Edwin Lerner

British Royal Family Celebrates House of Windsor Centenary

On 17 July 2017, the British Royal Family will celebrate 100 years of the House of Windsor. This is because on 17 July 1917, King George V issued a proclamation declaring 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 brought to an end the short-lived house of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, which came from Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert. Earlier that year London had been bombed by the Gotha bomber and anti-German sentiment made a change to the name of the royal family inevitable.

The name change also affected the Battenberg family who anglicised their name to Mountbatten. Prince Philip had adopted this name in preference to his own even more cumbersome and Germanic name Schleswig-Holstein-Soderberg-Glucksburg. Prince Charles and Princess Anne, who were born before the Queen came to the throne, can use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor, which first appeared in the marriage register when Princess Anne married Captain Mark Phillips at Westminster Abbey.

Prince Philip’s uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten was keen for the royal family to change its name to the House of Mountbatten and the Queen was reportedly sympathetic to this idea. However, it was decided to retain the name of Windsor before the birth of Prince Andrew, which led Prince Philip to remark “I am nothing but a bloody amoeba. I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his own children.”

British Monarchy: Coronation portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, June 1953. Photo Credit: Photo Credit: © Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. British Monarchy: Coronation portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, June 1953. Photo Credit: © Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Edwin Lerner

Named Edwin (an early king of Northern England) but usually called ‘Eddie’, I conducted extended tours around Britain and Ireland for many years and now work as a freelance guide and tour manager with a little writing and editing on the side.  I specialise in public transport and walking…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like

Tower of London Ravenmaster: Guardian of Birds and Legend

According to legend King Charles the Second, who ruled Great Britain for twenty five years after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, was told, when the astronomer royal Sir John Flamsteed complained about the ravens, that the safety of the kingdom was threatened if the birds ever left the Tower of London. King Charles then decreed that there should always be at least six ravens there to prevent the Tower – and the kingdom – falling down. History does not record what Flamsteed thought of this decision but he had to accept it.

Read more

History of Kensington Palace: from Jacobean Mansion to Royal Residence

Kensington Palace, nestled at the western edge of leafy Kensington Gardens, has been a royal home since 1689. Today, it is the London base of the Prince and Princess of Wales and the nerve centre of their operations. It is also home to the Dukes of Kent and Gloucester and Princess Michael of Kent.

Read more

GUIDE LONDON represents the membership of the Association of Professional Tourist Guides