The Centenary of the Royal House of Windsor

06/01/2017 14:05  |  Historic UK Coins

This year not only do we celebrate the 65th Anniversary of Her Majesty’s reign but also the historic 100th Anniversary of the Royal House to which she belongs. There have been many prosperous royal houses over the past 1,000 years, including those of Stuart, Tudor and Hanover, but none is more famous than our current dynasty.

What is not particularly well-known however, is that the name Windsor was not inherited, but created in 1917 by Queen Elizabeth II’s grandfather King George V, whose reign began under the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. This Germanic name came to the British Royal Family following the marriage of Queen Victoria and her German cousin, Prince Albert, in 1840. Although Victoria retained her maiden name of Hanover, her children took their father’s name and therefore her successor, Edward VII, passed the name on to his son, George V. 

It was during the midst of the First World War, when anti-German feeling was at its height, that King George V felt the name of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha alienated the family from the British public. Therefore, on 17th July 1917 he officially renounced all German titles and declared ‘that henceforth Our House and Family shall be styled and known as the House and Family of Windsor’, thus establishing one of the greatest dynasties in our history. The inspiration behind the new name was the ancient royal residence of Windsor Castle. Built by William the Conqueror in the mid-11th century, this magnificent castle is largest inhabited castle in the world.

The four monarchs from this famous house have each contributed to the face of today’s Royal Family. King George V was succeeded in 1936 by his eldest son Edward VIII, who just months later became the only British monarch to abdicate voluntarily. This then forced his younger brother, Albert, to ascend as King George VI, who reigned until 1952, when his oldest daughter Princess Elizabeth began what would be our longest reign of all time.

This year’s centenary of the world’s most renowned Royal Family is a truly historic milestone that will be celebrated across the globe. With three generations of heirs in Princes Charles, William and George – the nation can rest assured that the House of Windsor’s future is secure.

Secure your tribute to this historic year by clicking here. 

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