Change of name: how the British Royal family became Windsor
July 17 marks exactly 100 years since the Royal decree that changed the name of the British monarchy. Instead of Saxon-Coburg-Goths the members of the Royal family became Windsor.
The end of an era
In the early XX century Europe is frozen in a state of unstable equilibrium. The monarchy were still in place, but the Ghost of change already actively roamed the cities and villages.
The last parade of a bygone era was the funeral of the British king, son of Queen Victoria Edward VII on 20 may 1910.
In the funeral cortege went to the representatives of all the reigning dynasties. Strictly in accordance with the first Protocol was riding emperors and kings, followed by Dukes, archdukes, electors, and princes. The representatives of the democracies, even such influential and wealthy as the United States and France, was sent to the rear rows of the procession.
Those who went first, had no clue that soon they will either have to adapt to changing realities, or even to disappear from the horizon.
For the British Royal family an important part of the adaptation was the change of name, which stands for the ruling family.
Frankly, it is not clear how this fact get along with the English patriots (I say English and not British), but after the Tudors, English and later British throne regarding Anglo-Saxon England did not sit at all.
That is some kinship, of course, was observed (monarchs with this case has always been pretty strict), but beginning with George I in 1714, St JaME’s court was headed by the Germans.
And it all started with the fact that the British categorically refused to live under the scepter of the Catholics.
No matter where he was born, important as were baptized
The Stuarts to the British throne went wrong. Charles I was beheaded, his son at the restoration had to make significant concessions to Parliament, but James II was forced into exile. Actually, most likely, no one would have it and not touched, if he had not converted to Catholicism under the influence of his first wife.
By the time the English Catholics developed a strong Allergy, and Parliament decided to invite to the throne of the deposed king’s daughter Mary, which thankfully was a Protestant, plus married to Duke William of Orange. Well, he (that’s really lucky, so lucky!) also was in a relationship with British monarchs. His mother was the eldest daughter of Charles I, the man, who was executed by Cromwell.
Unfortunately, the Stewarts never had much luck with the heirs. No, Mary and William, nor their successor Anne had no children.
In 1714, Britain was left without a king. The only suitable Protestant who had at least some connection with the Royal family, was George I, son of Sophia of Hanover, granddaughter of James I through his daughter Elizabeth of Bohemia.
He was the first but not the last German who established himself on the British throne. By the way, he never learned to speak the language of their subjects.
Horseradish radish is not sweeter, or Hanover — so the Saxon-Coburg-gotta
George I belonged to a German dynasty with a great name: Brunswick-Luneburg-Hanover, associated with ancient Royal houses of the Guelph and D’este, whose roots are deeply lost in the early middle ages.
The last representative of the ancient Hanover was Queen Victoria who, having married, took the dynastic name of her husband albert. So the Royal family was Saxon-Coburg-Goths.