British Royal Surnames
|The Royal Family of England has a very rich history of assuming many different family names. We have researched the British Royal family all the way back to William the Conqueror, who was from the House of Normandy. Many British royal surnames changed due to a female heir marrying into another family and assuming the royal family name of her husband. Intermarriage was common and the royalty across England tended to have the same genetics. Therefore even though the surname changed, the blood of the royal family remained pure whether it be York or Lancaster.|
The dynastic switch to different royal surnames also resulted from more bloody means such as when the Plantagent Dynasty split into the House of York and House of Lancaster, thus beginning the War of the Roses. The Tudor Dynasty formed to join the White and red roses together under the House of Tudor. Even the House of Windsor was formed to keep Civil War in England from Erupting.
Rulers : William I (1066-87) | William II (1087-1100) | Henry I (1100-35)
The first man with the Norman surname to grace the throne of England was William the Conqueror. The Normans originally settled in Northwest France after calming their Viking heritage. Edward the Confessor spent his early years with his mother, Emma, in Normandy. Due to his belief that Normans were superior to Anglo Saxons, Edward the Confessor chooseing Norman nobles over the English natives. To take his devotion further, Edward the Confessor promised the English throne. William the Conqueror proved his propensity for being an unbeatable General by securing the throne by force after winning the most epic English battle, The Battle of Hastings and was crowned the King of England on Christmas Day in 1066.
Rulers : Henry II (1154-89) | Richard I (1189-99) | John (1199-1216) | Henry III (1216-72) | Edward I (1272-1307) | Edward II (137-27) | Edward III (1327-77) | Richard II (1377-99)
The first of the Kings from the House of Plantegent was Henry II. His grandfather, Henry I, was the grandson of William the Conqueror. Unfortunately Henry I's son drowned and the right to the thrown went to his daughter Matilda. She married Geoffery, count of Anjou, and had to build an army to fight for her family's right to the throne. In the end, a new dynasty was born. Platagenet means "flowering bloom" which was a nickname given to Henry II's father, Geoffery. The Plantagenet dynasty lived on through 13 kings until the family was split by war into the Houses of York and Lancaster. The Plantagenet royal family practiced intermarriage and shared genetic traits such as firey red hair and a muscular build.
Rulers : Henry IV (1399-1413) | Henry V (1413-22) | Henry VI (1422-61; 1470-71)
The Royal family of England continues to come from the Plantegent dynasty, but a feud amongst the family divides the members into two houses, the House of Lancaster and the House of York. Thus, the War of the Roses begins. The last King of England claiming to be from the House of Plantegents is Richard II. He was imprisoned and his nephew, Henry IV takes the throne and starts the House of Lancaster. Henry IV was born in Bolingbroke Castle and was later banished. Upon his return he was named the Duke of Lancaster.
Rulers : Edward IV (1461-70; 1471-83) | Edward V (1483) | Richard III (1483-85)
The House of York began their British Royal dynasty under the rule of Edward IV in 1461. The surname York is a placename located in England. The first Duke of York was Edmund of Langley, the fourth son born to Edward III. The war of the Roses continued, but economy of England flourished, especially with the popularity of the publishing industry. Richard III was a warring king and DNA tests indicate that the remains were found under a car park in 2012 are in fact his and prove the stories about his death and deformities.
Rulers : Henry VII (1485-1509) | Henry VIII (1509-47) | Edward VI (1547-53) | Mary I (1553-8) | Elizabeth I (1558-1603)
The House of Tudor began to end the war of the Roses between a family divided into the Yorks and Lancasters. Richard III of the House of York was defeated by Henry VI of the House of Lancaster. In an effort to share the throne with the House of York, Henry VII married Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV. The name originates from Welsh and comes from the Welsh name for Theodore meaning, Gift from God. In order to keep the family Dynasty and not have to accept a ruling Queen, the most famous Tudor, King Henry VIII made divorce legal in his kingdom by instituting the Church of England that replaced Catholism in England. This started a new war between the ruling family of England and the Pope in Rome.
Rulers : James I (1603-25) | Charles I (1625-49) | Charles II (1660-85) | James II (1685-88) | William & Mary (1689-1702) | Anne (1702-14)
The last of the Tudor Dynasty, Queen Elizabeth named her successor as King James I of England and James IV of Scotland. The appointment to the throne helped to calm any strife between Scottland and England. The Stuarts are credited as bringing style to the monarchy. However, their cavelier attitude towards paliment lead parliment to change England into a Republic. The Stuart royal house is believed to be originated from the Vikings that settled in Brittany, France. The Scottish name of Stewart means High Stewart of Scotland.
Rulers : George I (1714-27) | George II (1727-60) | George III (1760-1820) | George IV (1820-30) | William IV (1830-37) | Victoria (1837-1901)
The House of Hanover was started by King George I, the
Rulers : Edward VII (1901-10)
The House of Saxe-Coburg was short lived because of the name's German heritage. When Edward VII died his son, George took the throne and adopted a new royal family name that was more English sounding than German.
Rulers : George V (1910-36) | Edward VIII (1936) | George VI (1936-52) | Elizabeth II (1952- )
The House of Windsor began with George V during WWI. Since all of the royal families of Europe were related, George V was a cousin to the royal leaders of Germany and Russia. He was the second born son to Queen Victoria. His father passed down to him a German surname. As a public relations move, George V decided to use the family name of Windsor to make his family sound more English during this tumultuous time. His daughter, Queen Elizabeth II chose to keep her maiden name and keep all of her descendents under the House of Windsor.