Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Favourite Royal Companion





In The Duchess of Devonshire’s blog, Heather writes a fun and interesting series on pooches in paintings. In an earlier post, last summer, she wrote about the famous and adorable ‘Pug’. Well, lover of animals that I am, and since the pug was also Josephine’s favourite breed of dogs- I just had to write about it as well!


This cute little pooch was considered royalty as far back as 700BC. Originating in China, the pug was exclusively a member of Royal Dynasties. No one else was allowed to even own a pug! They were very prestigious, holding such high rank that they were actually paraded in front of invited guests, trotting in ahead of their masters!





Ongoing debate has historians wavering as to whom exactly imported the Pug from China. Consensus now has it that the Pug was brought to Holland from China by Dutch traders in the 16th century- and they were soon a hit with the Royal families. Pugs were considered as family members, priveleged pets and sometimes offered as exceptionally precious gifts.





Josephine loved pugs as well. Her beloved Fortuné was so attached to her that he just wouldn’t concede her to Bonaparte; not even on the couple’s wedding night…Story has it that Fortuné, who always slept in Josephine’s bed, refused to share this comfort, or his beloved, with Napoleon. There was a minor confrontation between pug and ‘beau’. Napoleon may have won that battle, but not without injury to his leg!


After the passing of her beloved Fortuné, Josephine always had a house full of pugs to entertain and keep her company. Even after her divorce, as she was leaving the palace forever, she was concerned about the new litter of pups just born. Reassuringly, Hortense and the servants had already gathered them all into her carriage to be brought to Malmaison with her. Josephine would have pugs around until the very end.





These adorable little dogs won the hearts of many Royals. Marie Antoinette always surrounded by her devoted little companions, Madame de Pompadour, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and Queen Victoria (who bred her own), to name a few.











Look at that face- Who could resist it?


14 comments:

God's Princess said...

Hi, I just stumbled across your blog and thought I'd say lovely blog! I love pictures of Josephine... and pugs are so cute :-) Keep up the good work, you are providing a great resource for historic subjects on the internet.

Melina :-)

http://theartofbeingfeminine.blogspot.com/

Ms. Lucy said...

Hi Melina,

I love your blog too! So interesting! Thanks for stopping by and please come again;-)

Heather Carroll said...

I couldn't leave a comment for whatever reason last night (stupid computer) but I remember I wanted to say I loved the pictures you found! What was it about French consorts and pugs!

Ms. Lucy said...

I don't know...they're small,cute, cuddly and portable...
Heather! You're the one with the series!;-)

Arleigh said...

I love pugs! There's a great history there as well :) I know the current Queen of England likes Corgis and I think they are adorable too.

Paris Atelier said...

Makes me want to run out and get one! So cute! Every princess needs a puppy! Great post, I love the images!
xoxo
Judith~

Ms. Lucy said...

Arleigh- I love Pugs too! Unfortunately, me and my kids are allergic to shedding dogs (long or short-haired)...so I have a large poodle and yorkie;-) Corgis are so cute, with those stubby little legs- I'd love to know the history behind those.

Ms. Lucy said...

Judith, moi j'ai un petit Yorkshire- adorable! C'est un petit prince;-)

Penelope said...

I found your blog by accident, but it's fascinating! I am really enjoying all your posts.

http://penelopesoasis.blogspot.com/

Ms. Lucy said...

Hi Penelope. I'm so glad you stopped by. I plan to keep posting more interesting and fun stuff. So please drop by again!

Shako said...

I have an exam question.

If Beauharnais is to pug, what is Bonaparte to blond people?

PUGS, AAAAARGH! I have a labrador and that's bad enough, but imagine having a DOG IN YOUR BED! Poor Napoleon. Thanks for giving the info on Fortune. Does anyone know if it was a girl/boy/heshe, when it was born/died.
Cheers, me. PS. I love your blog! Shame I'm too young to own one myself.

Anonymous said...

All of these pugs are so cute

Anonymous said...

Pugs are the best dogs! Their sweet loving and comical disposition just melts peoples hearts. Thanks for the Pug history! Loved it!

MyLittleSaloon said...

I can understand why Josephine and so many other ryals loved pugs, so sweet and adorable! I have heard rumors that Fortune was KILLED BY THE CHEFS BULLDOG!! It is true?