King George V
Reigned January-December 1936
Abdicated. Never crowned.
King George VI
Reigned Before the Windsors:
King Edward VII (reigned 1901-1910)
The Hanoverians (reigned 1714-1901)
More British Royal Dynasties
More About the Windsors
Prince William & Prince Harry
About the Name Windsor
The royal family has little use for last names - after all, everyone knows who they are. Princess Diana did not take back her maiden name, Spencer, after her divorce; she continued to be known simply as Diana. The king signs official documents "Charles R." The R stands for Rex, which means "king." (Rex is not one of his given names; he was baptised Charles Philip Arthur George.)
But the royal family does have a last name, and they do use it from time to time. This wasn't always the case. Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, was a member of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, so her descendants were part of that dynasty. This, however, was not the family's last name. They didn't have one, because they didn't need one, so they didn't worry about it. Experts later worried about it for them and decided their name was probably Witten (or maybe even Wipper).
The royal family's official name, or lack thereof, became a problem during World War I, when people began to mutter that Saxe-Coburg-Gotha sounded far too German. King George V and his family needed a new, English-sounding name. After considering everything from Plantagenet to Tudor-Stuart to simply England, the king and his advisors chose the name Windsor.
To this day, the British royal family is known as the House of Windsor. When Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) served as a subaltern in the Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II, she was called Elizabeth Windsor. Elizabeth married Prince Philip of Greece, whose family name was Mountbatten, and eventually she decreed that most of her descendants would be called Mountbatten-Windsor. Princess Anne used this name in 1973 when she married Captain Mark Phillips.
However, according to statements made by the queen, it appears that Windsor is still the official family name for any British royal who is styled Royal Highness. The queen's youngest son, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, has used the name Edward Windsor professionally. His wife, the Countess of Wessex, has been known professionally as Sophie Wessex.
The Order of Succession
Previously, males took precedence over their older sisters in the line of succession. The Succession to the Crown Act 2013 has given royal daughters the right to inherit the throne before their younger brothers. The previous line of succession has not been altered, however, meaning that Queen Elizabeth's younger sons, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, (and their children) continue to rank ahead of their older sister, Princess Anne, in the line of succession.
The current order of succession
Prince William, Prince of Wales
Catholics and the Act of Settlement
The 1701 Act of Settlement made it illegal for a Roman Catholic, or anyone married to a Roman Catholic, to inherit the throne. The Succession to the Crown Act 2013 removed the disqualification for those who marry Roman Catholics, but Roman Catholics still cannot succeed to the throne.
The royal family uses, but does not own, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, St James's Palace, Hampton Court, Windsor Castle and other residences. Balmoral and Sandringham are the king's personal property.
Unless otherwise noted, these books are for sale at Amazon.com. Your purchase through these links will result in a commission for the owner of the Royalty.nu site.
Book categories: The Royal Family, Photos, British Royalty, Religion, Constitution, Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince of Wales, Diana, William & Harry, Kate Middleton, Princess Anne, Zara, Edward & Sophie, Fergie, Princess Margaret, Lord Snowdon, George V, Mary of Teck, Queen Mother, Edward VII, George VI, Edward VIII, The Kents, Mountbattens, Others, Royal Collectibles, Royal Scandal, Media & Monarchy, British History, Genealogy, Royal Travel, Castles & Palaces, Art, Recipes,Would-Be Royals, Miscellaneous, Collectibles, Fiction, DVDs, Royalty Magazines
The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor - the Truth and the Turmoil by Tina Brown. About 21st century royal crises, including tension between William and Harry, the downfall of Prince Andrew, and the departure of Harry and Meghan.
Not in Front of the Corgis: Secrets of Life Behind the Royal Curtains by Brian Hoey. What does the Queen watch on TV? Why doesn't she have a driving license? This book answers thousands of questions about what happens in the royal family away from the spotlight.
Royalty Revealed: A Majestic Miscellany by Brian Hoey. What does Queen Elizabeth like to receive as a gift? What are the duties of a royal valet? This is a collection of facts about the British royal family. (Updated version; originally published as We Are Amused.)
A Brief History of the House of Windsor: The Making of a Modern Monarchy by Michael Paterson. A look at the modern British royal family from King George V to Queen Elizabeth II.
