How Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne at just 25 years old is certainly a fascinating story. Still, the more compelling parts is hardly ever talked about.
The drama behind Elizabeth’s name and how it sparked a giant feud between her husband, Prince Philip and the royal family is something that has never really been talked about.
The Duke of Edinburgh, Philip put intense pressure on Her Majesty to change it. To clarify, no one had a problem when Elizabeth chose her regal name. This is one of those stories that never attracted much of people’s attention.
Well, we have the story for you.
On February 6, 1952, the same day that Elizabeth’s father died, royal biographer Hugo Vickers notes that Elizabeth was asked by her private secretary at the time, Martin Charteris, about what name she would rule under. Her response? “My own, of course”.
The only caveat is that, she needed to add the number “II”. It was in order to differentiate herself from Queen Elizabeth I. Just like that, the first decision of Queen Elizabeth’s reign was made.
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However, Her Majesty’s last name was a different story.
Wondering, why? Well, Elizabeth’s marriage to Prince Philip made the whole situation tricky. Elizabeth’s last name was technically Windsor. It was the surname of the royal family that was established in 1917. Before that, royal family members were known by the names of the countries where their relatives ruled.
But seven years into King George V’s reign and motivated by anti-German sentiments stemming from World War I, he decided that they would ditch this tradition. It was also given that his House name was Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. And so, it became tradition that every royal would pass on ‘Windsor’ as their last name.
However, changes were made as the time passed.
Knowing the moniker’s history, Prime Minister, Winston Churchill and the Queen Mother really didn’t want Elizabeth to change the British household name from Windsor to Mountbatten.
Mountbatten was Prince Philip’s last name. They didn’t want any changes, when it came time for Elizabeth to take the throne. On the flip side though, Elizabeth was getting pressured by her husband to take his last name.