Will the Queen’s corgis be buried alive with her?

By September 13, 2022 International Politics, Satire

We came across the following Twitter post trending and being shared across multiple social media platforms, including Telegram and Whatsapp:

The post by the account @Reductress suggests that Queen Elizabeth’s corgis are to be buried along with her. The English monarch died on Thursday, 8 September.

While investigating the origin of these reports, we found another trending Twitter post by the reputed journalist Ashley Feinberg, which suggested that the Royal guard would be euthanising the dogs following the Queen’s death.

Through an attached screenshot, Feinberg references an article that says the Queen ‘didn’t want to leave any young dog behind’ in the event of her death.

Long Tale, Short Legs

We found that this quote was sourced from a 2015 article in Vanity Fair that discussed the Queen’s love of corgis. The article explains how the Queen’s affection for corgis led to a corgi breeding programme on the royal grounds since the 1950s, resulting in the breed becoming synonymous with the monarch’s identity.

The article also included comments from Monty Roberts, the Queen’s adviser on horses who also occasionally assisted her with canine obedience and training. The quote in the post was sourced from the comments by Roberts.

In the article, it is clear that the quote relates not to a wish by the Queen for her corgis to be buried along with her, but rather a wish to stop breeding corgis as she aged so as to reduce the number of dogs that would need new homes when she passed.

Though there had been no official confirmation of an end to the corgi breeding programme, at the time when the article was written, there were only two surviving corgis despite the Queen previously having ‘scores’ of them.

A Parody of Royal Proportions

While it may seem that the reporting in the Twitter posts by Feinberg and Reductress are deliberate efforts at disinformation, a closer look reveals that these are satirical in nature.

The caption in Feinberg’s tweet, for example, depicts the darkly comical scenario of the ‘royal guard solemnly entering the corgi wing… and weeping as they tie tiny blindfolds on the dogs’.

Meanwhile, Reductress’s Twitter profile reveals it to be a ‘fake women’s news magazine’ that publishes articles parodying the low-quality, gossip-worthy news often found in some magazines.

A visit to the Reductress page linked in the Tweet shows that in place of the expected article text, there is instead a banner that reads ‘the headline is the whole joke’.

The tweet by Feinberg has also been determined as satirical by the factchecking website Lead Stories. In addition, a report by NPR suggests that the dogs are likely to be given to other family members or cared for by the Queen’s staff.

As such, it is untrue that the Queen’s corgis will be buried alive with her, and the Twitter posts by Reductress and Feinberg are satire.

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