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Mountbatten is the family name adopted by two branches of the Battenberg family due to rising anti-German sentiment among the British public during World War I. On 14 July 1917, Prince Louis of Battenberg ("Prince Louis I") assumed the surname Mountbatten (having rejected an alternative translation, "Battenhill") for himself and his descendants, and was created Marquess of Milford Haven.Duffy, Michael. "Who's Who: Prince Louis of Battenberg." 6 Mar. 2004. Prince Louis of Battenberg Biography. First World Retrieved on 16 July 2007 The name is an Anglicisation of the German Battenbergmarker, a small town in Hessemarker.

Current Holder of the Marquessate

The current head of the Mountbatten family is George Mountbatten, 4th Marquess of Milford Haven, Prince Louis I's great-grandson, who was born in Londonmarker on 6 June, 1961.Lundy, Darryl. “” 15 May 2006. George Ivar Louis Mountbatten, 4th Marquess of Milford. Retrieved on 16 July 2007. He has a son named Henry, born in 1991.Lundy, Darryl. “” 10 May 2003. Henry Mountbatten, Earl of Medina. Retrieved on 16 July 2007.

Notable Mountbattens

The sons of Princess Beatrice and Louis's brother, Prince Henry of BattenbergPrince Alexander and Prince Leopold — also took the new surname, with Alexander being made Marquess of Carisbrooke.Mills, T.F. “Land Forces of Britain.” 25 Sept. 2004. H.R.H. Prince Alexander, Marquess of Carisbrooke. Retrieved on 16 July 2007.

Prince Henry of Battenberg's eldest daughter, Carisbrooke's sister, Queen Ena of Spain, never assumed the English form, however.Mills, T.F. “Land Forces of Britain.” 1 July 2003. H.M. Ena Queen of Spain. Retrieved on 16 July 2007.

The best-known of Prince Louis I's descendants were his youngest son, Admiral Prince Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, and the former's grandson, son of Louis's daughter Princess Alice of Battenberg: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who is now husband of Queen Elizabeth II.“H.R.H. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.” Members of the Royal Family. The Royal Family. Retrieved on 16 July 2007.

Prior to his marriage in 1882, Prince Louis I had an affair with the actress Lillie Langtry and it is thought that he was the father of Jeanne Marie Langtry, born some months later.

The Royal Mountbattens

In 1952, on the accession of Queen Elizabeth, there was a belief that certain members of the Mountbatten family wished to change the name of the Windsor dynasty to Mountbatten. Queen Mary (the new Queen's grandmother) expressed her aversion to this idea to the then Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Queen Mary's objection was partly based on the fact that Prince Philip was in fact a Prince of Greece and Denmark by birth, the son of Prince Andrew of Greece, and only descended from the Battenberg family through his mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg.“50 Facts about the Duke of Edinburgh.” The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. The Royal Family. Retrieved on 16 July 2007. He was a member of the royal house of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. Prince Philip had only taken the more "English-sounding" surname of Mountbatten, a translation of his mother's original German name, when joining the Royal Navy, on the advice of his ambitious uncle, Earl Mountbatten.Buyers, Christopher. Mills, T.F. “Land Forces of Britain.” 2 Mar. 2006. H.R.H. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Retrieved on 16 July 2007. Queen Mary was also of the generation which considered a morganatic surname—the Battenberg family is a morganatic branch of the House of Hesse-Darmstadt—to carry some stigma, and therefore did not want it to be the name of the British Royal House. Her attitude may have been influenced by her own origins; although Queen Mary's mother was a British royal princess, her father, Francis, Duke of Teck, was the child of a morganatic marriage, and for most of his life carried only the honorific Serene Highness. As such, he was considered somewhat declassé by strict royalists, something that may have rankled Queen Mary to some degree.

Winston Churchill raised the matter in Parliamentmarker where it was decided that the name of the Royal House would remain Windsor, as decreed in perpetuity by Queen Mary's husband George V.

However, under an ambiguously-worded Order-in-Council issued in 1960, the name Mountbatten-Windsor is apparently the personal surname of some of the descendants of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. It differs from the official name of the British Royal Family or Royal House, which remains Windsor.“Kings and Queens of the United Kingdom.” The House of Windsor. The Royal Family. Retrieved on 16 July 2007.

The change of surname does not apply to members of the royal family not descended from Prince Philip—the Dukes of GloucesterBuyers, Christopher. Mills, T.F. “Land Forces of Britain.” 3 Mar. 2006. H.R.H. Richard Duke of Gloucester. Retrieved on 18 July 2007. and Kent,Buyers, Christopher. Mills, T.F. “Land Forces of Britain.” 5 July 2003. H.R.H. Prince George, Duke of Kent. Retrieved on 18 July 2007. for example.

The Order specifically applies to those descendants of the Queen and Prince Philip not holding Royal styles and titles (the children of Prince Edward, for example) but in practice it is used by all, as exemplified at the marriages of the Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal, when both used Mountbatten-Windsor in their entries in the marriage registers."In Memory Of Diana Frances (Princess of Wales) Mountbatten-Windsor." Online Tribute. The Eternal Portal. Retrieved on 18 July 2007.

See also


  1. Hough, p.317

External links

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