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Queen Victoria’s Favourite Dachshund

    Waldman VI, the favourite dachshund of Queen Victoria

    Queen Victoria (1819-1901) is one of the British monarchs who have been very active in animal welfare. She had supported the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals since 1835 and awarded it the honorary title of “Royal” in 1840.

    She firmly believed that

    “Nothing brutalises people more than cruelty to dumb animals, and to dogs, who are the companions of man, it is especially revolting.”

    The monarch’s lifelong love of dogs was one of the most pleasant traits of her often difficult personality.

    The official website on Queen Victoria’s diaries mentions the names of more than 640 of her dogs during her 63-year reign, belonging to more than 30 different breeds. Sometimes the names were repeated, for example between 1840 and 1887 there were no less than seven female Dachshunds named Waldina.

    Waldman, the sixth dachshund to bear the name, was brought to Britain by Queen Victoria after a visit to the German town of Baden in 1872. When he died on 11 July 1881, a memorial was erected to him in Windsor, calling him “Queen Victoria’s favourite dachshund”.

    Waldina and Waldman (1846)

    Among the Queen’s favourites was special companion of Prince Albert as well – the greyhound Eos. She accompanied Albert from his home town of Coburg to England when he married Queen Victoria in 1840.

    Waldman and Eos (1840)

    The fashion for pet portraits was very widespread in Britain, even beyond the royal family. This corresponded to the increasing popularity of pet-keeping among the urbanites of the bourgeois middle class. Animals as human companions played a major role in Victorian moral ideology, extolling loyalty, devotion to duty and an idealised vision of family life.

    Queen Victoria visiting Coburg in 1894 – A dachshund sleeps at the Queen’s feet.

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