Nation & World News

In The Royal Baby Guessing Game, What’s The Surname?

By Kee Malesky on July 13th, 2013

Plantagenets, Tudors, Stuarts, Hanovers and now what?

There’s been plenty of speculation about what name will be chosen for the first child of the duke and duchess of Cambridge (better known as Will and Kate). Bets are being placed on Charlotte, Alice, Grace, Charles, George, James, etc. (see more possibilities below).

But what about a surname for the little tyke?

According to the BBC:

“A surname will not necessarily be required, as the new baby will have the title HRH Prince or Princess and will be referred to in this way. However, if Catherine and William want to include a surname, there are three choices available — Mountbatten-Windsor, Wales, or Cambridge. In 1917 George V adopted Windsor — after the castle of the same name — as the “surname” of his family, changing it from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha as a result of anti-German feeling during World War I. The Queen and Prince Phillip combined their surnames to make Mountbatten-Windsor — their direct descendants can use this name but it isn’t binding. In his military role, William uses the name of his royal house — Wales — which is taken from his father. Similarly Cambridge, the title given to the couple when they married, could be used.”

The British monarchy is more about houses or dynasties (they pronounce it DIN-is-teez) than about last names. Queen Victoria, who was ethnically more German than British, married her first cousin Albert, whose family name was Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. That was changed to Windsor in 1917, since Britain was at war with Germany at the time, and it was good public relations to choose something that sounded more English. Victoria and Albert had nine children, who married members of royal families across Europe and produced 42 grandchildren and 87 great-grandchildren.

Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, Prince Philip, is a member of the house of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg. He adopted the surname Mountbatten (translated from the German Battenberg), which came from his maternal grandparents.

And here’s an explainer from the official website of the monarchy:

“At a meeting of the Privy Council on 17 July 1917, George V declared that ‘all descendants in the male line of Queen Victoria, who are subjects of these realms, other than female descendants who marry or who have married, shall bear the name of Windsor.’

“The Royal Family name of Windsor was confirmed by The Queen after her accession in 1952. However, in 1960, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh decided that they would like their own direct descendants to be distinguished from the rest of the Royal Family (without changing the name of the Royal House), as Windsor is the surname used by all the male and unmarried female descendants of George V.

“It was therefore declared in the Privy Council that The Queen’s descendants, other than those with the style of Royal Highness and the title of Prince/Princess, or female descendants who marry, would carry the name of Mountbatten-Windsor.”

If you’d like to place a wager on the baby’s Christian name, here’s a list of the ones currently in use by the immediate members of the royal family:

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary
Charles Philip Arthur George
William Arthur Philip Louis
Henry Charles Albert David
Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise
Peter Mark Andrew
Zara Anne Elizabeth
Andrew Albert Christian Edward
Beatrice Elizabeth Mary
Eugenie Victoria Helena
Edward Antony Richard Louis
Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary
James Alexander Philip Theo

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

In an image provided by NASA, astronaut Randy Bresnik prepares to enter Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft for an evaluation at the company's Houston Product Support Center. NASA awarded Boeing with a $4.2 billion contract Tuesday.

Boeing And SpaceX Win $6.8 Billion In NASA Contracts

By 2017, the two American companies are expected to take over a job that NASA has relied upon Russia to perform: shuttling astronauts to the International Space Station.


President Obama spoke Tuesday about the U.S. plan to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, speaking at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The White House plan reportedly includes deploying 3,000 U.S. military personnel and training health care providers in Liberia.

Obama Gives New Details On America’s Effort To Fight Ebola

The president announced a “major increase” in the U.S. response to the outbreak, including a new military command center in Liberia, and sending medical professionals from the U.S. to field hospitals.


Inmate Frank Van Den Bleeken, seen here in court last autumn, says he wants to die because he sees no progress in the mental problems that were linked to his crimes of murder and rape.

Belgium Agrees To Euthanize Man Convicted Of Murder, Rape

Frank Van Den Bleeken says he wants to die because he hasn’t seen any change in himself. A court agreed — and now his case is raising prickly questions in a country that has no death penalty.


U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier ruled nearly two weeks ago that BP acted recklessly in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig accident and oil spill.

BP Lawyers Use Old-School Trick; Judge Not Amused

A legal filing tied to the company’s Gulf oil spill case was supposed to have been capped at 35 pages. But lawyers for BP got a little creative with the spacing.


Not everyone's a dog lover. A new magazine in Germany caters to the haters.

In Germany, A Magazine For The Dog-Tired

Germans have long had plenty of choices when it comes to magazines catering to canine lovers. But one publisher thinks the time has finally come to throw the dog haters a bone.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments