Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Question: The Windsor name

How far does the name Windsor go back? Does that apply to all of the Kings and Queens until there where no last names at all?

The Windsor name goes back to 1917. Prior to that point members of the royal family did not have a surname but the name of the house or dynasty which they belonged.

At the time King George V was head of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha dynasty. During the First World War, in reaction to anti-German sentiment, the King changed the name from the German sounding Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor; chosen after the ancient castle of the same name. This change applied to both the Royal House and as a surname for his family should one be required.

This change was made official at a meeting of the Privy Council on July 17, 1917. The King declared that 'all descendants in the male line of Queen Victoria, who are subjects of these realms, other than female descendants who marry or who have married, shall bear the name of Windsor'. This surname is used by all male and unmarried female descendants of King George V. For instance: Lord Frederick Windsor, Lady Gabriella Windsor, Lord Nicholas Windsor.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

1 comment:

Lucy said...

Fascinating! And to be honest, I often did wonder where the name originated. I never would have thought that they just decided to change name-that simple. Thanks:)