Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Trivia Week: Royal Trivia

Continuing a week of trivia . . . today, trivia about the Royals.

The Royal family does not have surnames

The British Royal Family do not use traditional surnames, they use surnames which represent their houses or dynasties. The first surname to be used was Saxe-Coburg-Gotha which was up to the year 1917. In 1917, King George V declared that all male descendants of Queen Victoria should use the surname “Windsor”. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillips also chose a new surname for the descendants in 1960 – Mountbatten-Windsor, with Prince Philips himself using Mountbatten as his surname. The only people who were exempted were those with the style of Prince, Princess or Royal Highness. The full name of Prince William, the son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana of Wales, is Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, while his brother Prince Harry is called Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales. 


The current queen is the longest serving British monarch

Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne in 1952 February, becoming the 40th monarch in the royal family. She became the longest-reigning British monarch on 9 September 2015 when she surpassed the reign of her great-great-grandmother Victoria, of 63 years 216 days.  Other monarchs who reigned for over fifty four years include King George III – 59 years, King James VI of Scotland – 58 years and King Henry III – 56 years. 


The British monarch never dies. Individual monarchs die, but the Sovereign, that is, the reigning Monarch, never dies. According to Royal rules and procedure, the moment one King or Queen dies, the next-in-line succeeds them immediately. Accordingly the Royal Standard (above) never flies at half-mast. However the Royal Standard can be flown at half-mast over a building or vessel (but not at Buckingham Palace) if the deceased body of the previous monarch is housed there, but only if the current monarch is also not in attendance at the same place.

When a man is king, his wife is queen, dilly dilly. However, despite equality, it doesn’t work the other way. When a woman is queen, her husband does not become king. In a marriage, a wife adopts her husband’s title and surname but a husband does not take his wife’s. In 1947, when Princess Elizabeth married Philip, he had the title of Duke of Edinburgh conferred upon him, otherwise he would have remained simply Philip Mountbatten. To marry Elizabeth in the Church of England, he also had to renounce his Greek titles and religion, hence he was no longer Prince Philip of Greece. Remember that the British monarch is Fidei Defensor and head of the Church of England, courtesy of Henry V111

65th wedding anniversary

For her wedding in 1947, the future Queen Elizabeth II ordered a cake decorated with figurines of her favourite activities. Though designers at McVitie & PRice spent more than five weeks making the nine-foot fruitcake guests ate only tier on the actual day. The remainder was given to schoolchildren to supplement strict postwar rations.

When she resides in London, the Queen meets with the Prime Minister every Tuesday. Throughout Her Majesty’s reign she has met with a whopping thirteen Prime Ministers including Winston Churchill back in 1951-55, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, David Cameron and the incumbent Therese May.


The Queen does not require a British passport because passports are issued in the name of Her Majesty, so if she was to need one she would issue it to herself.

Some Royal pics:

Nahh, they’re not real . . . but who's not to say that that might be what it's like in the Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales household.


  1. interesting stuff. particularly about the royal standard allowed at half mast in certain circumstances - where did you find that out? Is there a reference you could point me to? Cheers, great work.

  2. I don't recall where that was obtained from but this may assist:
    ". . . the reason for the furore over there being no flag at half-mast on Buckingham Palace at the time of Princess Diana's death was that the protocol and tradition at that time was that only the Royal Standard flew over the Palace, otherwise the flagpole remained empty. Since The Queen was absent there was no flag, which caused consternation in the press and accusations of a deliberate slight by the Royal Family. The protocol was subsequently changed so that a Union Flag now flies over Buckingham Palace when the Queen is absent and this can of course be half-masted when required. The Royal Standard is never half-masted since when one monarch dies another immediately assumes the role - The King is dead! Long live the King!"


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