The House of Windsor

The House of Windsor kings and Queens

The House of Windsor came into being in 1917, when King George V, formerly of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, concerned that his Germanic sounding surname would alienate his British subjects at the height of German xenophobia during World War I, changed the name of his dynasty to the more English sounding Windsor. Declaring at a meeting of the Privy Council on 17th July 1917, that 'all descendants in the male line of Queen Victoria, who are subjects of these realms, other than female descendants who marry or who have married, shall bear the name of Windsor'. The name Windsor has long been associated with the English monarchy through its connections with Windsor Castle.

The House of Windsor has produced four British sovereigns, George V (1910-1936), his son Edward VIII (1936), who abdicated the throne to marry the twice-divorced American Wallis Warfield Simpson in favour of his brother George VI (1936-52) and the present Queen, Elizabeth II.

In 1960, the Queen and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh came to the joint decision that they would prefer their direct descendants to be distinguished from the rest of the Royal Family (without changing the name of the Royal House), declaring in the Privy Council that 'The Queen's descendants, other than those with the style of Royal Highness and the title of Prince/Princess, would bear the surname of Mountbatten-Windsor.

This section not only covers the monarchs of the House of Windsor but also contains biographies on the Queen's children, grandchildren and extended family, the Gloucesters and the Kents.


Born and Reign

Edward VII

B. 1841 son of Albert of Saxe Coburg Gotha & Queen Victoria. R. 1901-1910

George V

B. 1865 son of Edward VII & Alexandra of Denmarkr 1910-36

Edward VIII

B. 1894 son of George V & Mary of Teck R. 1936

George VI

B. 1895 son of George V & Mary of Teck. R. 1936-52

Elizabeth II

B. 1926 daughter of George VI & Elizabeth Bowes Lyon. R. 1952


Additional Information on the era