Antoinette and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Characterized by their unmistakable bulging eyes, this friendly, people-pleasing dog has a square, compact body and a silky, mink-like coat. The average weight is 14–18 pounds.

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