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Royal pets you never knew existed: From Prince William's furry rabbit to Prince Edward's surprising tortoise

Royal brothers Harry and William owned a lop-eared rabbit

royal sisters playing with chameleon
Phoebe Tatham
Content Writer
11 April 2024
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The British royals are known for their love of dogs and horses. The late Queen Elizabeth II became synonymous with her beloved corgi clan, while the likes of Princess Anne and her daughter Zara Tindall are renowned for their equine achievements.

a young girl holding a pet corgi © Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth became synonymous with Corgis

But did you know that the royals own or have owned a plethora of rather unusual pets ranging from fluffy rabbits to scaly reptiles? Keep scrolling to discover the colourful menagerie of royal pets you never knew existed…

Prince Edward's surprising tortoise

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh are huge animal lovers! The royal couple, along with their two children Lady Louise Windsor and James, Earl of Wessex, are proud owners of two pet pooches - a black Labrador and a Cocker Spaniel.

Edward and Sophie at Shallowford farm© Getty Images
Aside from their pet pooches, Prince Edward and Duchess Sophie are proud owners of a tortoise

Beyond this, however, they are also proud owners of a pet tortoise called Marmite! Prince Edward, 60, made the surprising revelation during a video call with his patronage, The Orpheus Centre.

When asked about whether his family had any pets, he revealed: "We do! We have two dogs and we've also got a tortoise – who basically runs the house!"

Prince William and Prince Harry's pet rabbit

As youngsters, Prince William and his brother Prince Harry doted on an array of fluffy pets including a pooch called Widget. Dogs aside, the brother duo also shared a lop-eared rabbit that lived in a hutch in a stable yard at their former family home in Highgrove.

Charles lifting baby Harry onto Prince William's shoulders© Getty Images
Princes William and Harry once shared a pet rabbit

Prince George and Princess Charlotte's pet hamster

Prince George and Princess Charlotte used to have a pet hamster called Marvin. Princess Kate revealed that she and her husband Prince William had purchased the fluffy pet for their children during an opening at the Magic Garden at Hampton Court Palace back in 2016.

Prince George of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the Platinum Pageant on June 5, 2022© Getty Images
Prince George and Princess Charlotte owned a pet hamster

During the royal engagement, the mother-of-three, who also shares youngest Prince Louis with William, spoke to a group of schoolchildren including nine-year-old Darcey, who explained: "She said she had a hamster, and Charlotte really likes it because the whiskers always tickle her face."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's new hens

Earlier this year the Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed a cluster of hens inside their sprawling Montecito family home. Adding to their existing collection of adorable pet pooches, the royal couple adopted Sinkie in January – an ailing chicken previously owned by their good friend and neighbour, Ellen DeGeneres. Take a look in the video below... 

WATCH: Meghan Markle shares rare glimpse inside Montecito garden

Confirming the news on Instagram, Ellen, 66, spoke about the adoption, explaining how the hen had been relocated to Meghan's property after the bird had been bullied by other rescue chickens.

View post on Instagram

"Sinkie's leg is fixed but our chickens were still picking on her so she had to be re-homed," the TV star wrote. "Luckily our friends Harry and Meghan's coop had room for one more. Not sure yet what her royal title will be."

Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret's pet chameleon

Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret playing with their pet chameleon in the grounds of Windsor Castle© Getty Images
Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret playing with their pet chameleon in the grounds of Windsor Castle

Royal sisters Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret owned a pet chameleon when they were growing up! Author Alathea Fitzalan Howard spoke about the unusual pet in her novel titled The Windsor Diaries 1940-45, revealing how Elizabeth and Margaret used to collect dead flies to feed their reptilian pet.

LISTEN: Inside King Charles' private lunch with Princess Kate

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