Talk:Mountbatten-Windsor

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'One uncle and no aunts'?[edit]

I have removed the reference to the Queen only having one paternal uncle and no aunts - two of her FOUR paternal uncles and an aunt were still living at the time of this surname's introduction. 195.188.40.144 (talk) 09:28, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

1. Help![edit]

Searching for Mountbatten-Windsor goes direct to a wrong page for a different Windsor. Something has got cocked up but I don't know how to fix this.

2. I think what the article says is wrong. The surname M-W is not to be used for *all* descendants of the present Queen, but only those of minor lines. The 'Royal Highness' princes and princesses will continue to be surnamed Windsor. Here's a quote I found on another site http://www.etoile.co.uk/Muse/001221.html, confirming my belief. This is supposed to be a quote from the proclamation or some such. However, I haven't yet been able to validate this from a primary royal source. Still looking. But the Guinness Book of Answers, a source I trust greatly, concurs.

'while I and my children shall continue to be styled and known as the House and Family of Windsor, my descendants, other than descendants enjoying the style, title or attributes of Royal Highness and the titular dignity of Prince or Princess, and female descendants who marry and their descendants shall bear the name Mountbatten-Windsor?
Okay, I've taken a risk and edited the article to conform to my own understanding. If you have clear evidence to the contrary I'd be very interested, but for the moment I think my interpretation is more accurate.::Gritchka 21:10 18 Jun 2003 (UTC)
That was my understanding but when I checked with Buckingham Palace they said it was wrong. For example, when then published the banns for the weddings of Princess Anne, they called her Anne Mountbatten-Windsor. The Prince of Wales's office also said they and he regarded his surname as M-W. They were adamant about that. So either Buckingham Palace and St. James's Palace have been wrong in their interpretation dating back to the wedding the Princess Anne in 1972, or a change occured somewhere along the line. FearÉIREANN 22:58 18 Jun 2003 (UTC)


Fine, that's certainly authoritative enough for me. I wish there was something official we could find: such niggles pique my curiosity. Gritchka
Should the Princess of Wales go on this list for the period of her marriage?
No. Encyclopædias and history books usually put royal women in by maiden rather than marital name/title. That is because there may be many with identical names but which lack the ordinal available to monarchs to distinguish between them. Most families rarely member people from more than a generation behind, but royal families may have people from many generations before who may be the subject of historical or biographical interest. So we refer to Catherine of Aragon and Katherine Howard, not Catherine Tudor and Katherine Tudor. So Diana is known as the Lady Diana Spencer and is listed as a Spencer, not a Mountbatten-Windsor, just as the late Queen Mother is listed as Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, not as her marital name, Elizabeth Windsor. And her mother-in-law is known as Mary of Teck, her maiden name/title and not listed by marital name or title. The only exception is usually the current spouse of the monarch. Hence we have Queen Sophia of Spain, but if her husband the King predeceases her, she will be recorded by maiden title of Sophia of Greece alone. FearÉIREANN 00:13, 3 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I think that most of you are wrong in your interpretation of the surname. It was stated that the surname M-W should only be used for those descendents requiring a surname, anyone in the British royal family styled as royal highness does not require a surname, thus the usage of the surname does not currently apply to any member of the royal family, as with the exception of Peter and Zara Phillips. However they would not use the surname as they are female line descendents. And it does not appear that there will be a need for it for a while. This is as the Queen's only male-line grandson's are Prince's William and Harry and neither them or their children (possibly grand-children) will require a surname. It is likely that the first people who would legally use the surname would be grand-children of Prince Harry, assuming he as a son. (This all of course is assuming that Prince Charles and Prince William ascend to the throne) It is quite possible that the surname may never be used legally as it is possible that Prince's William and Harry may have daughters or they may have sons but only grand-daughters)Mac Domhnaill 23:53, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
Royals do not take surnames. They do not need them. Some have taken Windsor as a surname (e.g., The Earl of Wessex) when it suits them. From "Royal Insight" on the Official Web Site of the British Monarchy: "The Queen does not normally use a surname (she doesn't need a passport or a driving licence for example), but on the few occasions where it has been necessary, i.e when serving with the ATS during World War II, she has used the surrname 'Windsor'." "It was therefore declared in the Privy Council that The Queen's descendants, other than those with the style of Royal Highness and the title of Prince/Princess, or female descendants who marry, would carry the name of Mountbatten-Windsor. "[1]
Some people fail to realize that there are cases where the authority of the British civil government supersedes even that of the Monarch or the Royal Family - such as in marriage records and the birth certificates of children.74.249.90.250 (talk) 17:50, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
I like it like we have in the U.S.A. where is its clearly stated that the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land. It says so itself, and it has been ratified and accepted by all of the States and Commonwealths of the Union. But in he U.K., the authority of the Parliament and other civil authorities is Supreme.74.249.90.250 (talk) 17:52, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
It IS evident that ONLY those who are NOT entitled to the style and dignity of Royal Highness may be known as Mountbatten-Windsor.

