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On This Day… The Day The House Of Windsor Was Born

Written by: George Chittenden : 21 May 2019

It was on this day, 17th July back in 1917 when King George V changed the name of the British Royal Family from the German Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to the English Windsor, due to the anti-German sentiment in the British Empire during World War One. Earlier that year, George V’s first cousin, Nicholas II, the Emperor of Russia, was forced to abdicate. This had raised the possibility of the eventual abolition of all the monarchies in Europe. What made the situation worse in Britain was the fact that in March 1917, a type of German aircraft began crossing the English Channel and bombing London and it was named the Gotha G.V, which as you can imagine caused serious embarrassment for Britain’s royals.

The King and his family were finally convinced to abandon all titles held under the German Crown and to change German titles and house names to anglicised versions. It was on this very day, in 1917, when the King issued his proclamation that stated that all British descendants of Victoria and Albert in the male line were to bear the name of Windsor, except for women who married into other families. Of course, the name Saxe-Coburg-Gotha came to the British Royal Family in 1840 when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, son of Ernst, Duke of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha.

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

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