Question #16889. Asked by game-over.
Last updated Apr 15 2017.
Queen left 'in tears' over Duke of Edinburgh's 'brutal' demand she take his name
By David Wilkes | Daily Mail | 3 December 2011
.. The irritation he felt over his wife’s decision to accept the advice of then Prime Minister Winston Churchill and keep the family name Windsor is detailed in Sally Bedell Smith’s book, Elizabeth the Queen. The Duke wanted the Royal Family to be known as the House of Mountbatten when the Queen came to the throne in 1952. He is famously said to have told friends: ‘I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his children. I’m nothing but a bloody amoeba.’
In an article in the current issue of Vanity Fair magazine, Miss Bedell Smith has written of how in 1960 the Queen, heavily pregnant with the Duke of York, told Harold Macmillan she needed to ‘revisit the issue of her family name, which had been irritating her husband since she decided in 1952 to use Windsor rather than Mountbatten’.
Deputy Prime Minister Rab Butler and the Lord Chancellor, Lord Kilmuir, were assigned the task of resolving the Queen’s ‘tricky’ family problem. In a telegram, Butler told Macmillan the Queen had ‘absolutely set her heart’ on making a change for Philip’s sake. Miss Bedell Smith, whose book is to be published in February, said: ‘By one account, Butler confided to a friend that Elizabeth had been “in tears”.’ Following discussions, it was agreed that the Royal Family would continue to be called ‘the House and Family of Windsor’.
But the Queen’s ‘de-royalised’ descendants, starting with any grandchildren who lacked the designation of ‘royal highness’, would adopt the surname ‘Mountbatten- Windsor’. In a statement on February 8, 1960, the Queen said she ‘has had this in mind for a long time and it is close to her heart’.
‘It seemed clear cut’, Miss Bedell Smith said. But, 13 years later, ‘Princess Anne....would contravene the policy on her wedding day by signing the marriage register as “Mountbatten-Windsor”’.
t would seem that the surname of HM The Queen's children is whatever HM wishes. Legally and constitutionally, however, the Queen cannot do as she wishes. The surname of the Queen's children is Mountbatten-Windsor in practise and has appeared three times: at Princess Anne's first marriage in 1974, on Prince Andrew's marriage register in 1986, and when the banns were read prior to Princess Anne's second marriage to Commander Laurence in 1992.