The Pedigree Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a relatively new breed,
having been recognised as an established breed since 1928 and
first Registered by the Kennel Club in 1945.
However, the history behind the breed goes back to the King Charles Spaniel (now a separate breed), which is recorded throughout Europe as “smalle ladyes puppees” and King Henry VIII decreed that no dogs were allowed at Court except “some small spanyells for the ladies”.
Following the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots in 1587, a small black and white spaniel was found under her petticoats.
However, the breed is particularly associated with the court of King Charles II circa 1660 and there are many paintings and writings of that time depicting the fore-runners of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Legend has it that King Charles II issued a Royal edict that no King Charles Spaniel can be denied entry to any public place and they alone have the right to run loose in London’s Royal Parks. This still applies today.
King Charles Spaniels of that day were small and fine boned, with domed heads and very short muzzles, much like the King Charles Spaniels of today. However the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has evolved to be a little larger and taller, with flat heads and slightly longer muzzles.
Two of the early Pedigree Cavalier Champions were “Daywell Roger” and “Ann’s Son” to which our own cavaliers can be traced.
Pictures by Roger Inman.