Queen Elizabth, her corgis, and Daily Mail cartoonist "Mac" Stanley McMurtry

Top drawer! The Queen, her corgis and me, by the Daily Mail's cartoonist Mac

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UPDATED:

21:54 GMT, 25 May 2012

Royal approval: Daily Mail cartoonist 'Mac' Stanley McMurtry, pictured with his wife Liz, has received an MBE

Royal approval: Daily Mail cartoonist 'Mac' Stanley McMurtry, pictured with his wife Liz, has received an MBE

Hanging in Buckingham Palace – or maybe Windsor or Balmoral – is the cartoon (first below).

It was drawn in 2001 by Mac, the award-winning Daily Mail cartoonist, to illustrate a story about security being stepped up for the Royals after a series of Anthrax attacks in the US.

After the Queen saw it in her paper at breakfast, the Palace made a discreet call to Mac saying the cartoon – particularly the way the corgis were dressed – had made Her Majesty laugh so much she wondered if it would be possible to have the original.

Mac was happy to oblige, as he was on two further occasions. And when the Queen presented him with the MBE in 2004, she told him how much she enjoyed his work. ‘I hope you’re not offended when I draw you, Ma’am,’ said Mac. ‘Not at all,’ she replied. ‘I especially like it when you put the corgis in.’

Mac has been drawing for the Mail since 1971, and the Queen and the corgis have been regular fixtures. ‘I’ve had to change the way I draw her as she’s become older,’ he says, ‘but the corgis haven’t changed.’ The corgis, he explains, serve a purpose too.

‘Just in case a reader doesn’t recognise the Queen the way I’ve drawn her, the corgis make it obvious who she is. I try to get some expression into their faces too, as if they’re reacting to what the Queen’s saying, and hopefully that adds to the joke. Although she’s decided not to breed them any more, I hope she’ll still keep corgis. They’re an important part of my cartoons!’

One is amused: The Queen requested this cartoon after it was published in 2001 regarding royal security being stepped up after Anthrax attacks in the U.S.

One is amused: The Queen requested this cartoon after it was published in 2001 regarding royal security being stepped up after Anthrax attacks in the U.S.

February 2007: Mac drew the Queen after Helen Mirren won an Oscar for playing her

February 2007: Mac drew the Queen after Helen Mirren won an Oscar for playing her

June 2006: The corgis feature again in this cartoon in reference to a story at the time which revealed the taxpayer pays out 37m for the Royal Family

June 2006: The corgis feature again in this cartoon in reference to a story at the time which revealed the taxpayer pays out 37m for the Royal Family