Queen names puppy Gryffindor inspired by Harry Potter
Melbourne, May 24 (ANI): The Queen has drawn inspiration from Harry Potter books and named a litter of her breeding puppies after characters from the hugely successful children's books.
A Labrador was named Gryffindor, the house the boy wizard belongs to at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
His name was chosen by the Queen who also personally names all of the puppies currently being bred at Sandringham Estate, the Queen's country retreat in Norfolk.
The kennels, established by Edward VII in 1879 to house 100 dogs, are now home to some 20 gundogs, labradors and cocker spaniels of variety of ages, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The 86 year-old is currently breeding and working cocker spaniels, which she is said to value for their ability to retrieve game from difficult and dense cover.
The revelations were made by Country Life magazine, during an interview with the Queen's kennelman at Sandringham, Alan Goodship, 54 and Bill Meldrum, the Queen's retired gun dog trainer and former head keeper.
The Queen rarely becomes involved with training nowadays but she "still works her dogs at every opportunity", it reported.
But while the corgis remain synonymous with the Royal Household, she also has equal devotion to gundogs.
"Her Majesty is a real countrywoman," Meldrum told the magazine.
Goodship, appointed to the role in 2004 after a 30-year career as a beatkeeper on the estate, said he took his privileged role seriously.
"It's an honour. I've always enjoyed them since I worked with Bill Meldrum when I was a boy," Goodship said.
The Queen's "picking-up" ability is apparently known around the estate.
She often collects four dogs, usually three Labradors and a cocker, from the kennels on the morning of a shoot day before loading them in the back of her Range Rover, to join the picking-up teams.
"She was, and still is in my opinion, a very good handler who has a great knowledge of what a dog should do," Meldrum said.
Meldrum was appointed in 1964, after the Queen saw him competing two years earlier at the 1962 Retriever Championship.
The pair then "set out to bring new blood into the kennels and began a breeding programme".
During his 50-year tenure he achieved the Queen's ambition to own a field-trial champion on five occasions - with Sherry of Biteabout, Sandringham Salt, Sandringham Ranger, Sandringham Slipper and Sandringham Sydney, who was so named because he was born when the Queen was in Australia.
"He was a really good dog, who loved to be handled and knew when he was being watched - he was so stylish," Meldrum said about Sydney.
The Queen's well-documented love-affair with dogs started from a young age.
As a young princess, she was given her first dog, a Cairn terrier, at the age of three by her uncle, the Prince of Wales.
Her rapport with the pets was further bolstered in 1933 when her father, three years before he became King George VI, introduced a corgi, Dookie, into the household.
It then mated with a bitch called Jane, to father two puppies born one Christmas Eve, whom she named Carol and Crackers.
For her 18th birthday, The Queen was given a Corgi named Susan from whom numerous successive dogs were bred.
At present the Queen owns three Pembroke Welsh corgis called Monty, Willow and Holly, who are all descended from Susan.
Over time some Corgis were mated with dachshunds, mostly notably Pipkin, who belonged to Princess Margaret, to create "Dorgis". Her three Dorgis are called Cider, Candy and Vulcan.
Royal aides say that the corgis travel with her to the various residences and she looks after them herself as much as possible given her busy schedule.
When she lives at Buckingham Palace, the corgis and dorgis sleep in raised wicker baskets in a special boot room near the royal apartments, where they "wander freely".
When the Queen is being fitted for a dress, she carries a special magnet to pick up the pins to save the corgis pricking their paws.
The Corgis popularity with the public has been boosted in her Diamond Jubilee year, the Kennel Club reported after a long period of ''worrying decline''. (ANI)
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