The King Charles Spaniel is a small dog breed of the spaniel type. In 1903, the Kennel Club combined four separate toy spaniel breeds under this single title. The other varieties merged into this breed were the Blenheim, Ruby and Prince Charles Spaniels, each of which contributed one of the four colours available in the breed.
Thought to have originated in the Far East, toy spaniels were first seen in Europe during the 16th century. They were made famous by their association with King Charles II of Great Britain and Ireland (1630–1685) and have been linked with British royalty since the time of Queen Mary I (1516–1558). Members of the breed were owned by Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia.