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Queen names puppies after Harry Potter characters

12:00 Fri May 25 2012
MSN NZ
The 86-year-old monarch has named her newest litter of puppies after characters from Harry Potter
The 86-year-old monarch has named her newest litter of puppies after characters from Harry Potter

Queen Elizabeth has named her newest litter of puppies after characters from Harry Potter.

The 86-year-old monarch — an avid dog lover — has paid tribute to JK Rowling by naming a whole litter of Labrador puppies after the author's popular children's book series.

One pup in the litter is called "Gryffindor" after one of the founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but the names of the other dogs in the so-called "Harry Potter litter" are a mystery.

Her Majesty personally names all of the puppies born at her breeding kennels at Sandringham Estate, her country retreat in Norfolk.

Although she is famously fond of corgis, the queen takes an interest in several dog breeds, including gundogs, Labradors and cocker spaniels.

She has been breeding them at Sandringham for more than 50 years, and takes great interest in the kennels, retired royal dog trainer and head kennel keeper Bill Meldrum revealed in Country Life magazine's Diamond Jubilee issue.

"Her Majesty is a real countrywoman," Meldrum said. "She was, and still is in my opinion, a very good handler who has a great knowledge of what a dog should do."

The queen was given her first corgi, a puppy named Susan, on her 18th birthday. She currently owns three corgis, Monty, Willow and Holly, who are all descended from Susan.

She also owns three "Dorgis" — a cross between a corgi and dachshund that was created when one of Elizabeth's corgis mated with one of her sister Princess Margaret's dachshunds — Cider, Candy and Vulcan.

But while the queen is devoted to her dogs, they drive the rest of the royal family crazy.

"They're barking all the time ... I don't know how she copes with it," Prince William said in a recent interview.