On this day in history : 17th July 1917 – The Royal family adopts the name ‘Windsor’ in a proclamation by King George V, in place of the official name ‘Saxe-Coburg-Gotha’….

George V – Public domain

The proclamation stated that the name of the Royal House and all British descendants of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert via the male line were to bear the name Windsor – women who married into other families would take that name….

“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”….

Badge of the House of Windsor

In 1901 the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha had succeeded the House of Hanover in the British Monarchy, with King Edward VII, son of Victoria and Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, coming to the throne…. Because of anti-German feelings during World War One it was felt necessary to change the name of the Royal family…. ‘Windsor’ was chosen because of the family association with Windsor Castle and the town of Windsor…. George V’s German cousin, Emperor Wilhelm II joked that he was going to the theatre to see the play ‘The Merry Wives of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha’ in reference to Shakespeare’s ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’….

‘A Good Riddance’ – cartoon from ‘Punch’, June 1917 – Public domain

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