'We will miss him so much': Kate Middleton and Prince William's dog Lupo dies

Prince William and Kate Middelton have announced the death of their family dog Lupo, who died at the age of nine years old. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge bid farewell to the black English Cocker Spaniel in a post on Instagram. 

"Very sadly last weekend our dear dog, Lupo, passed away," the caption read. 

"He has been at the heart of our family for the past nine years and we will miss him so much." 

Lupo has featured in many iconic photos of William and Kate, including one of the first snaps featuring their son Prince George as a baby. 

The pet was given to the royal couple as a wedding present in 2011 and reportedly helped choose their first-born's name when Kate and William scattered paper with various name options on the floor and Lupo stopped at George. 

Shortly after George's birth in 2013, William told the press the dog was adapting well to his new human sibling's presence in the home. 

"He's coping alright, as a lot of people know who've got dogs and bringing a newborn back, they take a little bit of time to adapt," William said at the time. 

"But he's been alright so far, he's been slobbering around the house, so he's perfectly happy." 

A later interaction between George and Lupo prompted some controversy, when the RSPCA scolded the royals for allowing the three-year-old to offer Lupo a lick of his ice cream, citing the dangers of giving dairy products to dogs.