Philipp von Piechowski surname

Mountbatten-Windsor: This is how the Royal Family got their last name

Elizabeth, Charles, William, Harry, Meghan, Kate - they are known without a surname. For this they are preceded by a queen, a prince or a duchess. But there is a royal family name.

Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other realms and territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith: This is the full title of Queen Elizabeth II. in English. Not to be found in it: a surname.

Just as little as with their heir apparent, Prince Charles, who is also known as the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall, among others. Overall, he even has an even longer title than his mother. It is different with the son of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan. The now one year old is simply called Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. What's up with all this mess? We would be happy to explain that to you here.

Family tree of the British royals (source: t-online.de with material from Getty Images and dpa)

The name Windsor is born

In the past, descendants of the royal family took the names of the respective "houses" from their fathers instead of normal surnames. For example Edward von Sachsen-Coburg and Gotha (in English: Saxe-Coburg and Gotha). He was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and her husband Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and later Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India.

His son George V, the grandfather of the current Queen, ascended the throne in 1910 and introduced a new law in 1917. The reason for this was the anti-German mood in the country during the First World War. So he changed the name of the royal family from the German-sounding Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to Windsor (based on the castle of the same name) - and thus founded the new dynasty.

Where does Mountbatten come from?

Since then, the royal family has been officially called Windsor, but the origin of Queen Elizabeth's husband Philip is also noted in the surname of her own descendants - after a long struggle on his part. So those descendants who are not Royal Highnesses, Princes or Princesses now bear the surname Mountbatten-Windsor. Like, for example, the son of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan. So the little one is now called Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. Incidentally, Mountbatten was also Anglicized in 1917 - by the Hessian family of the Battenbergs.

Mark Phillips and Princess Anne: The two married on November 14, 1973. The marriage ended in divorce in 1992. (Source: imago images / Everett Collection)

The last name may also be required in the case of a wedding. The surname Mountbatten-Windsor first appeared on an official document on November 14, 1973: at the wedding of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips.

If he wanted, Prince Charles could change the current laws with his accession to the throne. By the way, Prince George and Princess Charlotte are said to be named after the duchy titles of their parents George and Charlotte Cambridge at school.

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