--ScottyFLL 22:20, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

This quote from the Royal.gov.uk sites confuses me

"Unless The Prince of Wales chooses to alter the present decisions when he becomes king, he will continue to be of the House of Windsor and his grandchildren will use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor."

Can anyone clarify?

It doesn't say much, just that when he's king he could, if he wanted to, arrange for a change of house name or a change of surname for his descendants who use one. He might, for example, exercise his Royal Prerogative by having the house become the "House of Mountbatten" through another Order-in-Council. - Nunh-huh 01:58, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

Thanks. I am particularly confused by which "grandchildren" of Prince Charles' would be affected if he didn't change the order. Surely not Prince William's children but perhaps Prince Harry's? Is that your understanding?


The house name would affect all his grandchildren. In terms of surname, his grandchildren would need one if they didn't bear the titular dignity of prince or princess and the style of HRH. Queen Victoria issued letters patent on 30 Jan 1864 allowing grandsons of the sovereign to have the titular dignity of prince and bear the style HRH. On 30 Nov 1917 Queen Elizabeth restricted this to children of the sovereign, the children of the sons of any such sovereign, and the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales. So William & Harry's children are equivalent when Charles is on the throne. Their (hypothetical) half-sister (by Camilla) would not be; her children would not be princes or princesses, as hers is a female line. - Nunh-huh 00:48, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

But any half-siblings of Princes William and Harry would still be a grandchild of the sovereign through Prince Charles and thus entitled to the same style and dignities as William and Harry.

Your 1917 date above is a typo but I understand this order to mean that Prince Harry's children (i.e. he is the second son of the Prince of Wales) would use M-W, since the Order does not mention great-grandchildren of the present sovereign. Also, if Prince William only has daughters, they would use M-W OR his first son would use Windsor and all other sons and daughters would use M-W. QE II's Order-in-Council has more to do with the use of the surname M-W and less to do with using the HRH, as I understand it.

Oops! The date was right, the name was wrong - I left out part of what I meant to say. 1917 was the date the name of "House of Windsor" was assumed (George V). The name was confirmed by Queen Elizabeth II in 1952: "The Queen today declared in Council her will and pleasure that she and her children shall be styled and known as the House and Family of Windsor, and that her descendants, other than female descendants who marry and their descendants, shall bear the name of Windsor." (In other words, she decided not to change house names, even though, with a female on the throne, most people would expect a change). In 1960, the decision was made to differentiate the Queen's progeny from those who also descended from George V, by proclaiming that all the queen's descendants who did not bear the "style, title or attribute of HRH, and the titular dignity of Prince or Princess" would bear the name of Mountbatten-Windsor. (Or to paraphrase, any of her descendants who had need of a surname should use Mountbatten-Windsor.). It's this latter that ties the use of a surname to the absence of an HRH. You're quite right that once Charles accedes his granddaughter would be able to use the HRH - but she wouldn't during the remainder of Elizabeth's reign, absent some grant of a right to do so. (Which actually make the royal.uk.gov site quote even more meaningless! Perhaps they just didn't have much to say <g>) - Nunh-huh 23:52, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

I have heard that the Queens intention was to make all her children (and therefore descendents) bear the name Mountbatten-Windsor, and she indicated that to the PM of the time. However the Order in Council only did what is referred to above - it made non HRH's and Princes Mountbatten-Windsors. I understand that the Royal Family 'thinks' its name is Mountbatten-Windsor, which is why they are all officially married as that. However legally they are still Windsors Ham21 22:31, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

"Informal" Usage[edit]

The article states that Mountbatten-Windsor is "informally used by members of the Royal Family descended from Queen Elizabeth II as their surname, as shown at the marriages of the Duke of York and the Princess Royal, both having been registered with Mountbatten-Windsor in their entries in the marriage registers". However, is not a marriage register a formal document and thus a formal declaration?204.126.251.245 (talk) 20:58, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Edward Wessex[edit]