The Firm: The Troubled Life of the House of Windsor by Penny Junor. This book promises an in-depth look at how the royal family really operates and how they behave behind closed doors.
On Duty with the Queen: My Time as a Buckingham Palace Press Officer by Dickie Arbiter. From escorting Prince Charles on far-flung trips to becoming one of Princess Diana's most trusted confidantes, Dickie Arbiter was catapulted into the media circus surrounding the world's most famous family.
Royal Family: Years of Transition by Theo Aronson. A study of the Windsor dynasty, both its major and minor members, during the 20th century.
Inheritance: A Psychological History of the Royal Family by Dennis Friedman. Updated edition. Traces the many problems of the royal family, from Queen Victoria's nursery to the rigid and traditional upbringing which awaits Prince George.
The Royal Family Operations Manual by Robert Jobson. Looks behind the scenes at the Windsors, their family tree, personalities, residences, annual engagements, and more.
Bright Young Royals: Your Guide to the Next Generation of Blue Bloods by Jerramy Fine. A guide to single royals: who they are, where to find them, "how to win their hearts." Published in 2011.
The Regal Rules For Girls by Jerramy Fine. How to move to London, dress like Kate Middleton, and behave at Royal Ascot. With English etiquette and lists of the best places to meet eligible Englishmen.
Game of Crowns: Elizabeth, Camilla, Kate, and the Throne by Christopher Andersen. This book promises to reveal the relationships and rivalries of Queen Elizabeth, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duchess of Cambridge.
The Women of Windsor: Their Power, Privilege & Passions by Catherine Whitney. Examines the lives of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret, and Princess Anne.
Wives of the Kings of England: From Hanover to Windsor by Mark Hichens. Discusses Queen Alexandra, Queen Mary, the Duchess of Windsor, the Queen Mother, and others.
The British Monarchy for Dummies by Philip Wilkinson. Explains the origins of the monarchy, how it works, what the royals do all day, and more.
Britain's Royal Heritage: An A to Z of the Monarchy by Mark Alexander. Contains more than 2,000 entries on topics such as Maundy Money and the Coronation Ceremony.
On Royalty: A Very Polite Inquiry Into Some Strangely Related Families by Jeremy Paxman. With a mixture of popular history, direct reportage, and funny anecdotes, the author examines how the role of Britain's head of state has changed over the years.
This Is a Book for People Who Love the Royals by Rebecca Stoeker. Uncover answers to common questions: how royal titles work, who is in the line of succession, and why the guards at Buckingham Palace never smile.
The Book of Royal Useless Information by Noel Botham and Bruce Montague. A "funny and irreverent" look at British royalty, past and present.
Royal Trivia: Your Guide to the Modern British Royal Family by Rachel Bowie and Roberta Fiorito. The authors are the hosts of the Royally Obsessed podcast.
Confessions of a Fake Sheik: "The King of the Sting" Reveals All by Mazher Mahmood. A journalist who poses as a wealthy sheikh talks about his encounters with famous people, including royals.
Modern Monarchy: The British Royal Family Today by Chris Jackson. Royal photographer Chris Jackson reveals the magic and logistics of documenting the royal family. Photos are organized by theme, from state occasions (including the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle) to charity works and a typical year in the Royal Diary.
Informally Royal: Studio Lisa and the Royal Family by Rodney Laredo. A chance meeting in 1936 led two amateur photographers to an unlikely friendship with the British royal family that spanned over 30 years.
A Century of Royalty by Ed West. Photos of British royalty in the 20th century.
Royal Encounters by Paul Ratcliffe. The author shares his photographs of the royal family at social engagements and walkabouts, as well as his personal conversations with royals, including Princess Diana.
The Queen's Year: A Souvenir Album by David Oakey. A season-by-season guide to the Queen's busy year, illuminating the traditions behind many royal events. Illustrated with new photos.
God Save the Queen: The Spiritual Heart of the Monarchy by Ian Bradley. Explores the spiritual dimension of monarchy in historical and contemporary times, and the debate on the future of the British monarchy. Diamond Jubilee edition.
