The Strange And Unexpected Pets Of Royalty

The Strange And Unexpected Pets Of Royalty

Royalty has long been associated with extravagant lifestyles and opulent displays of wealth. 

One way in which this extravagance is often expressed is through their choice of pets. 

While common households may have dogs or cats as their domesticated companions, royalty has always sought to stand out from the ordinary.

From lions to elephants, cheetahs to armadillos, and even kangaroos, the range of unconventional pets owned by royalty is astounding.

These unusual choices often had multiple purposes. Some pets were acquired as symbols of power and dominance, showcasing the might of their owners. 

Others were obtained as novelties or curiosities, to entertain and surprise guests. 

In some cases, pets were considered exotic treasures from far-flung corners of the world, brought back as souvenirs from royal travels.

The peculiar pets that once resided in lavish palaces and majestic castles serve as a window into the extraordinary lives led by royalty. 

They provide us with a glimpse into their fascination with the extraordinary, reflecting their desire to stand apart from the common masses.

In the following sections, we will explore some of the most intriguing examples of unusual royal pets throughout history. 

From swans gliding along palace moats to monkeys swinging from chandeliers, these anecdotes will undoubtedly capture your imagination and leave you marveling at the eccentricities of the privileged few.

So, prepare to embark on a journey through history, as we discover the captivating tales of the strange and unexpected pets that once graced the royal households. 

These extraordinary creatures not only entertained the royals but also left an indelible mark on the annals of history, forever reminding us of the unique bond between humanity and the animal kingdom.

Ancient And Medieval Royals

Ancient And Medieval Royals
Ancient And Medieval Royals

Ancient and medieval royals were known for their extravagant lifestyles and opulent displays of power and wealth. 

This extended to their choice of pets, which often included creatures that were strange and unexpected. 

These unusual pets served multiple purposes, ranging from symbols of power and dominance to novelties that entertained and surprised guests. 

Let’s dive into the world of ancient and medieval royals and explore some of these fascinating pets.

One prime example of an unconventional royal pet can be found in ancient Egypt, where pharaohs were known to keep exotic creatures such as lions and cheetahs. 

These animals symbolized strength and were often seen as a display of the pharaoh’s dominance over nature. 

In medieval England, kings and queens displayed their wealth and status by owning animals like peacocks, swans, and even dolphins. 

These creatures were captured from far-flung corners of the world and served as a testament to the ruler’s ability to acquire rare and exotic treasures.

There were also instances where royals formed close bonds with unexpected animals. 

For instance, William the Conqueror, the first Norman King of England, was said to have a deep affection for falcons. 

These birds of prey were not only used for hunting but also served as loyal companions, accompanying the king on his journeys.

In addition to birds and big cats, ancient and medieval royals were known to have more unusual pets as well. 

King Henry I of England, for example, was said to have had a pet porcupine. 

This peculiar choice showcased the king’s love for the exotic and demonstrated his desire to stand out from the ordinary.

One of the most famous examples of a royal with an unexpected pet is Queen Victoria, who had a deep love for dogs. 

While this may seem ordinary today, during her time, it was considered unconventional for a royal to have such a close bond with her pets. 

Queen Victoria’s love for dogs inspired a trend among the British elite, and soon, many other royals and nobles began to adopt similar companions.

The strange and unexpected pets of ancient and medieval royals provide us with a glimpse into their fascinating lives and their desire to elevate themselves above the ordinary. 

These creatures served as symbols of power, displays of wealth, and sources of entertainment. 

They remind us that even throughout history, humans have sought companionship and connection through

European Royals

European Royals
European Royals

European royals throughout history were known not only for their opulent lifestyles, but also for their peculiar choice of pets. 

These extraordinary animals served as symbols of power, status, and even companionship for these rulers. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the strange and unexpected pets owned by European royals.

One notable example is King Louis XIV of France, also known as the Sun King. 

He had a fondness for exotic animals and owned a menagerie that included lions, bears, and even an elephant. 

These animals were displayed in the royal courts and served as impressive spectacles to showcase the king’s power and wealth.

Another eccentric royal pet owner was Empress Elizabeth of Austria, also known as Sisi

She had a strong affinity for animals and owned a variety of unusual pets. 

One of her most famous pets was a white peacock named Alexander. 

This graceful bird roamed freely through the halls of her palace and was admired for its beauty and elegance.

British Royals

The British royal family has a long history of eccentricity, and their choice of pets is no exception. 

