The House of Windsor

In 1917, King George V of Britain changed the name of his royal house to Windsor, from which previous name?

And the answer: Saxe Coburg and Gotha.

Photo credit: Everett Collection/Shutterstock.com. 

As the British royals' official website explains: In 1917, King George V changed the family name "as a result of anti-German feeling during the First World War, and the name Windsor was adopted after the Castle of the same name."  

Though the royal family name has varied quite a lot over the years, Windsor seems here to stay. In fact, when the Queen was prompted on her decision to change the name of the royal house to Mountbatten, the surname of her husband, she declined. The late Prince Philip even referred to himself as "the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his children."

Windsor isn't just the name of the royal family – the title holds a longstanding significance in England as well. Through the town of Windsor, Berkshire, and Windsor Castle (the latter of which has stood tall for over a thousand years), the name holds a long association with monarchy in Britain. Indeed, English monarchs have used Windsor Castle as a home since Henry I in the 12th century.

Windsor Castle. Photo courtesy: Royal.uk.

Though Windsor is the official royal house, it isn't the last name of just every British royal. According to the royal family's website, when male or unmarried female descendants of Queen Elizabeth need a last name, they receive Mountbatten-Windsor. As such, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (perhaps better known to us as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle) gave their child Archie the last name Mountbatten-Windsor, while Prince Michael of Kent's children Ella and Freddie use the last name Windsor (Prince Michael is the Queen's first cousin, and a grandson of George V).

Learn more about the royal family name here.


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