17 July 2016
The British royals relinquished all German titles and family connections on 17 July 1917 when George V changed the family name to the House of Windsor
On this day in history, 1917: All male line descendants of the British royal family will now bear the English surname of Windsor, instead of the German Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, following a proclamation issued by King George V.
The move was prompted by anti-German sentiment in the British Empire during World War I, which reached its peak in March 1917 when giant German Gotha aircraft began bombing London and became a household name.
King George V, and his father Edward VII before him, were members of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha via descent from Prince Albert, the German husband of Queen Victoria.
The British royals relinquished all German titles and family connections in 1917 when George V changed the family name to the House of Windsor and stated: ‘Now, therefore, We, out of Our Royal Will and Authority, do hereby declare and announce that as from the date of this Our Royal Proclamation Our House and Family shall be styled and known as the House and Family of Windsor, and that all the descendants in the male line of Our said Grandmother Queen Victoria who are subjects of these Realms, other than female descendants who may marry or may have married, shall bear the said Name of Windsor.’
The name of Windsor has a long association with the British monarchy thanks to the family’s ties to Windsor Castle in Berkshire, seen in the Badge of the House of Windsor.
Pictured: The Badge of the House of Windsor (the ruling royal house of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms), as approved by King George VI in 1938. In the style used from 1952 to the present. © Sodacan
How blue is your blood? If you think you may have royal connections, check out the feature in our Christmas 2015 issue – available now from Pocketmags.com.