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Royal ascent? Searches for “King Charles Spaniel” up 24% featured image

As King Charles III begins his reign after the tragic death of Queen Elizabeth II, his canine namesake is set to become the year’s most popular dog

The late Queen Elizabeth II was famous for her love of dogs, in particular Corgis, but her sad death has led to a surge of interest in another breed: the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

As her son King Charles III’s reign begins, online searches for “King Charles Spaniel” have skyrocketed. Between August 14 and September 10 – two days after Elizabeth’s death – searches went up 24% globally and 13% in the US. On Petted.com, pet insurance quotes for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels went up 20% week-on-week.

The smarter dog cookies among you will know that the two ‘Royal Spaniels’ – the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and King Charles Spaniel – are separate, albeit closely related, breeds. While the boosted search term is “King Charles Spaniel”, it’s their Cavalier cousins who are by far the more popular breed, being renowned for their affection, loyalty, and energy.

Indeed, pet insurance quotes for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels on Petted.com outnumber those for King Charles Spaniels by around 200 to one.

This is why Hans Seeberg, Head of Brand at Petted.com, believes it’s the former that’s in line for a surge in demand – and therefore price.

“With the ascent of a new British King, dog lovers have seemingly turned their attention to what could turn out to be the next ‘must have’ dog breed of our time, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel,” he said.

“To see such a sharp uptick in consumer interest in the breed, and also people searching for pet insurance quotes, leads us to speculate that demand for anything King Charles related in this coming period will be highly sought after. Given the number of pedigree dogs registered around the world, we expect to see a surge in prices and interest from potential owners. Time will tell whether this trend continues.”

King Charles II

Both varieties have a fascinating history, one which they shared until the 1920s. The original breed – supposedly named after the floppy-wigged King Charles II, the ‘Cavalier King’ – was a popular hunting dog in the 18th century. The red and white version became known as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel or ‘Blenheim’.

The dogs dipped in popularity and started to become mixed with flat-nosed breeds such as Pugs, leading to the smaller, flat-faced modern King Charles Spaniel. However, inspired by images of Blenheims, American breeders in the early 20th century began recreating the original shape, with a longer nose, flat head, and almond-shaped eyes.

Despite once more falling in popularity during World War I, this breed was eventually officially recognised in 1928 when the Kennel Club granted it the separate registration status of ‘King Charles Spaniel, Cavalier type’. All pure Cavalier King Charles Spaniels today descend from just six dogs alive at the time.

Now it seems that, perhaps due to the UK’s new King – the first Charles on the throne since the Cavalier King himself – these loveable pups might make their own ascent to be crowned 2022’s most sought-after breed.