Prince Andrew's surname

In Cecil wrote:

“They were swept out by royal proclamation in 1917 and replaced with Windsor, and for once the royal family name and surname were identical. Elizabeth II, however, could not bear to have this monotonously sensible state of affairs continue. In 1960 she proclaimed that while hers would remain the House of Windsor, her descendants would bear the surname “Mountbatten-Windsor.” The traditional muddle was thus restored, and there the matter rests today.”

Where did this “Mountbatten” come from?

Battenberg, originally.


Elizabeth Windsor married Phillip Mountbatten, known as Prince Phillip.

From the German:
Mount = act of getting up on a horse
Bat = instrument used in cricket
ten = decimal number

Hence, Mountbatten = beating a horse ten times

In German, it would be ge-mountbatten

Phil the Greek wasn’t a Mountbatten when the exhumed him and married him off - he took the Mountbatten name from his mother. His uncle, Earl Mountbatten, was a very strong influence on Prince Charles & I think that had a lot to do with the name change.

It’s also preserved in the charming rhyme:

Thirteen dead but not forgotten[1]
We got eighteen[2] and Mountbatten[3]

1 - Bloody Sunday, thirteen nonviolent civil rights demonstrators killed by UK Paratroopers.
2 - Eighteen British soldiers killed by a bomb planted by violent incivil wrong terrorists in Warrenpoint, Co. Down,
3 - Said Earl was blown up in a fishing boat on the same day in 1979.


I’m afraid that Cecil still doesn’t have it quite right. The name “Mountbatten-Windsor” will only apply to the male-line descendants of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II (if any) who are sufficiently remote from the throne that they aren’t entitled to be called “His/Her Royal Highness”. (I think that means it starts with the children of the sons of Andrew and Edward.) The name of the royal members of the family continues to be plain Windsor.

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams

Price Phil is not “Greek” per se, but Danish. It’s fascinating how these minor kings and queens were always scrounging around for marital partners of sufficient rank.

I believe it was Schwartz?

He’s as Danish as he is Greek.


His actual house name at birth was Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg, and his father was a younger brother of the Greek monarch or his heir. (I.e., Philip’s grandfather had been King of Greece and his father’s older brother was either on the throne at that point or succeeded later.) His mother was a Battenberg (Berg=mountain, hence Mountbatten when they Anglicized it in WWI); he adopted her name when he became a British subject.

Note that Andrew and Edward’s eldest sons will not use the name either, since they’ll inherit dukedoms and be known as X., Duke of Y.

Hopefully Britain will do better than Australia and become a republic soon - then we won’t have to worry about any such surnames!

In the bathtub of history, the truth is harder to hold than the soap… (Pratchett)

Dukes, as such, have last names. But they’ll be royal dukes and entitled to “His Royal Highness”, so they’ll be Windsors, not Mountbatten-Windsors. But their children will be Mountbatten-Windsors.

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams

billkat: Minor? Scrounging?!? Danish
princesses have been sought as consorts of
the British, Russian, and Greek thrones, as
well as of the other Scandinavian countries.
Queen Victoria of Great Britain was known as
the “Mother-in-Law of Europe” cause of all
the royal families she sent spouses to, but
the contemporaneous Danish king (I think he
was a Frederik) was called the
“Father-in-Law of Europe” for the same
reason. And granted, it was almost 400
years ago, but Denmark at one time had the
most powerful navy in northern Europe,
surpassing even that of England. “Minor,”
indeed! Watch your phraseology, or I’ll
make you eat some leverpostej! :wink:

Kara’s Bizarre Movie Quote for the Day:
“Such as who we are, what we’re doing…” “…and why I have a picture of a burger on the wall.”