The Royal Family has been the focus of many people’s interests since it was first established. From George V to Queen Elizabeth, they have been around for generations and are considered a symbol of Britain’s culture. Ancestry DNA tests have shown that German roots run deep in the bloodline of many royals across Europe. So, when people start talking about their German ancestry, it might be time to take the rumors more seriously.
Historical records revealed that the House of Windsor “as we know it today began in 1917 when the family changed its name from the German’ Saxe-Coburg-Gotha'” [Source]. This is where historians pick up the German linkage of the royal family and gives more information about their ethnic roots.
Currently, at the UK monarch, “The House of Windsor is the reigning royal house of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms.” Wikipedia gave an account of how the House of Windsor, known as Saxe-Coburg, assumed the throne in 1901. It is noted that “In 1901, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Botha (a branch of the House of Wettin) succeeded the House of Hanover to the British monarchy with the accession of King Edward VII, son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha” [Source].
From this perspective, one can argue that the royal family is German because of their bloodline. They established their reign while carrying a German family name. The House of Windsor has four British monarchs, namely: George V, Edward VIII, George VI, and Elizabeth II, and seems to be going on while following the succession line, and Prince Charles is pitied to be the first in line to succeed his mother.
Queen Elizabeth’s grandmother Queen Mary was born in 1867 and passed on in 1953. Her background shows that she was royal by birth since her great-grandfather was King George III, so royalty was in her bloodline. In tracing her early, records show a German link since “she was a princess of the German Duchy of Teck.” But she was born in England, and that became her home as she was also raised in England.
The Change from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to House of Windsor
So, why did the royal family change the family name from Saxe-Coburg to House of Windsor? The name change occurred in 1917, during World War I. Since these two superpowers were engaged in a war against each other, there was a lot of hate between Germany and Britain. Due to this, ‘anti-German sentiment’ was born, spreading rampantly in many European countries. The anti-German sentiment means “opposition to or fear of Germany, its inhabitants, its culture, or its language” [Source]; hence the royal family had to change the German name to avoid this form of segregation.
In tracing the origins of the name Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Royal UK posited that it “came into the British Royal Family in 1840 with the marriage of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert, son of Ernst, Duke of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha. Queen Victoria herself was the last monarch of the House of Hanover” [Source]. The House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was short-lived as a British dynasty. It only survived through Kind Edward VII’s reign, which lasted for nine years, and the first seven years of his son, King George, who finally put an end to the German name.
Various opinions are circulated concerning whether the royal family is German. Still, many views agree that its ethnicity can be linked to the German side [Source]. Still, such ancestry was long washed by other factors like marriages and kids born in different European countries such as England. Another view posited is that if people consider ancestry and descendants linked to the royal family, then “the royal family are Scandinavian/French/Welsh/Scots/English/German – at least.”