The Hanoverians, who were summoned in 1714 as the nearest protestant heirs, were related to the Stuarts and previous British dynasties through Sophia, electress of Hanover, mother of George I and granddaughter of James VI and I. The original family name was Guelph. They were often known as the Brunswick line since the correct name for Hanover was first Brunswick‐Calenberg‐Gottingen and then Brunswick‐Luneburg. The first six rulers, up to Edward VII, married Germans.
When war broke out in 1914 the German antecedents of the royal family were an embarrassment. Prince Louis Battenburg, 1st sea lord, was obliged to resign his post. In 1917 as a gesture of identification with the nation, George V declared that the family would be known in future as Windsor. The new image was perfect and well received, save for some ribaldry from the kaiser. Various alternatives had been mooted. Tudor was rejected because of the image of Henry VIII, FitzRoy as smacking of bastardy, Plantagenet as unintelligible, and Stuart as dispiriting.
Subjects: British History.