Among the many upsides to being British royalty,there is this:You never have to use a last name.For one thing,everyone already knows who you are.There’s only one Queen,for instance,so it’s not like Elizabeth has to specify which one she is.
The reason why the British royal family has no surname
However,the British royal family does have a last name,as Business Insider reminds us.The British royal family’s last name is technically Windsor,but that’s a relatively new development.
Before 1917,royals were usually known by the territory they ruled or the Royal House of which they were a member,as the Royal Family’s website explains.For example:The full name of Queen Victoria’s eldest son,King Edward VII,was Albert Edward Saxe-Coburg-Gotha—a mouthful he inherited from his father,Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
皇室的网站解释说，1917年之前，每一位皇室成员不仅互相认识，在他们通知的领土上也被人熟知。举个例子：维多利亚女王的长子King Edward VII全名叫做Albert Edward Saxe-Coburg-Gotha，这个名字则完全继承了他父亲Albert Saxe-Coburg-Gotha王子的名字。
In 1917,though,Edward’s son,George V,was presented with a conundrum:His surname sounded somewhat German,which was an unwelcome association during World War I,so he named his family after Windsor Castle.Since then,any descendants of Queen Victoria(aside from married women)bear the last name Windsor.
1917年，Edward的儿子，George V面临了一个难题：他的姓氏听起来有点像德国人，这在一战期间非常不受欢迎，所以他将家族的名字命名为Windsor Castle。至此，维多利亚女王的后裔(除了已婚女性)都改姓Windsor。
In 1960,to make things more confusing,Queen Elizabeth II and her husband,Prince Philip,decided to add their own spin to the Windsor name,distinguishing their descendants from the rest of the royal family.So her children and their children can use Mountbatten-Windsor as their surname on official documents such as marriage and birth certificates.(Fans of Netflix'sThe Crown caught a glimpse of the discussions that went into the surname decision,though the series didn't tell the full story.)
That's why the British royal family has no family name
Kings and queens are welcome to change the last names of their family at will,since it’s a matter of precedent rather than an official decree.And royals sometimes adopt other names when it’s convenient.Princes Harry and William used Wales as their last name while serving in the military,adopting their father’s designation as the Prince of Wales.
With such a complicated naming protocol,it’s no wonder most Royal Family members go by their titles instead.