After the House of Windsor

When Charles becomes King, what will be the name of the British royal house?

This site, seems to be saying that the name of the royal house changed from “Hanover” to “Saxe-Coburg-Gotha” because Edward VII’s father was Prince Albert (who was the son of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha).

But according to Cecil at the end of this article, “In 1960 [Elizabeth II] proclaimed that while hers would remain the House of Windsor, her descendants would bear the surname ‘Mountbatten-Windsor.’”

To me, this seems to suggest that when Charles becomes King, the name of the British royal house will remain “Windsor”. Or am I reading that wrong and the name of the royal house will automatically become “Mountbatten-Windsor” when Charles assumes the throne? Or is this entirely up to Charles, who can change (or not change) the royal house name to suit his fancy once he becomes King (similar to how George V changed the name from “Saxe-Coburg-Gotha” to “Windsor” in World War I).

Technically, Phillip’s name shouldn’t be Mountbaden, as that comes from his mother, a Battenberg princess. The Battenbergs were a morganatic branch of the Grand Ducal family of Hesse.

Phillip’s father, a Greek Prince was a member of the family of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg. Therefore, Phillip, if you really want to go for accuracy, they are the House of Glucksburg.

If the family name had not been changed to Windsor, it would be the House of Wettin, which was Prince Albert’s surname.

Do you have a cite for this assertion? I understand that there’s some confusion about Prince Albert’s “surname” (whatever that meant to European royalty in the Nineteenth Century), but I thought that the name of the royal house headed by Edward VII was agreed to be “Saxe-Coburg-Gotha”.

In any event, the Official Web Site of the British Monarchy (link in the OP) states that “the only British monarch of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was King Edward VII” and doesn’t mention the name “Wettin”.

Thouroughly confused now.

I’ll look up a cite later, but see, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was the name of the Duchy from which Prince Albert came. Technically, his family name was Wettin-but this was never used.

OK, I’ll buy that Albert’s surname was “Wettin” (Cecil says that it was either that or “Wipper”–see the link in the OP), but all this seems to imply that the name of the royal house isn’t directly related to the monarch’s surname (or the monarch’s father’s surname for that matter). According to Cecil, the surname of the Hanoverians was “Guelf”.

So even if Charles’ surname is “Mountbatten-Windsor” as Cecil states, I’m still wondering what the name of Britain’s royal house will be once he’s king.

According to this site Queen Elizabeth II has decreed that the royal house remain the House of Windsor, even after she is suceeded. (see about half-way down).

It would seem that whoever suceeds her is at liberty to re-name the dynasty as he sees fit.

This caused a huge fuss in the 1950s as Prince Philip and, more especially, Lord Mountbatten argued that it should simply be the ‘House of Mountbatten’. The ruling by the Queen was intended as a compromise to placate them. The substance of the ruling is that those immediate descendants who are entitled to be a prince or princess (basically, the children of a monarch, the children of the son of a monarch or the children of the son of a Prince of Wales) use ‘Windsor’ while the more remote members of the family use ‘Mountbatten-Windsor’. The feeling was that ‘Windsor’ has a certain ring to it and, as it is made-up anyway, why shouldn’t the Royal Family itself continue using it.

Thanks for the link! Interesting.

I guess my conclusion is that there really are no “rules” for the name of Britain’s royal house. I do wonder how it was decided that the name changed to “Saxe-Coburg-Gotha” (as opposed to “Wettin” or sticking with “Hanover” or anything else) when Edward VII took the throne, but it now seems like the reigning monarch is free to change the name of the royal house (or declare that it won’t change) as he or she sees fit.

So I guess the answer is that Charles will be a monarch of the House of Windsor unless or until he decides on something different.