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Wednesday, July 21, 1999 Published at 10:13 GMT 11:13 UK


Footman in the doghouse

The Queen is said to have demoted Mr King to ordinary footman

A royal footman who allegedly spiked the Queen's corgis' water with alcohol has been demoted, a newspaper has claimed.

Matthew King, 28, added whisky and gin to the corgis' food and water as a party trick, The Sun said.

He was demoted to ordinary footman with a drop in salary when the prank was discovered.

Gin palace

Mr King would only make the dogs tipsy when the Queen was away, to entertain other staff members at Buckingham Palace.

He was found out when a post mortem examination on a 14-year-old dog found traces of alcohol in its bloodstream.

Vet Dr Roger Mugford, who has treated the corgis, told The Sun: "This sort of thing cannot be laughed off as a bit of harmless larking about. A tipsy corgi could easily bump into something and hurt itself."

Hair of the dog

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said giving alcohol to dogs was "cruel and irresponsible".

A Buckingham Palace spokesman refused to comment on the allegations, saying staff arrangements were "a private matter".

The corgis were in the news recently when they were given rubber boots to protect their paws from Buckingham Palace gravel.

In 1991, the Queen was said to have injured her hand trying to break up a fight between up to 10 of the dogs.

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