A dog-loving Lottery winner has commissioned a replica of Windsor Castle – complete with red carpet, throne and hot tub – so her pampered pooch can enjoy the royal wedding as much as her.
Susan Crossland, 53, has spent more than £5,000 (AUD $9,000) having a 2m high, hand-painted version of the castle built for Archie – her 10-year-old Lhasa Apso.
Archie is set to enjoy Prince Harry’s marriage to Meghan Markle dressed in his tuxedo and top hat, sitting in his velvet-lined castle.
‘I love royal weddings and I love the royals. I just thought it might be a bit quirky to have something nice for Archie so I had him a Windsor Castle made and he absolutely loves it,’ Susan says.
She explains she is planning to host a barbecue on the wedding day and says Archie will ‘just be pottering about in his Windsor Castle’.
‘It’s worth it,’ she smiles. ‘He’s my dog at the end of the day. Why not spoil your dog?’
Susan and her husband Michael, 49, from West Yorkshire, UK, won £1.2 million on Lotto in 2008.
She commissioned specialist sculptor and set designers The Russell Beck Studio, from south London, to create Archie’s very own Pet Pooch Palace.
The structure, which is currently in the couple’s back garden, is 2m by 2m and took a seven-strong team 244 hours to complete.
It weighs 155kg, used more than 15 litres of paint and is based on the King George IV Gate at the castle.
‘We have been preparing our veranda, getting out the flags and buying lots of red, white and blue trimmings in recognition of the big day,’ Susan says.
‘Archie is obviously a big part of the family so we couldn’t have him missing out,’ she says.
‘We love to spoil him and I couldn’t believe it when I heard about a gentleman who was up for all types of projects – no matter how crazy.’
‘I want it to be just perfect for him and to replicate Windsor Castle as far as possible,’ she continues.
‘Archie obviously can’t go to Windsor Castle so we wanted to make him his very own castle – and we know he will love it.’
Susan says she wishes she was going to the wedding and said of Meghan ‘I think she’s really nice and together they look as happy as anything.’
When she won the lottery 10 years ago Susan described how she had taken on her father’s line of numbers after his death and won with that sequence on the anniversary of his death.
She said she believed it was ‘heaven sent’ – her father wanting her to look after her two sisters and brother who all have learning difficulties.
Susan said the siblings were to be split up after the death of her parents but her good fortune has meant she has been able to care for them all in her purpose built home.
Pooch palace creator Russell Beck said: ‘This was my very first request for a pooch palace but I have to say I have loved working on this project.
‘It has, however, made our studio dog very jealous. I think he is very upset that it is going and that it will not be his.’
Susan is hoping to find a good home for the castle after the wedding – somewhere where dogs or children can enjoy it.
She says: ‘Although I had it done for Archie – and he does love it – I would like after the wedding to take it off him, if he’ll let me, to donate it to a place where lots of other people can enjoy it – either for dogs or maybe it can go for a place when children can play in it.
‘It would’ve been an ideal present for the new (royal) baby.