Historically a lapdog, the charming Cavalier is much smaller than its spaniel relatives and was possibly originally crossed with a Pug to create its snub nose. Hugely popular, they were loved by Charles I and Charles II, and by Mary Queen of Scots who was beheaded with her little dog under her skirt: the dog reputedly died of grief a few days later. The Cavalier was the model of the pottery dogs, often seen in pairs, made by the Royal Staffordshire Pottery. The first Duke of Marlborough owned Cavaliers and the colouring of this dog is named in honour of him and his estate, Blenheim.

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