Monarchy, Religion and the State: Civil Religion in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and the Commonwealth by Norman Bonney. Argues that the next succession to the throne will require major national debates about traditional rituals which require professions of Protestantism by the new monarch.
Down With the Crown by Antony Taylor. British anti-monarchism and debates about royalty since 1790.
The Monarchy and the Constitution by Vernon Bogdanor. English constitutional history and theory. The author makes a case for the positive role that monarchy plays in modern democratic politics.
King and Country: Monarchy and the Future of King Charles III by Robert Blackburn. Unravels the tangled relationship between crown and state in Great Britain, examining how a monarchy can work in a democracy, the political powers of a British monarch and the nature of the royal prerogative, the case for republicanism, and the future of the monarchy.
The Enchanted Glass: Britain and Its Monarchy by Tom Nairn. A "powerful, analytical, and bitterly funny book" look at Britain's fixation on the Crown and its constitutional framework.
The Nature of the Crown: A Legal and Political Analysis edited by Maurice Sunkin and Sebastian Payne. Essays about the monarchy and constitutional law in Great Britain.
The Executive in the Constitution: Structure, Autonomy, and Internal Control by Alan Page and Terence Daintith.
Monarchy and the End of Empire: The House of Windsor, the British Government, and the Postwar Commonwealth by Philip Murphy. Argues that the monarchy's relationship with the Commonwealth became an impediment to British foreign policy.
The Royal Prerogative and Constitutional Law: A Search for the Quintessence of Executive Power by Noel Cox. Examines the royal prerogative's history and application in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The Rise, Decline and Future of the British Commonwealth by Krishnan Srinivasan. Am exploration of the British Commonwealth and its impact on a world without Empire.
Viceregalism: The Crown as Head of State in Political Crises in the Postwar Commonwealth edited by H. Kumarasingham. Includes chapters on Malaysia, Brunei, Ghana, Nigeria, Australia, the Commonwealth Caribbean, and more.
George V: Never a Dull Moment by Jane Ridley. Detailed biography of the British king who faced a constitutional crisis, the First World War, and the fall of 13 European monarchies.
George V by Kenneth Rose. Biography of the British king, who lived 1865-1936. This book, winner of the Whitbread Prize, draws on letters and diaries of the royal family, intimates, and social observers of the time.
Darling Georgie; The Enigma of King George V by Dennis Friedman. The author of this biography suggests that George V's troubled relationship with his parents caused him to suffer extreme separation anxiety. His time in the Navy, sexual development, and years on the throne are also scrutinized.
George V: The Unexpected King by David Cannadine. For a man with conventional tastes and views, George V had a revolutionary impact, inventing the modern monarchy, with its emphasis on family values and duty.
Queen Mary by James Pope-Hennessy. Official biography of May of Teck, wife of King George V. Tells the story of her impoverished childhood, her very significant reign, and her old age as the much-admired Queen Dowager.
The Quest for Queen Mary by James Pope-Hennessy, edited by Hugo Vickers. Some of the notes for the official biography of George V's wife, Mary of Teck, were kept private for 50 years. Now published in full for the first time, this is a portrait of the eccentric aristocracy of a bygone age.
Matriarch: Queen Mary and the House of Windsor by Anne Edwards. Biography of Princess May of Teck. Born into a family of impoverished nobility, she became queen, mother of two kings, and a symbol of British majesty.
The Summer Queen by Margaret Pemberton. Historical fiction. In 1879, Mary of Teck meets Nicky, heir to the Russian throne, and Willy, future kaiser of Germany. Her life will never be the same.
Mary, Princess Royal, Countess of Harewood
Princess Mary: The First Modern Princess by Elisabeth Basford. Biography of King George V's only daughter, aunt of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Royal Nanny: A Novel by Karen Harper. In April of 1897, a young nanny arrives at Sandringham to care for the children of future king George V as their parents never could.
The Lost Prince by Stephen Poliakoff. Screenplay of a British TV movie about Prince John, the epileptic son of King George V, who was shut away at age 12 to save the royal family from embarrassment. Includes a 70-page factual introduction. The movie is available on DVD.
