MONDAY 17th JULY
One hundred years of The House of Windsor
In 1840 the British Queen Victoria married the German Prince Albert. He was the son of Ernst, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
At that time many of Europe’s families were related – British, Russian and German included.
At the outbreak of war in 1914 George V was on the throne of the United Kingdom and the British Empire. Ever since war had been declared there had been calls from Great Britain and from all corners of the empire for the Royal family to change its name. Things finally came to a head in 1917. In March of that year the Germans had launched a heavy bombing raid over London using a bomber called “Gotha G.1V”. When no statement had come from Buckingham Palace, rumours started to gather pace suggesting that the King must secretly be pro-German.
The King took the decision to adopt a new family name but what would it be?
Names such as Tudor-Stewart, Plantagenet, York, Lancaster, Fitzroy and England were considered but rejected.
On 17th July 1917 the following proclamation was made:
“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.”
The King also took the decision of suspending or revoking the British peerages and titles of all his relatives who were fighting on the German side in the war.
By anglicising the Royal Household and other notable estates and titles, King George V permanently changed the appearance of the British monarchy in a move that endures to today.