LONDON (AFP) - Queen Elizabeth II is so fond of her corgis that she personally supervises their daily meal and pours the gravy for them herself, according to a new book on British royal pets since the 16th century.
Pets By Royal Appointment, by author Brian Hoey, who has written about Buckingham Palace for more than 40 years, suggests that the monarch prefers animal company to those of humans.
The book says that the royals "are suspicious of practically everyone outside their own family, so the only creatures they really trust are not of the human variety", according to a statement released with the book's publication.
The book says the dogs' meals of fillet steak and chicken breast are prepared by a footman and served at 5.00pm sharp every day, with the 87-year-old queen pouring the gravy on the feast.
Elizabeth currently has two corgis and two "dorgis", a cross with a dachshund, and has had more than 30 corgis during her reign.
Prince Philip, however, loathes the waddling, short-legged animals because they yap too much, according to Hoey.
The 300-page book traces the five-century love affair between the royals and their animals, starting with Henry VIII, a keen rider.
He says the royals are known for an aversion to cats.
Queen Victoria, who died in 1901, had 88 dogs and also received a number of exotic animals from foreign rulers including an elephant from Cameroon, a baby crocodile from Gambia, a giraffe and a giant tortoise from the Seychelles.