A Royal Life by HRH the Duke of Kent and Hugo Vickers. Based on conversations Queen Elizabeth II's first cousin, who witnessed key events in her reign.
Katharine: A Biography of Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent by Valerie Garner. The Duke of Kent is a grandson of King George V. This is a biography of his wife, who is said to have been coldly treated by the royal family. Sometimes available from Amazon.
The Serpent and the Moon: Two Rivals for the Love of a Renaissance King by Princess Michael of Kent. About French king Henry II.
Crowned in a Far Country: Portraits of Eight Royal Brides by Princess Michael of Kent. The stories behind the dynastic and political marriages of 18th and 19th century European princesses.
Cupid and the King by Princess Michael of Kent. Looks at the lives of five royal mistresses: Diane De Poitiers, Nell Gwyn, Madame de Pompadour, Marie Walewska, and Lola Montez.
The Queen of Four Kingdoms by Princess Michael of Kent. Historical fiction. At the age of 19, Yolande, daughter of a 15th century king of Aragon, marries Duke Louis II of Anjou, cousin of the King of France. She becomes her husband's regent and the saviour of France. (Book one of the Anjou trilogy.)
Agnès Sorel: Mistress of Beauty by Princess Michael of Kent. Tells the story of Agnes Sorel, official mistress of King Charles VII of France. This is the second book of the princess's Anjou trilogy.
Quicksilver: A Novel by Princess Michael of Kent. The final book of the Anjou trilogy is about merchant Jacques Coeur, who becomes trusted confidante of the Anjou royal family, particularly Yolande, Queen of the Four Kingdoms, and royal mistress Agnes Sorel.
Mountbatten: The Official Biography by Philip Ziegler. A biography of Lord Louis Mountbatten, the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, who was a great-grandson of Queen Victoria, and Prince Charles's great uncle and close friend.
The Mountbattens: The Lives and Loves of Dickie and Edwina Mountbatten by Andrew Lownie. A descendant of Queen Victoria, Louis Mountbatten helped promote his nephew Philip's marriage to Queen Elizabeth II. His wife, a wealthy playgirl, became a humanitarian.
Daughter of Empire: My Life as a Mountbatten by Pamela Hicks. The author, daughter of Lord Mountbatten, grew up in England and India, was a bridesmaid in Princess Elizabeth's wedding to Prince Philip, and was a lady-in-waiting at the princess's side when she learned her father had died and she was queen.
Alice: Princess Andrew of Greece by Hugo Vickers. About the mother of Queen Elizabeth II's husband, Prince Philip. Born deaf, Princess Alice led a dramatic, often tragic life, and ended her days as a nun.
Books About Prince Charles
Scandals of the Royal Palaces: An Intimate Memoir of Royals Behaving Badly by Tom Quinn. An in-depth look at the outrageous behaviour of the royals, palace officials, courtiers, household servants, and hangers-on.
The Royals by Kitty Kelley. An unflattering but very interesting look at the current royal family. First published in 1997.
The Family Firm: Monarchy, Mass Media and the British Public, 1932-53 by Edward Owens. An analysis of the transformation of the royal household's public relations strategy, beginning with King George V's first Christmas broadcast.
The Quest for Albion: Monarchy and the Patronage of British Painting by Christopher Lloyd is an anthology of British paintings in the Royal Collection.
Royal Treasures: A Golden Jubilee Celebration edited by Jane Roberts. Specially commissioned photographs and detailed histories of the very best items in Britain's Royal Collection, including paintings and drawings by great masters; works of art by Fabergé and others; fine furniture, ceramics, sculpture, armor, and more. 450 color illustrations and photographs.
Unfolding Pictures: Fans in the Royal Collection by Jane Roberts, Prudence Sutcliffe, Susan Mayor. This lavishly illustrated book presents the most beautiful and historically interesting fans in the Royal Collection, along with the stories of their creation and biographical information on their owners.
Faberge in the Royal Collection by Caroline De Guitaut. A definitive guide to the British royal family's Faberge collection. Explains in detail the formation of the collection and the tastes of the principal royal collectors. 220 illustrations, 200 in color.
The Royal Train: The Inside Story by Brian Hoey. Examines every aspect of the royals' favorite form of transport, including the costs, refreshments, and the décor in the Queen's personal saloon.
