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Elizabeth in crown and robes next to her husband in military uniform
Coronation portrait of Elizabeth II and Philip, June 1953
Coat of arms of the Duke of Edinburgh
Coat of arms of the House of Mountbatten
Coat of arms of the House of Windsor

Mountbatten-Windsor is the personal surname used by some of the male-line descendants of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Under a declaration made in Privy Council in 1960, the name Mountbatten-Windsor applies to male-line descendants of the Queen without royal styles and titles.[1] Individuals with royal styles do not usually use a surname, but some descendants of the Queen with royal styles have used Mountbatten-Windsor when a surname was required.

Current use[edit]

The British monarchy now asserts that the name Mountbatten-Windsor is used by members of the Royal Family who do not have a surname, when a surname is required.[1] For example, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Anne, Princess Royal, children of the Queen, used the surname Mountbatten-Windsor in official marriage registry entries in 1986 and 1973 respectively.[2] Likewise, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, used the name when filing a French lawsuit related to the pictures of his topless wife published by the French magazine Closer.[3]

At the time of the 1960 declaration, palace officials claimed in private communications that it created a hidden surname that would emerge several generations later when some of Queen Elizabeth II's descendants were further removed from the throne.[4] On the wedding of Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999, the Queen decided, with their agreement, that any children they might have should not be styled His or Her Royal Highness.[5] Consequently, the birth of their daughter in 2003 marked the first emergence of the Mountbatten-Windsor surname. Their daughter was named Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor, although she goes by the courtesy title of Lady Louise Windsor as her father is the Earl of Wessex.[6]

Other members of the House of Windsor[edit]

Mountbatten-Windsor differs from the official name of the British royal family or Royal House, which remains Windsor.[1] In accordance with law and custom in the English-speaking world, the surname Mountbatten-Windsor belongs to all male-line descendants of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, and is used by them if and when a surname is needed.

Other descendants of King George V, the first monarch of the House of Windsor, use Windsor as their surname if and when a surname is needed: for example, descendants of the King's sons Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, and Prince George, Duke of Kent. The King's other two sons, King Edward VIII and Prince John, left no descendants.

The children of King George V's only daughter, Mary, Princess Royal, took the surname of their father, Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood.

The children of the present Queen's sister, Princess Margaret, took the surname of their father, Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon.

Male-line descendants of Elizabeth II[edit]

The family tree is based on the current line of succession to the British throne.


Wedding Date Combined coat of arms
Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten 20 November 1947 Combined Coat of Arms of Elizabeth and Philip, the Duchess and Duke of Edinburgh.svg
Princess Anne and Mark Phillips 14 November 1973 Combined Coat of Arms of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips.svg
Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer 29 July 1981 Combined Coat of Arms of Charles and Diana, the Prince and Princess of Wales.svg
Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson 23 July 1986 Combined Coat of Arms of Andrew and Sarah, the Duke and Duchess of York.svg
Anne, Princess Royal, and Timothy Laurence 12 December 1992
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Sophie Rhys-Jones 19 June 1999 Combined Coat of Arms of Edward and Sophie, the Earl and Countess of Wessex.svg
Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla Parker Bowles 9 May 2005 Combined Coat of Arms of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.svg
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine Middleton 29 April 2011 Combined Coat of Arms of William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.svg
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan Markle 19 May 2018 Combined Coat of Arms of Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.svg
Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank 12 October 2018

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "The Royal Family name". The British Monarchy. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  2. ^ Philip Ziegler, Mountbatten: The Official Biography, 1985, p.682
  3. ^ Lichfield, John (2012-09-19). "William and Kate win legal battle - but lose war to keep topless". The Independent. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  4. ^ (see, in particular, the article by Edward F. Iwi).
  5. ^ Even though such children would theoretically be a Prince or Princess under the 1917 letters patent which changed the name of the Royal House to Windsor.
  6. ^ "Lady Louise heralds return for Mountbattens". The Telegraph. 2003-11-27.

External links[edit]