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. 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.
The British monarchy 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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, her father being the Earl of Wessex.
Mountbatten-Windsor differs from the official name of the British royal family, which remains the House of Windsor. 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 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, Edward VIII and Prince John, left no descendants.
Male-line descendants of Elizabeth II
The family tree is based on the current line of succession to the British throne.
- Queen Elizabeth II (b. 1926) ∞ Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (b. 1921)
- (1) Charles, Prince of Wales (b. 1948)
- (7) Prince Andrew, Duke of York (b. 1960)
- (10) Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (b. 1964)
- (13) Anne, Princess Royal (b. 1950)
- House of Battenberg/Mountbatten – Prince Philip's maternal family house
- House of Glücksburg – Prince Philip's paternal family house
- House of Wettin
- "The Royal Family name". The British Monarchy. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
- Philip Ziegler, Mountbatten: The Official Biography, 1985, p.682
- Lichfield, John (2012-09-19). "William and Kate win legal battle - but lose war to keep topless". The Independent. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
- http://www.heraldica.org/topics/britain/TNA/HO_290_72.htm (see, in particular, the article by Edward F. Iwi).
- 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.
- "Lady Louise heralds return for Mountbattens". The Telegraph. 2003-11-27.