Prince Charles forced to renounce duke titles because of his great-grandfather

Prince Charles was forced to renounce his duke titles because of his great-grandfather King George V when the Royal Family decided to use the Windsor surname.

The Prince of Wales had to give up a set of ducal titles because of King George V's decision.

The former King of England made the heartbreaking decision after 18 children were killed in World War 1.

In a bid to show his support to the British public after the children were killed in an air raid he decided to change the Royal Family name to the House of Windsor.

King George V renounced the name of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and stripped all his relatives of German titles and honours in solidarity with the people.

Letters patents issued since 1841 show all first-born sons of the sovereign received the titles of Duke of Saxony and Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in addition to the style of Prince of Wales.

The titles were the result of Queen Victoria marrying Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, a member of the German ducal house of Saxony, reports Express.

But royal commentator Lydia Starbuck said George V gave up the title for himself and all his descendants when he agreed to take on the more British-sounding surname of Windsor in 1917.

The Royal Central expert said: "There was one big problem for the ruling dynasty.

"People liked them, they could see they were working hard, they could see their commitment to the people.

"But they were called Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, a German name and the enemy of Britain in the First World War was Germany.

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"The German origins of George's family, of Queen Mary's family, she was Mary of Teck, began to become too problematic to ignore as the conflict came to its apogee.

"In 1917, George took the decision to renounce all his German titles, and of his relatives and to change the name of his ruling house. It was just too German to survive."

The last member of the Royal Family to hold the titles of Duke of Saxony and Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was Prince Charles's great-uncle, King Edward VIII, who was invested as Prince of Wales in 1911.

Most members of the family were stripped of their German titles and received British ones instead, as did Queen Mary's brother, Duke Adolphus of Teck, who became the 1st Marquis of Cambridge.

Prince Charles's paternal grandmother, Princess Alice of Greece and Denmark, was born Princess Alice of Battenberg but her whole family later anglicised the surname to Mountbatten.

Despite the loss of German titles, Prince Charles received a swathe of British honours when he was invested as Prince of Wales in 1969.

Charles also holds the title of Duke of Cornwall, which is commonly linked to his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

While in Scotland, the first in line to the throne is known as the Duke of Rothesay and as the Earl of Carrick when in Ireland.

Once King, Charles will also receive additional titles currently held by his mother, the Queen, including Duke of Normandy, Duke of Lancaster and Lord of Mann.

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