The Royal Baby and the Mountbattens

His Royal Highness the Prince of Cambridge does not necessarily have to have a family name. It is assumed he will not have to show a passport at any border. But suppose he did, what would it be? Windsor? Perhaps. George V adopted Windsor as the family name in 1917. What was it before? Hanover. His grandfather, Victoria’s father, was the Duke of Kent, a son of the Hanoverian George III.

What about Mountbatten? Perhaps, because when George VI granted Philip permission to marry his daughter, Elizabeth, Philip adopted the surname Mountbatten from his British maternal grandparents. At birth, Philip was a member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg – not exactly a very suitable surname for the new baby.

Before 1917, Mountbatten had been Battenberg. In 1917, Prince Philip’s maternal grandfather, Prince Louis of Battenberg First Sea Lord, who had married a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, assumed the surname Mountbatten, having rejected an alternative translation, “Battenhill”.

Princess Alice and Prince PhilipA good case can be made for Mountbatten, even though the new baby owes his relationship to the Mountbattens not to any male line, but to Prince Philip’s highly unusual mother, Princess Alice (1885–1969), Prince Louis’ daughter, and mother-in-law of the Queen.

Alice was congenitally deaf. She grew up in Germany, England and the Mediterranean. After marrying Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark in 1903, she lived in Greece until 1917 when the royal family was exiled. On returning to Greece a few years later, her husband was once again forced into exile.

In 1930, she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and committed to a sanatorium. After her recovery, two years later, she devoted most of her remaining years to charity work in Greece. She stayed in Athens during WWII, sheltering Jewish refugees, for which she is recognized as “Righteous Among the Nations” at Vad Yashem. After the war, she stayed in Greece and founded an Orthodox nursing order of nuns known as the Christian Sisterhood of Martha and Mary.

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From Daily Mail Online, July 21:

…They arrived in Paris as refugees, living on handouts from relatives. The strain took its toll on Alice, and her impassioned religious beliefs became steadily more eccentric.

By 1930 she was hearing voices and believed she was having physical relationships with Jesus and other religious figures.

She was diagnosed as schizophrenic, and when treatment in a Berlin clinic failed – on the advice of Sigmund Freud, her womb was blasted with X-rays to cure her of frustrated sexual desires – she was admitted to a Swiss sanatorium….

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2 responses to “The Royal Baby and the Mountbattens

  1. According to the Official Website of the British Monarchy, the grandchildren of the current Prince of Wales may use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor, on occasions when a surname is needed.

  2. Michael Gundy

    Come on, lets have truth as advertised, the little HRH is Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, all else is smoke and mirrors.

    Thanks for the background on Princess Alice, very interesting.