So, is there last name for British Royal Family? It is way more complicated then it sounds. Before 1917, the British Royal Family did not have a surname. However, it was King George V who gave the family a surname as Windsor.
So Why Not Use the Last Name for British Royal Family?
Technically, the last name for British Royal Family is a lengthy Mountbatten-Windsor. The title suggests a mix of the two names borrowed from last names of the Queen and her husband.
Why would the public not know the last name for British Royal Family? Well, the public does not know about it because they have never heard it. However, since the Royals do not need to use this name, therefore it has not become public knowledge.
Switch of the Last Name for British Royal Family in 1917
Well, before 1917, the Britain’s Royals would use Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. However, there was an omnipresent negative feeling against the Germans during World War I. So, the original last name for British Royal Family “Saxe-Coburg-Gotha” was of German origin. However, since there was a war going with the Germans, King George V thought it to be a good idea to change it to something more familiar English and not German.
The King chose not to just change the name of the dynasty but also that of the family’s official surname. The Royal Family is now known to belong to the House of Windsor. Therefore, many who know them consider Windsor as their last name.
Queen Elizabeth’s Modification
Queen Elizabeth, who was a princess in 1947 then married to Philip Mountbatten. The two decided that they should name their descendants differently. Therefore, they chose to change Windsor to Mountbatten-Windsor.
Does Everyone in the Family Need to Use the Surname?
No, not everyone has to consider using the surname at their end. A member of the British Royal family with titles like “Her Royal Highness Princess” or “His Royal Highness Prince” does not require the use of family’s surname.
Use of Family Territorial Designation
Since the use of the surname is not an obligation. Some royals do choose to use their territorial designations. Two prime examples of royals using regional designations include Prince Harry Wales and Prince William Wales, as their father is Prince of Wales.
So even if any member of the family chooses not to use the lengthy Mountbatten-Windsor, they can use territorial names too. However, the young generation of the royal blood may not decide to stick with the old traditions. For example, Princess Charlotte and the school going Prince George use only their first names.