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Princess Victoria & Dash

25 Oct

Queen Victoria’s mother, the Dowager Duchess of Kent, raised Victoria in near isolation under an elaborate set of rules called the “kensington System.” She had almost no contact with any other children, and certainly had no friends. In 1830, when Victoria was 13,Sir John Conroy, the Comptroller of the Duchess’s household, gave a King Charles spaniel to the Duchess. Within a few months, the pup Dash had bonded with the girl and became her closest childhood companion. In her diary, she refers to “dear sweet little Dash” and “dear Dashy.” She doted on him, and he was extremely loyal to her. 

Dash remained with Victoria after her accession as Queen in 1837. Following her coronation on 28 June 1838, Victoria returned to Buckingham Palace and ran up to her rooms to give Dash his usual bath. Dash was the first in a line of little dogs beloved by the Queen, and possibly the most memorable. Dash died at the end of 1840, and was buried at Adelaide Cottage in Windsor Home Park. A marble effigy was erected over the grave, bearing the inscription:

Here lies

DASH

The favourite spaniel of Her Majesty Queen Victoria

In his 10th year

His attachment was without selfishness

His playfulness without malice

His fidelity without deceit

READER

If you would be beloved and die regretted

Profit by the example of

DASH

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