The House Of Windsor
A Short Primer
The House Of Windsor in 5 Minutes or Less
The House of Windsor, the name of the twentieth-century royal family of Great Britain, originated with Prince Albert (1819–1861), the husband of Queen Victoria (1819–1901). Albert was the son of Ernest I, the duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha; the family name was Wettin, and they lived in present-day Germany. Victoria and Albert had nine children; their oldest son, Albert Edward (1841–1910), became king upon Victoria's death in 1901. He established the House of Saxe-Coburg, which was named for his father. Albert Edward reigned for only nine years, until his death in 1910. His son, George V (1865–1936), then ascended the throne. George was king during World War I (1914–18), a conflict in which Great Britain and its allies fought against Germany and the Central Powers. In 1917 George renounced his ties to Germany, rejecting the family name and establishing the House of Windsor.
George V was the first ruling member of the House of Windsor. His son, Edward VIII (1894–1972), abdicated the throne in 1936 so he could marry American heiress and divorcee Wallis Simpson (1896–1986). Edward's brother George VI (1895–1952) then became king and worked during World War II (1939–45) to keep up the morale of the British people. When George VI died in 1952 his eldest daughter, Elizabeth II (1926– ), took the throne and still reigns today. Elizabeth proclaimed that she and all her descendants who bear the title prince or princess are to be known as Windsor.