They say dogs are man’s best friend — and as it turns out, they’re pretty good friends to royals too. Last Saturday, September 10, Prince Harry (who turns 38 today) and his wife Meghan Markle, accompanied by Prince William and his wife Kate, took a walk outside Windsor to greet the crowds of people publicly mourning Queen Elizabeth II’s passing.
This event was significant not only because it was the brothers’ first public appearance together in a long time, but also because something adorable happened: Prince Harry and Meghan find a moment of joy amidst their grief with a mourner’s dog, according to a now-viral tweet.
Twitter user Sarah Gracie posted photos of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex crouching down by the crowds of mourners to pet her dog Louis, a yellow Labrador Retriever. She captions the photos, “When our little pup Louis met Meghan and Harry as we paid our respects to The Queen #QueenElizabeth #HarryandMeghan #Windsor.”
The next day, after the post had garnered a viral level of response (it has currently been liked almost 18,000 times), Sarah Gracie wrote, “Thank you everyone for your lovely comments about our precious Louis. We witnessed a really beautiful moment at such a difficult time for [Harry and Meghan]. Louis had the best day and is his happiest when he is being cuddled, petted, and surrounded by people.”
These pictures, along with their positive reception, are a welcome bit of sunshine in the midst of global grief. The fact that Louis the Labrador could bring a smile to so many, including Harry and Meghan, warms our hearts — especially since we know just how deeply Harry is mourning the loss of his beloved “Granny.” It’s almost as if the Queen herself was comforting them in some way, considering her lifelong love of canine companionship.
The royal family has a long history of loving dogs, each member typically sticking to a favorite breed; we’re all familiar with Queen Elizabeth’s love for corgis. According to Vogue, King Charles has a fondness for Jack Russell Terriers to the point that his dog Tigga would appear alongside young Harry and William in Christmas cards. The puppy love continues throughout the generations; William and Kate own English Cocker Spaniels, and Harry and Meghan have an affinity for Beagles and Black Labrador Retrievers. Being a Lab himself, perhaps Louis sensed that Harry and Meghan would especially appreciate his attention.
Given his practically genetic love for dogs, it’s no surprise that Harry was delighted by Louis the Lab. Since today is Harry’s 38th birthday (which he is spending in the UK alongside family as they await the Queen’s funeral on September 19), we hope his day is filled with more comforting moments — and of course, puppy snuggles.