What is the royal family’s surname?

Queen Elizabeth II Died aged 96 at Balmoral Castle on Thursday (September 8).

He spent 70 years as head of state, outshining his predecessors and overseeing monumental changes in British social and political life.

However, one thing that may make many people wonder about the late king and his family is why they don’t use their surnames.

Here’s what you need to know:

What is the history of royal surnames in Britain?

Before 1917, members of the royal family had no surname, only the name of the house or family to which they belonged.

According to the Royal Family’s official website, monarchs and princes were historically known by the names of the countries they and their families ruled. Therefore, kings and queens wrote their signatures only with their first names.

Family names change when a rival faction within the family takes the line of succession – or when succession passes through the female line to a different branch of the family.

The Duke of Sussex, the King, and the Duke of Wales at the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in 2014

(Getty Images)

So what is the surname of the royal family?

Just as children often take their surnames from their fathers, sovereigns take their house names from their fathers.

For this reason, Queen Victoria’s eldest son Edward VII belonged to the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha – the family name of his father, Prince Albert.

However, a fundamental change occurred in 1917, when George V adopted Windsor – not only as a house or family name but also as his family surname.

The family name was changed as a result of anti-German sentiment during World War I, choosing Windsor after the castle of the same name.

The name of the Royal Family of Windsor was confirmed by Queen Elizabeth II after her accession in 1952.

However, in 1960, the Queen and Prince Philip decided that they would like their own direct descendants to be distinguished from the rest of the royal family, as Windsor is the surname used by all male and unmarried females of George V. Used in children.

(AFP via Getty Images)

It was therefore declared in the Privy Council that the descendants of the Queen, other than those bearing the style of Her Royal Highness and the title of Prince/Princess, or those of married women, would bear the name Mountbatten-Windsor.

Why don’t members of the royal family use their surnames?

Due to constantly changing last names, the royal family prefers not to use them.

For example, when the Duke of Wales and the Duke of Sussex were going to school, they were called William Wells and Harry Wells, derived from their fathers. King Charles IIITitled Prince of Wales at the time.

Similarly, Prince George and his siblings adopted the surname Cambridge for their time at school, which came from William’s previous title of Duke of Cambridge.

As these are not commonly used, it is best to refer to the royal family member’s first name or their title.

Follow the latest updates since Queen Elizabeth II’s death here.

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