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Jack Russell becomes new royal top dog

Beloved by the late Queen Elizabeth II, corgis have become an enduring symbol of the British royal family. But there is a new breed on the block — the plucky Jack Russell Terrier.

Bluebell and Beth, two rescue dogs belonging to King Charles III’s wife Queen Camilla, are the new hairy residents of Buckingham Palace.

The pooches have been captured in photos with the queen consort and appeared in a portrait of the royal couple for their 15th wedding anniversary in 2020.

“I think it’s fair to say that the Jack Russell is probably going to increase in popularity,” said Bill Lambert, spokesman for The Kennel Club. The governing body for all matters canine in Britain has noted a rise in registrations of new puppies.

Ownership of corgis, Queen Elizabeth’s constant companions throughout her 70-year reign, may “fall back a little bit”, he added. 

According to Lambert, Jack Russells, like all dogs, enjoy company but they also like “a bit of luxury”.

Queen Camilla adopted Beth from the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, where she is the royal patron. Bluebell was rehomed from the same south London shelter some time later.

Originally bred in the 19th century for fox hunting, the energetic Jack Russell Terrier is already a popular breed in Britain.

At an agility training course for dogs, Lesley Roberts said she has owned Jack Russells for about 35 years.

Sporting a purple collar, her pet Lorna jumped up and down impatiently in the hope of securing a treat.

“I suppose it’s quite a nice thing to have a royal dog,” Roberts said with a laugh.

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