Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding-The Royal Family and Dogs

I doubtless have a tendency to treat my dogs like royalty.   As evidenced by this picture of Bob on his first birthday:

Click here to view these pictures larger
In addition to my love of my own royal dogs, I am also a big fan of the royal family and England in general.  What I love about England is the centrality of dogs to the culture.   The first dog shows began in England in the 1800s and by the 1900s dog shows where a very popular national pastime.

From the beginning of dog shows the Royal family was very involved in breeding and showing.  One wonderful book that highlights the importance of dogs to the Royal family is:  Of Noble Hounds and Dear Companions.

Note the adorable pug on the cover.  The Duke of York (pictured above) was clearly a man after my own heart to dress his pug in such a charming head kerchief.

  My favorite pictures in this book are those of the royal pugs.
I particularly like this picture Royal Group at Balmoral, 1887 of Basco, a favored pug, shown with  Queen Victoria and members of her family.   

I was also moved by the story of Dash

Queen Victoria's Cavalier King Charles Spaniel whom she owned as a young woman and who likely inspired her life long devotion to dogs.  When Dash died Victoria had this written on his tomb. 

"Here lies 'Dash'
The favorite spaniel of Her Majesty, Queen Victoria,
By whose command this Memorial was erected.
He died on the 20th December 1840, in his 9th year.
His attachment was without selfishness,
His playfulness without malice,
His fidelity without deceit.
Reader, if you would live beloved and die regretted,
profit by the example of 'Dash'."

England's current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is no less a dog lover then Victoria and spends her time surrounded by her charming Corgis.  Most of her dogs are descended from Susan, a Corgi she was given when she was 18, pictured below in a photo from  Noble Hounds and Dear Companions

HM The Queen with Susan, her corgi

Here is a more recent picture of the Queen with some Corgis from the Daily Mail.  

 Queen Elizabeth

  The paper reports that the Queen currently has 7 Corgis.

I hope that Prince William and Kate continue to uphold the Royal Families devotion to dogs.   Perhaps a puppy would make a good wedding gift!

  The Perfect thing to eat in honor of the Royal Wedding is clearly scones.   Usually I make cream scones  but as they don't keep well, this time I decided to try buttermilk scones from the book 150 Best American Recipes.
            Buttermilk Scones
  • 4 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 sticks cold butter, cut in small pieces
  • 1 1/4 c buttermilk (plus a few tablespoons more)
  • 1 egg, beaten with 2 tbsp milk
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl.  Mix flour in food processor and add small pieces of butter and pulse 10 to 12 times.  
  •  Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
  •  Add buttermilk and stir with a fork until dough comes together.   If dough is too dry and a few extra tablespoons of buttermilk.
  • Transfer dough to a flowered surface and pat into two 6 inch rounds.  
  • Cut each round in half and then cut each half in three pie shaped wedges.
  • Transfer wedges to lined baking sheets.
  • Beat 1 egg with 2 tbsp milk to make an egg wash and brush the egg wash on the scones.
  • Bake scones 25 to 30 minutes.
The perfect thing to watch is the 1951 Fred Astaire movie  Royal Wedding which is about a brother and sister dance act from New York who go to London to perform at the same time as Queen Elizabeth's wedding to Prince Phillip.  Here is a clip of a famous dance from the movie.


  1. Happy Wedding Day. Katy certainly sees herself as a princess and Bailey thinks he is king. They seem to be ignoring the big event. Perhaps it is a Scottish thing.

  2. corgis, pugs, scones and a wedding!
    what could be better than that?
    what a wonderful post!
    thank you for the yummy recipe!

  3. We watched the royal wedding but I never thought to take pictures ... should have got some hats or tiaras for the girls! That would have been fun!!!