By Karla Adam
LONDON – The short-legged customer at the "pupuccino bar" seemed initially unsure of the drink to choose to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.
A cup of whipped cream, yes, but with what topping? Gravy bones or peanut butter? After a few inquisitive sniffs, the customer, a 3-year-old corgi, made her preference for peanut butter known with some enthusiastic tail wagging.
And why not indulge a little? As Britain this week celebrates the queen’s 70 years on the throne, corgis are playing a starring role.
Corgi images adorn commemorative ornaments, pillows, mugs and biscuits. Corgi sculptures have been installed around the streets of central London. And during a final pageant procession on Sunday, a giant puppet of the queen will be surrounded by a pack of puppet corgis.
The queen, of course, is famous for her love of Pembroke Welsh Corgis. She is said to have had more than 30 during her reign.
Her corgi Susan came along on her honeymoon – and started a royal breeding line that produced hundreds of puppies.
Three descendant corgis – Holly, Monty and Willow – appeared alongside the queen and James Bond in a skit for the opening of the 2012 London Olympics. On the queen’s 90th birthday, the palace released a photo, taken by Annie Leibovitz, of the monarch surrounded by four furry friends.
According to the British tabloids, the queen currently has two corgis named Muick and Sandy, a dorgi (corgi-dachshund mix) named Candy and, in a break from tradition, a cocker spaniel named Lissy.
For the jubilee, Buckingham Palace has embraced the association of the queen with her corgis and unveiled a winking "PJ the corgi" emoji for people to share on social media.
Of all the jubilee celebrations happening across the country this week, London’s pop-up “Corgi Cafe” was one of the most unusual.
On Sunday, around 300 pooches, and their humans, found their way to the Refinery, a restaurant in central London that was decked out in royal memorabilia. A life-size cardboard cutout of the queen with a “dogs this way” sign greeted customers outside.
“Her Majesty has always kept corgis, and I think this is the right way to celebrate,” said Ian Middleton, 58, an airline pilot.
The Platinum Jubilee, he said, was probably the last major hurrah that the public would be holding for Britain’s 96-year-old monarch. “I think there’s a realisation that this is the last major event and it’s a way to say thank you,” he said.
His corgi, Sue Baker, was squirming in his arms and less interested in a Washington Post reporter’s questions than in the nearby “pupuccino bar”.
The corgis were let off their leashes and allowed to roam the cafe, weaving through a sea of tables, eyeing leftovers, sniffing at everything. Some were tempted – with treats – to stick their heads through a cardboard cutout in the shape of a giant jubilee mug.
Pug Café, a dog events company that put on the event, designated a “chill zone“ for nervous and older corgis.
At one point, a pair of corgis were giving the feet of Abbie Keane, 43, a lot of attention. She works at a doggy bakery and was selling an array of dog treats at the event, many in the shape of crowns and corgis.
But her treats were considerably higher than the corgi pair could reach, so the dogs moved on to Sara Fancourt, 30, who works for recipe box company and was sitting down at the dog’s level. The dogs suspected, rightly, that she had a stash of dog treats she was willing to share once they climbed onto her lap.
She said she had a “mad passion” for corgis. “I’m here as a corgi lover. I love that they are a small dog but still super chunky, so you get a good hug,” she said.
“This is the year that superfans get to really indulge themselves,” she said, referring to admirers of corgis, not the royals. – Washington Post