Last weekend, Prince William and Kate Middleton’s dog Lupo passed away at the age of nine. Lupo is an English cocker spaniel bred from a dog owned by the Middletons. Lupo was featured in one of the first pictures of Prince George in 2013. According to Prince William, the dog is one of his ‘priorities’ alongside his wife Kate and son George. Prince William and Kate posted a photo of Lupo on social media.
Sharing the news with their 12million Instagram followers, they wrote: ‘Very sadly last weekend our dear dog, Lupo, passed away. He has been at the heart of our family for the past nine years and we will miss him so much. – W & C’.
The dog has appeared in many photos with the royals including one of the first official photos of Prince George. Lupo is an English cocker spaniel bred from a dog which was owned by Kate’s parents, Michael and Carole Middleton. Lupo was a wedding gift to Will and Kate in 2011 and is believed to have helped them pick a name for Prince George. Will and Kate wrote names on various pieces of paper and scattered them on the floor.
The dog wandered through the pieces of paper but stopped when he reached the seven-year-old’s name.
Speaking shortly after Prince George’s birth in 2013, Prince William said: ‘For me Catherine and now little George are my priorities, and Lupo.
‘He’s coping alright, as a lot of people know who’ve got dogs and bringing a newborn back, they take a little bit of time to adapt, but he’s been alright so far, he’s been slobbering around the house, so he’s perfectly happy.’
Prince George was photographed offering Lupo a lick of his ice cream on the prince’s third birthday. The photo attracted attention from RSPCA which warned people not to offer dairy products to their dogs as it can be toxic. However, the animal welfare charity commended the prince for trying to help Lupo stay cool in the summer heat.
The Duchess of Cambridge was said to have come up with a name for Lupo after her paternal great-grandmother who was born Olive Christiana Lupton. Kate’s brother, James Middleton paid tribute to Lupo which came from the same litter as his dogs Ella, Zulu, Inka and Luna.
He wrote: ‘Nothing can ever prepare you for the loss of a dog. For those who have never had a dog, it might be hard to understand the loss.
‘However for those who have loved a dog know the truth: a dog is not just a pet; it is a member of the family, a best friend, a loyal companion, a teacher and a therapist.
‘Many people over the years have reached out to me about the pain of losing a dog and for most, the loss of a dog is, in almost every way comparable to the loss of a human loved one.
‘The pain I felt from losing my first dog Tilly back in 2017 still hurts and on hearing the news about Lupo brought a wave of emotions flooding back.
‘There isn’t much of a rule book on how to grieve for a dog, but I’ve said a prayer, lit a candle and taken Ella (Mum) for a long walk to spend time remembering Lupo.
‘Rest in peace Lupo. Tilly & Mini will be waiting for you. You will always be remembered and your legacy will live on forever. Good Boy.’
In March the duchess shared that table tennis was a difficult activity in their household because of Lupo’s determination to get involved.
During the couple’s visit to the Republic of Ireland, she told young people at a respite centre in County Kildare: ‘We try to do this at home but our dog keeps catching the ping pong balls.’
Firefighters were called out to rescue Lupo in 2013 when he got his head stuck in a gate at the royals’ home in Beckshire. They rushed to the £2million Bucklebury Manor, only to find he managed to escape.
A Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said at the time: ‘Our crew got to the manor but were told as they arrived at the gates that the dog, which had got its head stuck, had been freed just a few moments earlier so their services were not needed.’
The Duchess revealed she was missing her dog after receiving a gift for it during a three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand in 2014.
She said at the time: ‘Everyone gives presents for George but nobody knows how much I’m missing my own dog.
‘This is the first present I’ve received for my dog and I’m really happy because I do miss him.”
Spaniels, which were bred as gun dogs, are known for being high energy and Kate once wistfully commented on a charity worker’s well-behaved dogs on a visit to Keswick in the Lake District.
‘Maybe we should lend you Lupo,’ she joked.
Lupo was also the subject of four children’s books, in a series titled The Adventures of a Royal Dog.
Followers shared their condolences with the royals after they shared the news on Sunday evening.
Film producer Ben Cohen wrote: ‘I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending love.’
Another follower wrote: ‘So sorry for your loss… animals are not pets they become family.’