How did the royal family choose the name ‘Windsor’?

The royal family decided to change their name in the midst of the First World War, but what made them choose Windsor?

Members of the royal family: Prince Louis; Prince George; Prince William, Duke of Cambridge; Princess Charlotte; Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Prince Charles, Prince of Wales; Princess Anne, Princess Royal; and Queen Elizabeth II during the Queen's annual birthday parade on 8 June 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

“Our house and family shall be styled and known as … Windsor,” read King George V’s proclamation of 17 July 1917. As cousin of Kaiser Wilhelm II, the king had felt the pressure of anti-German sentiment in Britain as the First World War trundled on. His family name of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha had to go after London started being bombed by aircraft called ‘Gotha’.

Advertisement

A number of choices were rejected (Tudor, Plantagenet and England to name a few) before George’s private secretary, Lord Stamfordham, had the thought of using the name of a place associated with the royals in England since the Normans. ‘Windsor’ was necessarily regal and English-sounding, and proved instantly popular.

Advertisement

This article was taken from BBC History Revealed magazine