Kate to receive early Christmas present with a drawing of beloved dog Lupo from artist

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The future King and Queen announced their seven-year-old cocker spaniel’s death in a heartbreaking post. They were given their pet from Kate’s family after their wedding. The couple wrote on Instagram: “He has been at the heart of our family for the past nine years and we will miss him so much.”

Portrait artist Rob Ballentine, from Crowthorne, has revealed he is sending the pair a drawing of their beloved dog after being touched by their heartbreak.

He told Bracknell News: “I saw article, they were heartbroken by the loss.

“I know how it feels. I felt if this was something I could do to help them because I know how much these help people, then I would love to send it to them as a gift, but not as some pithy sympathy vote or crass marketing.

“This is one of the standout pieces, it’s a very complex piece, not so much in technique but In mood. I think it is beautiful.”

Mr Ballentine added he took up his long-term hobby of drawing pet and human portraits after losing his job due to the coronavirus pandemic.

His first drawing this year was for his wife’s friends who was also devastated after losing his best friend in lockdown.

He said: “I started my art after 30 years at beginning lockdown when I could no longer work. After drawing for my wife’s friend who was also heartbroken after the loss of his best friend in Lockdown.

“Next thing everyone wanted one.”

Mr Ballentine added it would “mean everything” to him if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge receive the drawing.

He said: “If at the very minimum they get to see it that would make me immensely proud. Anything more, would be… I don’t know, I don’t have words.”

Lupo was bred from a dog called Ella who was owned by Kate’s parents Michael and Carole Middleton.

Kate’s brother James also posted a poignant tribute to Lupo after his death was announced.

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He wrote: “Nothing can ever prepare you for the loss of a dog. For those who have never had a dog, it might be hard to understand the loss.

“However for those who have loved a dog know the truth: a dog is not just a pet; it is a member of the family, a best friend, a loyal companion, a teacher and a therapist.

“For most, the loss of a dog is, in almost every way comparable to the loss of a human loved one.”

Mr Middleton added he prayed, lit a candle and took Ella for a walk in remembrance of the cocker spaniel.

Lupo had played a key role in many milestones for Kate and William.

He was part of the first official photograph of Prince George when he was born in 2013.

He also helped Kate with Prince William being sent to the Falklands in early 2012 for a six-week deployment.

A guest at a 2018 Christmas party at Kensington Palace for RAF families revealed how Lupo helped both of them.

They told People Magazine that year: “When Prince William was away in the Falkland Islands, he went for dinner with some good friends of ours in the Air Force.

“He was saying how difficult it was for Kate because he was leaving for six weeks.

“It was when they’d just got the Spaniel to help her with the time apart.”

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