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Before WW2 the Windsors surname was a German name and not Windsor, what was it?

Windsors: British Royal Family.

I know they changed it because it seemed unbritish as they were fighting the Germans

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  • Paco
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The answer is a little complicated. In World War ONE, George V wanted to change the household name to something British. He had been born in Britain, as had his father. Only his grandfather, Albert was a German Prince.

    = Albert's father started out as Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and when he married Albert's mother he took over the Duchy of Gotha. It was a nasty marriage (because he cheated all the time) so they got a divorce. The shuffled the duchies around and he ended up as the Duke of Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha because he lost control of Saalfeld.

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    Queen Elizabeth knew this name only existed since Albert was five years old. She wanted a "household name" that was the oldest name they could find. The researchers turned up a name from the 10th and 11th century of WETTIN. Queen Elizabeth wanted her son to rule as the house of Wettin, but people deferred to "Saxe-Coburg and Gotha".

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    So the answer to your question is either "Wettin" or "Saxe-Coburg and Gotha". In either case her son and grandson never really used the name very often since it was always awkward. In 1917, George V formally changed the household name to Windsor, and in addition he assigned as a surname to those descendents who were not royal and needed a surname.

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    Although royals technically don't need a surname, in modern society you usually have to put your name on some piece of paper (marriage certificate, passport, or military identification,etc.). Only the queen does not need a passport, but all the other royals do.

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    Patrilineal ancestry of the queen

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    G - F - Patrilineal - Title ( Death )

    0 - X - Elizabeth II - Queen of U.K. ( xxxx )

    1 - P - George VI - King of U.K. ( 1952 )

    2 - P - George V - King of U.K. ( 1936 )

    3 - P - Edward VII - King of U.K. ( 1910 )

    4 - P - Albert - Prince Consort ( 1861 )

    5 - P - Ernest I - Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha ( 1844 )

    6 - P - Francis - Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld ( 1806 )

    7 - P - Ernest Frederick - Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld ( 1800 )

    8 - P - Francis Josias - Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld ( 1764 )

    9 - P - John Ernest IV - Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld ( 1729 )

    10 - P - Ernest I - Duke of Saxe-Gotha ( 1675 )

    11 - P - John II - Duke of Saxe-Weimer ( 1605 )

    12 - P - Johann Wilhelm - Duke of Saxe-Weimer ( 1573 )

    13 - P - John Frederick - Elector of Saxony ( 1554 )

    14 - P - John - Elector of Saxony ( 1532 )

    15 - P - Ernest - Elector of Saxony ( 1486 )

    16 - P - Frederick II - Elector of Saxony ( 1464 )

    17 - P - Frederick I - Elector of Saxony ( 1428 )

    18 - P - Frederick III - Landgrave of Thuringia ( 1381 )

    19 - P - Frederick II - Margrave of Meissen ( 1349 )

    20 - P - Frederick I - Margrave of Meissen ( 1323 )

    21 - P - Albert II - Margrave of Meissen ( 1314 )

    22 - P - Henry III - Margrave of Meissen ( 1288 )

    23 - P - Dietrich I - Margrave of Meissen ( 1221 )

    24 - P - Otto II - Margrave of Meissen ( 1190 )

    25 - P - Conrad - Margrave of Meissen ( 1157 )

    26 - P - Thimo II - Count of Wettin ( 1118 )

    27 - P - Thimo I - Count of Wettin ( 1099 )

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  • 1 decade ago

    It was during the great war (WW1) that the name of the Dynasty was changed and a surname introduced for non royal descendants of Queen Victoria who remained in Britain.

    Victoria was the last of the Hannover dynasty, her surname was Guleph. Edward VII belonged to the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha dynasty, through his father and the family name was Wettin. George V had the same surname and dynastic name until 1917.

    George's cousin, Charles Edward the last Duke of Saxe Coburg AND Gotha (from where the original dynastic name comes from), also had a change of surname curtesy of the German government after the war, when he lost the right to use his ducal title in Gemany his surname was changed from Wettin to Von Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, though he was allowed to use his Ducal titles when outside of Germany

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  • 1 decade ago

    They changed the name of the Royal House from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to Windsor. They do not have surnames. Only commoners have surnames.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Saxe-Coburg-Gotha

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Actually, it was before WWI, not WWII. and it was Saxe-Coburg, I believe. It was George V who changed it, and if you look at paintings of him, Nicholas II (Russia) and Kaiser Wilhelm, you can see the family resemblance...They were all second cousins, direct descendants of Victoria and Albert, who was GERMAN by birth...hence the surname.

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