Over the centuries, members of the royal family have owned some truly strange and unexpected creatures. 

These unconventional pets not only provided companionship but also served as symbols of wealth and power.

One notable example is Queen Victoria, who had a deep love for animals. 

Among her unusual pets was a pet parrot named Coco. 

This colorful bird could mimic the queen’s voice and entertained guests at Buckingham Palace with its witty remarks. 

Queen Victoria’s fondness for pets showcased her playful and whimsical side, much to the delight of those around her.

Another member of the British royal family known for their unconventional pets is Queen Elizabeth II. 

Her love for corgis is well-known, but she also had a fondness for more exotic animals. 

In the 1960s, the Sultan of Brunei gifted the queen a pair of pygmy elephants. 

These majestic creatures became an extraordinary addition to the royal menagerie, showcasing the queen’s status and unique connections around the world.

Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, has also had his fair share of unusual pets. 

In addition to his beloved dogs, he has owned a pet tortoise named Timothy. 

Prince Charles was known to take Timothy for walks in the garden and even described the tortoise as a “lively character.” 

His choice of a tortoise as a pet reflects his appreciation for the natural world and his desire to connect with creatures that have long lifespans.

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, has shown a keen interest in conservation and wildlife. 

He once owned an African pygmy hedgehog named Spike. 

Though unconventional, this pet highlighted Prince William’s commitment to animal welfare and his efforts to protect endangered species.

Even the youngest members of the royal family have had their share of unusual pets. 

Prince George, the eldest son of Prince William and Duchess Kate, has a fascination with insects. 

He has been known to keep a pet stick insect as a companion, showcasing his curiosity and love for the natural world.

These examples of the British royal family’s unconventional pets demonstrate their individuality, love for animals, and desire to stand out. 

These extraordinary creatures not only brought joy and companionship but also added to the unique character of the royal households. 

They were symbols of power and connections across the globe, reflecting the grandeur and eccentricity of the British monarchy.

Asian Royals

Asian Royals
Asian Royals

Asian royals have a long history of embracing eccentricity, and their choice of pets is no exception. 

From the exotic to the unconventional, these extraordinary creatures have added a touch of grandeur and uniqueness to the royal households. 

Let’s explore some of the strange and unexpected pets owned by Asian royals throughout the years.

One notable example is the Empress Dowager Cixi of China, who had a fondness for exotic animals

She was known to keep a collection of rare and beautiful birds, including peacocks, swans, and golden pheasants. 

These captivating creatures not only added to the splendor of her palace gardens but also symbolized her status and power.

In Japan, Emperor Hirohito had a particular affinity for marine life. 

He owned an extensive collection of pet jellyfish, which he kept in custom-built aquariums. 

These translucent creatures fascinated the emperor and became a symbol of his deep connection to the natural world.

Another Asian royal family known for their extraordinary pets is the King and Queen of Thailand. 

King Rama IX, also known as King Bhumibol Adulyadej, had a passion for agriculture and animal husbandry. 

He owned a unique breed of buffalo called “Seng Klueng,” known for their strength and resilience. 

These majestic creatures were not only companions but also important contributors to the king’s sustainable farming initiatives.

Queen Sirikit of Thailand, known for her elegance and grace, had a fondness for Siamese cats. 

She owned a collection of these regal felines, which were bred in the royal palace. 

These cats became a symbol of beauty and sophistication and were cherished members of the royal household.


The examples of Asian royals and their extraordinary pets reveal the distinctiveness and individuality of these royal households. 

From rare and captivating birds to unconventional marine creatures and regal cats, these pets symbolize power, beauty, and the connection to the natural world. 

They not only bring joy and companionship but also add to the grandeur and eccentricity of Asian royalty.

Throughout history, Asian royals have embraced the idea of having unusual and eccentric pets. 

The Empress Dowager Cixi of China’s collection of rare birds showcased her status and power. 

Emperor Hirohito’s fascination with marine life led him to own a collection of pet jellyfish, symbolizing his deep connection to the natural world. 

King Rama IX of Thailand’s unique breed of buffalo and Queen Sirikit’s Siamese cats exemplified their passion for animal husbandry and elegance, respectively.

Even the youngest members of Asian royal families have their share of extraordinary pets, such as Princess Mako of Japan’s pet hedgehog, Honey. 

These pets not only showcase the princess’s love for animals but also demonstrate the royal family’s curiosity about the natural world.

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