“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’.
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.