Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal heartbreak as beloved family dog dies

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have paid tribute to their beloved family dog of nine-years, Lupo.

Kate Middleton and Prince William announced the death of their dog on November 22 on their Kensington Royal Instagram Page.

Sharing an image of dark-haired Lupo, the pair said they were sad to say their "dear dog, Lupo, passed away."

He is understood to have died the weekend before, and the couple said they will miss the dog "so much."

Describing Lupo as the "heart" of their family, Prince William and Kate said: "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."

The post quickly caught the eye of their loyal fans, with condolences flooding in for the family.

One user said: "May Lupo Rest In Peace. I am so sorry for your loss."

A second said: "Not Lupo!! I’m so sorry for your loss."

"I am so so sorry!! Losing a dog is so painful. Love to you all," a third added.

Others expressed concerns for their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, who have grown up with Lupo.

A concerned follower said: "Oh so sad for the little ones, I hope they’re OK. Poor Lupo."

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Lupo was an English Cocker Spaniel who was bred from Ella, a dog owned by Michael and Carole Middleton, the parents of the Duchess of Cambridge.

He was born in a litter in 2011 and was given to the couple as a Christmas gift that year.

The dog has appeared in numerous photographs alongside his owners, and was snapped alongside Tilly, the retriever, at the Middleton family home shortly after the birth of Prince George.

Lupo was the inspiration of a children’s book called The Adventures of Lupo the Royal Dog: The Secret of Windsor Castle, written by Aby King.

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