I'm not sure of the significance of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, styling himself "Edward Wessex". I recall hearing the Queen introduce Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, to Lech Wałęsa, then President of Poland, as simply "Richard Gloucester".Hebbgd (talk) 17:50, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

It's common for royals to use the location that they're "of" in place of a surname. Edward's title is Earl of Wessex, and since receiving it he has used "Wessex" as a title. Similarly, Andrew, Beatrice, and Eugenie have used "York" as a surname (Andrew while in the military, the girls while in school), and William and Harry both used "Wales" as one during their respective schooling and military careers. Psunshine87 (talk) 10:21, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

"Cadet branch"[edit]

I placed a "citation needed" tag at the end of the first sentence of the article, but I want to make it clear I am not questioning the first half of the sentence, which does have a source. I am questioning the statement that "Mountbatten-Windsor" is "a cadet branch of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg..." Perhaps I should have used the "dubious" tag instead, because this statement does not seem correct. The article (in fact, the very next sentence) makes clear that Mountbatten-Windsor is not the name of the Royal Family or Royal House, it is merely a surname that can be (and is) used by some members of the House of Windsor. It is a little unusual because it is a surname and not a "family name" or "house name." That being the case, there is no "house" (or "family") of Mountbatten-Windsor, and therefore it cannot be a "branch" ("cadet" or otherwise) of a different house or family. Right? And this is leaving aside other issues, like whether the Schleswig etc. name, family, house etc. would still follow Prince Philip and his descendants around, given the fact that he changed his name long ago. Neutron (talk) 20:18, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

I went ahead and deleted the "cadet branch" reference, and while I was at it, reorganized the intro and rewrote parts of it. I am certainly open to being shown that the "cadet branch" thing is correct, but it does not seem correct, based on what is in the rest of the article, especially the fact that "Mountbatten-Windsor" is not a "house" (or even a "family"), but simply a surname. Neutron (talk) 23:25, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Since there is no legal meaning to the terms "house" or "family", I don't see on what grounds it can be concluded that the Mountbatten-Windsors are disqualified from being either? Insofar as they all descend patrilineally from Prince Philip, who is indisputably a cadet of the deposed Royal Family of Greece which, in turn, is a cadet branch of the Royal Family of Denmark, a cadet branch of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg, now the senior branch of the House of Oldenburg, why would the Mountbatten-Windsors not be a cadet branch of the Greeks, Glucksburgs, Danes and Oldenburgs? Certainly one of its antecedent families is often referred to as the House of Battenberg -- which has thus far generated a sovereign prince, two queens and a royal prince consort. Please note that when the "Mountbatten-Windsor" surname was assigned to cadets of the British Royal Family, it was simultaneously declared that Elizabeth II and her children would be members of the "House and Family of Windsor": but nothing was declared about the surnames of her (male-line) descendants beyond her children -- except that (at least) some would of them would (and do) bear the surname of Mountbatten-Windsor. It seems to me that the only reason the Mountbatten-Windsors might not be a "cadet branch" of the House of Windsor is that the surname does not appear to be confined to "cadets" -- since the UK's heir-apparent, Charles, Prince of Wales, it. The status of the Mountbatten-Windsors seems similar to that of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine -- which Wikipedia calls...a house! FactStraight (talk) 09:52, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
As I understand it, the reason that "Mountbatten-Windsor" is not the name of the "house" or "family" that reigns in the UK is that the Queen, who apparently has the authority to decide these things, decided that the "house" and "family" are still named "Windsor." (It's one of the very few things she actually gets to decide, as opposed to rubber-stamping decisions made by "her" government.) Or to put it another way, while the rules of patrilineality may say one thing, it seems the Queen has decided not to completely follow those rules. Such breaking of tradition seems consistent with her related decision not to take her husband's name, or to have that name passed along to her children, though at least some of those children have decided otherwise.
But of course, all of this discussion is somewhat beside the point, because the article must be based on reliable sources. If you have reliable sources (hopefully at least two) that say the surname Mountbatten-Windsor is a cadet branch of the House of Whichever, then by all means restore that sentence, with the sources. But if it does go back in, I don't think it should be part of the first sentence of the article. It doesn't necessarily even need to be in the intro at all, in my opinion. Neutron (talk) 22:06, 1 August 2013 (UTC)