Prince Philip, 99, and Queen Elizabeth II, 94, married in 1947 when the Second World War was still very much alive in the minds of the British public. The view was taken by the palace at the time that it would have been ill-received if the Duke passed on his Germanic Mountbatten surname to his offspring when Prince Charles was born in 1948.
In her book, My Husband and I: The Inside Story of 70 Years of the Royal Marriage, royal expert and author Ingrid Seward describes Philip’s hurt reaction.
The heartbroken Duke was reported to have said at the time: “I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his children.
“I’m nothing but a bloody amoeba.”
Another royal expert has described the row around the Duke’s surname as “the long-running sore between the Queen and Philip.”
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The book continues: “The title of The House and Family of Windsor would remain in place, but, with the arrival of any grandchildren whose position in the line of succession was low enough not to entitle them to be called ‘Royal Highness,’ their surname would be registered as Mountbatten-Windsor.
Mr Irving goes on to explain how the matter of the Mountbatten-Windsor name continues to cause confusion among royal fans.
Following the birth of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s first child Archie on May 6, 2019, he was registered on his birth certificate as Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
Mr Irving writes that the Queen and Philip’s eldest daughter Princess Anne made a similar decision in regards to her children.”
The author goes on: “Thus it was that when Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, gave birth to a son in 2019, his name was promulgated as Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, which so flummoxed a lot of people that the whole history had to be explained.
“However, the compromise agreement had been flouted much earlier when Princess Anne married Captain Mark Phillips in 1973 and she signed the register as Mountbatten-Windsor.
“She had, apparently, willingly yielded to pressure to do this from Uncle Dickie and his well-trained accomplice Prince Charles.”
The Last Queen is due to be published on January 5, 2021.