Charles aims to change the Royal Family name

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The Independent Online
Nearly 80 years after his great- grandfather dropped a German royal name in favour of the English-sounding Windsor, Prince Charles has indicated that he will once more acknowledge his family's royal European ancestry.

The heir to the throne will install the new royal house of Mountbatten-Windsor, according to the latest extract from Jonathan Dimbleby's biography of the prince in yesterday's Sunday Times.

In 1917, with war between Britain and Germany about to end, George V issued a proclamation replacing the German name Saxe-Coburg and Gotha with Windsor.

Before the proclamation, H G Wells had referred to the king as 'an alien and uninspiring'. The claim was countered with: 'I may be uninspiring, but I'll be damned if I'm an alien.'

'Don't take action because of a name] A name is an uncertain thing, you can't count on it]' So wrote Brecht in 1927. Regardless, Prince Charles has said he intends to do what most non-royals do - incorporate their father's surname. Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, is the youngest child and only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg.

Prince Philip's grandfather was Admiral of the Fleet Prince Louis of Battenberg, who in 1917 renounced his German titles, taking the surname of Mountbatten. Prince Louis's son, the first Earl Mountbatten of Burma, became Charles's most trusted relative - 'Uncle Dickie'.

Prince Charles's plans were criticised by Harold Brooks- Baker, publisher of Burke's Peerage. He said: 'To have two synthetic names of no historical importance is unbelievably pathetic and ridiculous.'

Fall of Windsor, page 2 Leading article, page 17