Prince William and Kate Middleton have announced that their dog, Lupo, has sadly died.
In the announcement made by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, they described Lupo as being "at the heart of our family," adding, "we will miss him so much".
Posting a photo of Lupo, an English Cocker Spaniel, on their Kensington Royal Instagram account, William and Kate wrote: "Very sadly last weekend our dear dog, Lupo, passed away. He has been at the heart of our family for the past nine years and we will miss him so much. - W & C".
Lupo was born just before Christmas 2011, and he's remained with William and Kate for nine years. It's thought that the family first got Lupo to help Kate when William was away with the RAF for long periods of time.
Plus, he's especially close to the family, given the fact that he was bred from a dog, Ella, that was actually owned by Kate's parents, Carole and Michael Middleton. It's also thought that Carole and Michael gave the Cambridge's Lupo's name, which means "wolf" in Italian.
And Lupo has certainly remained an important part of the family - even being responsible for choosing Prince George's name. William and Kate reportedly scattered pieces of paper with potential baby names on the floor, with Lupo 'choosing' one by tapping it. Lupo obviously picked a good'un, and he also even appeared in the official family photo released when George was born.
What's more, Lupo is the star of his very own series of children's books, Lupo: The Adventures of a Royal Dog, written by Aby King. A true superstar!
Kate's brother, James Middleton, also posted a tribute to Lupo on Instagram, writing:
"It is with great sadness that Lupo, the beloved dog of my sister Catherine and her family has passed away. Lupo was the son of Ella, brother to Zulu, Inka & Luna. He was 9 years old. Nothing can ever prepare you for the loss of a dog. For those who have never had a dog, it might be hard to understand the loss. However for those who have loved a dog know the truth: a dog is not just a pet; it is a member of the family, a best friend, a loyal companion, a teacher and a therapist."
"There isn’t much of a rule book on how to grieve for a dog, but I’ve said a prayer, lit a candle and taken Ella (Mum) for a long walk to spend time remembering Lupo. Rest in peace Lupo. Tilly & Mini will be waiting for you. You will always be remembered and your legacy will live on forever. Good Boy 🐾"
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