Vicious infighting inside Queen Elizabeth's royal (canine) family!

LONDON -- Normally, as far as they can manage it, what happens in the palace stays in the palace.

But the special issue of the high-society Town and Country Magazine, dedicated to Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday, contains the spectacular revelation of a family rift of such vicious in-fighting that a psychologist had to be called in.

That is, a rift between the Queen's corgis, the dog breed she is famously fond of.

Pet psychologist Roger Mugford says there were a number of fights between the dogs. He calmed the corgis down by sorting out the hierarchy -- a lot like the way the royals work -- and he discovered a possible reason for the doggy discord.

The corgis were at each others' throats at the same time as the royal family were at each others' throats over the breakdown of Princess Diana and Prince Charles' marriage.

"Particularly when you're distracted by the affairs of state and other things going on within the family, as they were at that time with Princess Diana's situation."

The royal dogs' life does seem a lot like the royal family's life -- they're pampered, and they eat off good crockery.

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Pet psychologist Roger Mugford
CBS News

"The bowls are leftovers from the palace kitchens, I presume. A battered silver dish here and a cracked piece of porcelain there," explained Mugford.

And there's another way the royal Corgis are like the royal family.

The royal line of people are all direct descendants of single person -- Queen Victoria. The royal line of corgis are all direct descendants of a single top dog as well.

At the palace -- in dogs as in people, it seems -- breeding counts.

  • Mark Phillips

    Mark Phillips is CBS News senior foreign correspondent, based in London.