What’s In a Name? For the Royal Family, Quite a Lot!
(Lorde voice): We’ll never be Royals…
But we can follow them closely and learn all kinds of cool things about what it really means to be a part of the Royal family. We know that there are plenty of rules regarding public relations, marriage, and that sort of thing, but did you ever notice the common thread of Royal naming conventions?
First, there are, of course, plenty of nicknames to go around in the Royal family. But aside from that, there is also a fascinating tradition of not going by one’s own name publicly! Here’s a short list of some of the dual identities among the Royal fam. Number 4 will almost certainly surprise you, mostly because this tradition was observed before they ever joined the family! Pretty cool stuff, if you ask me.
Ever heard of Queen Alexandrina? Me neither! In fact, I’ve never even heard the name Alexandrina (and it’s only one letter away from my own name!) But I’m not making her up. Though she was popularly known as Queen Victoria, the long-reining monarch’s real name was Alexandrina. She was named after her godfather, Tsar Alexander I. Though she was encouraged to drop the very uncommon French nickname, she stuck with it and now we can all chuckle at the idea of what would have been “The Alexandrina Era.”
We all know Prince Albert (mostly popular in the US because of prank phone calls…), but have you ever heard of King Albert? Probably not! Queen Elizabeth II’s father was born Albert Frederick Arthur George Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. But you probably know him as King George VI. Much easier to say, isn’t it?
This one just sounds like someone’s mum mixing up the names while trying to follow the family tree. Just a hair off (hah!) from his real name, this modern prince is better known by his nickname Harry.
Long before she was ever introduced to the Royal family and their name-changin’ ways, Rachel Markle already made the decision to switch to something more snappy and alliterative. Meghan’s been rockin’ the M&M moniker at least since High School. That’s commitment right there.
The Saxe-Coburg-Gotha Family
Okay, so you saw this one coming when we talked about “King Albert,” right? It’s true; the Royal Windsor family that we all (sort of) know used to have this very German-sounding surname. Of course that would not do after World War I, so from then on we have the Windsors! Now, there’s a surname that sounds positively British.
Did any of these surprise you? Are there any other Royal family members or big-time celebs whose name-changes you find fascinating? If you were joining the ranks of the Windsor family, would you change your name? What would you change it to? Let us know!