The bittersweet reason why Queen Elizabeth won't have anymore corgis.

When Queen Elizabeth’s pet corgi, Willow, died last year it was a particularly sad moment. Not only because the monarch lost one of her much-loved pet dogs, but because it marked the end of an era.

It’s the first time in more than 70 years that the 93-year-old hasn’t owned a pet corgi – and she has no plans to get a new one.

The Queen’s love of her corgis is well-known, starting from when she was a child. And since her 18th birthday, when she was given a corgi puppy named Susan as a gift, the royal has been breeding Pembroke Welsh corgis, owning more than 30 in her lifetime.

Queen Elizabeth (then Princess) holding her corgi in the grounds of Windsor Castle, Berkshire, Great Britain, 30 May 1944. Image: Getty.

But in 2015 Queen Elizabeth made the no doubt difficult decision to stop breeding the short fluffy dogs. Her reasoning is both saddening and selfless: she doesn't want to leave any behind when she dies.

Monty Roberts, who advises the Queen on the other great beasts in her life - her horses - told Vanity Fair he was concerned to learn of her morbid yet realistic thoughts about her proximity to death.

"But she didn't want to have any more young dogs," he said. "She didn't want to leave any young dog behind. She wanted to put an end to it."

Mamamia Out Loud team discuss this sad but very responsible decision. Post continues...

At the time, the Queen had Willow and another dog, Holly, who has also since died.

Willow, who was 14 years old, was put down at Windsor Castle on Sunday 15, April to end her suffering after a cancer-related illness.

While the Queen was reportedly "hit extremely hard" by the loss of Willow, she still has three dogs to keep her company: Whisper, Vulcan and Candy. Vulcan and Candy are "dorgis" - corgi cross Dachshunds - a breed created decades ago when Princess Margaret's puppy Pipkin mated with one of the Queen's dogs.