Rescue dogs

The Duchess of Cornwall’s rescue dogs grace a royal frontispiece like you’ve never seen before

The Duchess of Cornwall guest-edited the upcoming July 13, 2022 issue of Country Life magazine – and on the famous front page she suggested a nice break from tradition… even if it still features “Girls in Pearls “.

Country Life’s front page – known as “Girls in Pearls” – has been part of the magazine since its launch 125 years ago in 1897.

It is arguably one of the most iconic pages in the edition, “originally designed to portray members of the aristocracy and introduce young women into society”, as Country Life’s Rosie Paterson explains. Over the years, however, the page has evolved and is now a celebration of achievement, merit and charity work, as well as engagement announcements.

There have been doctors, firefighters, royalty (including the Queen on several occasions) and many men, including Winston Churchill (who appeared on the page posthumously four days after his death in January 1965 ); the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, to commemorate their 18e birthdays as well as HRH the Prince of Wales.

In 1935, breaking with tradition, the page featured Bahram, an unbeaten Derby winner of the time, bred and owned by HH the Aga Khan. It was the first time a four-legged frontispiece appeared alone on the page – until now.

For this week’s magazine – released on July 13 and edited by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to mark her 75th birthday – the frontispiece stars are Bluebell and Beth, the Duchess’s beloved Jack Russell terriers, who have both been rescued from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

Bluebell and Beth, as seen in the July 13, 2022 frontispiece of County Life magazine. © Anya Campbell for Country Life

The burrows are adorned with the Duchess’s own pearl necklaces and photographed in the gardens of Raymill, her home in Wiltshire (the magazine also includes an article about the garden and the plants inside).

The choice of Bluebell and Beth is more than just ironic fun, however: they’re a fitting choice for the Duchess given her role as royal patroness of the Battersea salvage house since 2017.

Her love of animals, and dogs in particular, shines through in this special edition, which includes an article about her work in progress at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

The Duchess of Cornwall guest edition of Country Life is available in stores from Wednesday 13 July 2022.