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Saturday, 21/Jul/2007

Queen Victoria and Islay

Queen Elizabeth II, the current queen regnant, has visited Islay a number of times, most recently in July 2006 when leaving for a holiday cruise. I don't know if Queen Victoria has ever visited Islay, she obviously visited Scotland many times. But she certainly had a quite a close connection to Islay:

Islay was the name of her favourite dog, a Skye terrier. In an article about Queen Victoria and her dogs in The Spectator Paul Johnson writes:

Then there was a Skye terrier called Islay, the little dog Victoria came to love most of all. She taught him to beg for titbits, a posture he worked up into an accomplished act in which his supplicatory paws were excelled only by the piteous expression in his soulful eyes.

The dog even has its own talking statue outside the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney, Australia. It is part of a wishing well collecting donations for deaf and blind children (see a picture of the statue of Islay and how it is talking).

PS: There are also other connections to Islay, e.g. one of her pipers, Angus MacKay was piper to Campbell of Islay.

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