When the new Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, stepped off the royal train on June 14 for her first ever official engagement with Queen Elizabeth, it marked the start of a day of heartwarming photo opps, showing the royal family’s newest recruit apparently enjoying a warm and easy rapport with Her Majesty.

Aside from the pictures showing Meghan (wearing custom Givenchy) and the Queen sharing jokes and smiles — and the former feeling comfortable enough to publicly ask for the latter’s direction in matters of royal protocol — the mere fact of them having traveled up together on the royal train (a rare honor, and one yet to be bestowed upon Meghan’s husband Prince Harry and her in-laws, Prince William and Kate Middleton) indicated a close bond between the pair.

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But given the fact that Meghan and the Queen are thought to have only met a handful of times in the lead up to the royal wedding, how have they managed to forge a friendship so quickly?

According to a new Daily Beast report, Meghan’s shared love of dogs was a major factor in winning the Queen over. “Everyone in the royal family, without exception, detests the Queen’s corgis, and the corgis return the favor,” explained royal writer and biographer Christopher Andersen.

“Charles, Philip, Anne, Andrew, Edward, William, Harry, all have gone on record saying they cannot abide Her Majesty’s dogs. They bark, they nip, they pee everywhere, and they are famous for sweeping into a room and tripping people up. But they love Meghan. And the Queen has practically adopted Meghan’s adorable rescue beagle, Guy.”

Indeed, Meghan herself pointed out her love of the corgis in the BBC interview which followed her engagement announcement — and remember those pictures of Her Majesty apparently traveling into Windsor with Guy in tow just before the wedding? We can only cross our fingers for pictures of Her Majesty and Meghan setting out on a dog-walking double date soon!

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This post was written by Katie Rosseinsky. It originally appeared on our sister site, Grazia Daily.

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