What is Prince William's Surname? Unveiling the Mystery Behind the Royal Family's Last Name

What is Prince William’s Surname? Unveiling the Mystery Behind the Royal Family’s Last Name

What is Prince William’s Surname?

Unveiling the Mystery Behind the Royal Family’s Last Name

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, is one of the most prominent members of the British Royal Family. As a member of the royal lineage, it is natural to wonder about his surname. However, the answer to this question is not as straightforward as one might think.

The Royal Family’s Tradition

The British Royal Family has a long-standing tradition regarding surnames. Historically, they did not use surnames, as monarchs and their families were known by their titles and territories. For example, Queen Elizabeth II is simply known as “Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor.”

However, this tradition started to change during the reign of Queen Victoria when the need for a surname became apparent in certain circumstances.

The House of Windsor

In 1917, Queen Victoria’s grandson, King George V, made a historic decision that would shape the future of the royal surname. Amid growing anti-German sentiment during World War I, he changed the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the House of Windsor, after the family’s historic castle.

This change aimed to establish a more English and patriotic identity for the royal family. The surname “Windsor” was chosen to reflect their association with Windsor Castle.


While “Windsor” became the official surname, it was later modified to “Mountbatten-Windsor” to recognize Prince Philip’s contributions and lineage. Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II, was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark.

The decision to include “Mountbatten” in the surname was made as a tribute to Prince Philip’s maternal family name, Mountbatten.

Prince William’s Use of Surnames

Despite having the official surname as “Mountbatten-Windsor,” Prince William and his brother, Prince Harry, have used different variations of their surnames in their military careers and personal lives.

During his military service, Prince William used the surname “Wales” as a reference to his father’s title, the Prince of Wales. This practice is common among members of the royal family, who often use their father’s title as a surname.

After marrying Catherine Middleton and becoming the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William has been commonly referred to as “Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.” This title is often used in official royal documents and announcements.


The mystery behind Prince William’s surname is not easily deciphered. While the official royal surname is “Mountbatten-Windsor,” Prince William has used different variations, including “Wales” and “Duke of Cambridge,” depending on the context and his role at the time.

Understanding the complexities of the British Royal Family’s last name requires delving into historical traditions, royal titles, and personal choices. By uncovering the background and significance of Prince William’s use of surnames, we gain a deeper understanding of the intricacies of the royal lineage.


1. What is the surname of Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge?

Prince William’s surname is Mountbatten-Windsor.

2. Why is the surname of Prince William different from the rest of the British Royal Family?

The surname Mountbatten-Windsor was created in 1960 to combine the surnames of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and Queen Elizabeth II.

3. What was the previous surname used by the British Royal Family?

Before the creation of the Mountbatten-Windsor surname, members of the British Royal Family did not typically use a surname. They have historically been known by their titles and the name of the house or dynasty they belonged to.

4. What prompted the British Royal Family to adopt a surname?

The need for a surname arose during World War I when anti-German sentiment in Britain led King George V to change the name of the royal house from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the House of Windsor.

5. What is the significance of the Mountbatten-Windsor surname?

The Mountbatten-Windsor surname incorporates both the name of Prince Philip’s family, Mountbatten, and the name of Queen Elizabeth II’s family, Windsor. It symbolizes their marriage and the merging of their respective lineages.

6. Are members of the British Royal Family required to use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor?

No, members of the British Royal Family are not required to use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor. They have the option to use their titles or the name of their royal house if they choose.

7. Is Prince William commonly referred to as Prince William Mountbatten-Windsor?

No, Prince William is more commonly referred to as Prince William of Wales or the Duke of Cambridge. The use of the Mountbatten-Windsor surname is not as common for everyday reference.

8. How is Prince William’s wife, Catherine Middleton, addressed in terms of surname?

Catherine Middleton is commonly referred to as the Duchess of Cambridge or simply as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. She does not use the Mountbatten-Windsor surname.

9. Do Prince William’s children use the Mountbatten-Windsor surname?

In official situations, Prince William’s children, such as Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, can use the Mountbatten-Windsor surname if needed. However, they are often referred to by their princely titles.

10. How does the use of surnames differ between the British Royal Family and the general public?

In contrast to the general public, where surnames are an essential part of identification, the British Royal Family primarily relies on titles and the names of their royal houses to distinguish themselves. The use of surnames is more flexible and optional within the royal context.