Royal Tourism: Excursions Around Monarchy edited by Philip Long and Nicola J. Palmer. Explores the relationship between royalty and tourism past, present and future. (Not a travel guide.)
Eating Royally: Recipes & Remembrances From a Palace Kitchen by Darren McGrady. The author, who was Princess Diana's personal chef, shares recipes he served the royals. The book includes personal notes, photos, and memorabilia.
A Royal Cookbook: Seasonal Recipes From Buckingham Palace by Mark Flanagan and Edward Griffiths. Recipes accompanied by tips on presentation and entertaining from Deputy Master of the Royal Household Edward Griffiths. Includes illustrations and explanations of the tableware, floral arrangements, and other decorative items.
Tea Fit for a Queen: Recipes & Drinks for Afternoon Tea by Historic Royal Palaces. Stories and anecdotes, and more than 40 recipes, including finger sandwiches and Victoria sponge cake.
Chocolate Fit for a Queen: Delectable Chocolate Recipes From the Royal Courts to the Present Day by Historic Royal Palaces. With more than 35 recipes, with anecdotes about royals and chocolate.
The Royal Touch: Simply Stunning Home Cooking from a Royal Chef by Carolyn Robb. Recipes from a former personal chef to Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry.
Tea at the Palace: A Cookbook by Carolyn Robb. Offers 50 afternoon tea recipes.
Royal Teas: Seasonal Recipes from Buckingham Palace by Mark Flanagan. A British royal chef shares recipes for tea-time treats, including sweet and savory pastries, cookies, and show-stopping cakes.
Someday My Prince Will Come: True Adventures of a Wannabe Princess by Jerramy Fine. The author spent her childhood writing love-letters to Princess Anne's son, Peter Phillips. Years later she moved to London, but life there wasn't the Hugh Grant movie she hoped it would be.
Pets by Royal Appointment: The Royal Family and Their Animals by Brian Hoey. Cats, dogs, horses, even parrots have acted as faithful companions to the British royal family for generations. This book offers details and anecdotes about favorite royal pets past and present.
People of Colour and the Royals by Lady Colin Campbell. This book is described by its publisher as illuminating and hopeful, and full of welcome surprises.
Literature and the Monarchy by Ewa Panecka. The traditional and modern concept of the office of Poet Laureate of England.
HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style by Elizabeth Holmes. A look at the fashion and branding of Elizabeth II, Princess Diana, the Duchess of Cambridge, and the Duchess of Sussex. Includes hundreds of photos.
Freddy and Fredericka by Mark Helprin. Humorous story about a fictional Prince and Princess of Wales who travel across the United States: riding freight trains, washing dishes, stealing art, fighting forest fires, and becoming enmeshed in a presidential campaign.
Blood Royal by Harold Robbins. Novel about a (fictional) modern Princess of Wales who shoots and kills her husband.
The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright. A young woman falls for a boy who turns out to be second in line to the British throne.
The Royal Factor by David Eckhoff. The Prime Minister replaces Britain's royal family with winners of a rigged reality show. Available for Kindle only.
These DVDs are formatted for North American audiences.
Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work. 2007 television series follows the royals through a year that includes over 4,000 official engagements, including the State Opening of Parliament and the Queen's tour of the United States. The two-DVD set includes 30 minutes of previously unseen footage.
Windsor Castle: A Royal Year. TV series produced for the BBC. For the first time ever, cameras go behind the scenes at Windsor Castle for a glimpse at life above and below stairs. Meet the Queen's housekeeper, grooms, fendersmiths, and military knights. Accompany Prince Philip as he tours the grounds. Includes over two hours not seen on the PBS broadcast, including exclusive new footage of the wedding of Charles and Camilla.
The Last Royals. Can kings and queens survive the challenges of the 21st century? This television documentary from National Geographic compares the British royal family with three other current royal families.
The Lost Prince. TV movie about George V's son Prince John, who was hidden from the world because he had epilepsy.
Edward and Sophie: A Royal Celebration. This 1999 BBC-produced video features a half hour interview with the royal couple, followed by over an hour of wedding coverage. Sometimes available at Amazon.