CHANGE OF NAME 1917 - FAMILY - Battenberg to Mountbatten


Lord Alexander Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Carisbrooke GCV GCVO formerly HRH Prince of Battenberg
Member of the British Royal Family, 
Grandson of Queen Victoria and
nephew of King Edward VII


Burks Peerage and Barontage 1949

Lady Iris Mountbatten 
Member of the British Royal Family
born 13/01/1920 - 01/09/1982
Great granddaughter of Queen Victoria
daughter of Alexander Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of  Carisbrooke GCV GCVO 
second cousin of HM The Queen and first cousin to 
The Lord Louis Mountbatten

Lady Grace Mountbatten 
born 31/07/1946
Great Great granddaughter of Queen Victoria
first cousin once removed of 
HRH Prince Philip Mountbatten Duke of Edinburgh
great great grandson of Queen Victoria and
nephew of Lord Louis Mountbatten and also
husband of HM The Queen

'Lady Mountbatten' as a result of Family Change of Name by Royal Warrant
 14th July1917

Family Change of Name 14th July1917


Home Office, received 18 Jul 1917TO THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.   
The humble Petition of His Highness Prince Alexander Albert of Battenberg, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Knight of Justice of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem in England, Captain in the Army.


That Your Petitioner in accordance with Your Majesty's desire begs leave to relinquish the use of his style, title and attribute of "Highness" conferred upon him by Royal Warrant under thoe Sign Manual of Her late Majesty Queen Victoria, bearing date the fourth day of December One thousand eight hundred and eighty six, as one of the issue of His late Royal Highness Prince Henry Maurice of Battenberg and of Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore, to relinquish for himself and his issue the use of the style or title of "Prince" and all other states, degrees, dignities, titles, honours or appellations in the Grand Duchy of Hesse or German Empire to him or to them heretofore belonging, and the designation "of Battenberg".

That Your Majesty's Petitioner is also desirous of assuming the name Mountbatten as a surname and of obtaining Tour Majesty's Warrant and Authority to effect this purpose.

Your Petitioner therefore most humbly prays Tour Majesty's Royal Licence and Authority that he may
relinquish the use of the said style, title and attribute of "Highness", that he and his issue may relinquish the use of the style or title of "Prince" and all other states, degrees, dignities, titles, honours or appellations in the Grand Duchy of Hesse or German Empire to him or to them heretofore belonging, and the designation "of Battenberg", that Your Petitioner may take and use the surname Mountbatten and that such surname may be taken and used by his issue.

And Your Majesty's Petitioner will ever pray  &c.

Alexander of Battenberg


Lord Louis Mountbatten Family Change of Name
 by Royal Warrant
14th July1917 

Lord Louis Mountbatten
1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma

King George Change of Name to Windsor May 1917

Middlesex Heraldry Society newsletters

CHANGE OF NAME 14th July 1917

Members of the Royal Family can be known both by the name of the Royal House, and by a surname, which are not always the same. And often they do not use a surname at all. Before 1917, Members of  the British Royal Family had no surname, but only the name of their Royal House or Dynasty to which they belonged. Kings and Princes were historically known by the names of the Countries over which they and their families ruled. Kings and Queens therefore signed themselves by their first names only, a tradition in the United Kingdom which has continued to the present day. The names of Dynasties tended to change when the line of succession was taken by a rival faction within the family (for example, Henry IV and the Lancastrians, Edward IV and the Yorkists, Henry VII and the Tudors), or when succession passed to a different family branch through females (for example, Henry II and the Angevins, James I and the Stuarts, George I and the Hanoverians). Just as children can take their surnames from their Father, so sovereigns normally take the name of their Royal 'House' from their father. For this reason, Queen Victoria's eldest son Edward VII belonged to the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (the family name of his father Prince Albert). Edward VII's son George V became the second King of that Dynasty when he succeeded to the Throne in 1910. 

In May 1917, there was a radical change, when George V specifically adopted Windsor, not only as the name of the 'House' or Dynasty, but also as the surname of his family. The family name was changed as a result of anti-German feeling during the First World War, and the name Windsor was adopted after the Castle of the same name - 
At a meeting of the Privy Council on 17 July 1917, George V declared that 'all descendants in the male line of Queen Victoria, who are subjects of these realms, other than female descendants who marry or who have married, shall bear the name of Windsor'. 

My Family Change of Name 14th July 1917:-

Likewise as the Royal House of Windsor also changed the name of their House, so did Alexander, son of HRH Princess Beatrice of Battenberg Princess of the United Kingdom and of HRH Prince Henry of Battenberg, and his uncle Louis (Lord Louis Mountbatten's father) renounced 'His Royal Highness' and also 'Prince of Battenberg' and assumed the name MOUNTBATTEN. for themselves, their issue and to those belonging, by Royal Warrant.

1. Louis Alexander Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven - change name 14th July 1917 formerly HRH Prince Ludwig Alexander of Battenberg.  On 16th July 1917 he was created Marquess of Milford Haven by Letters of Patent.

(a) Lord Louis Mountbatten, - 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma - change of name 14th July 1917 as a result of his father Louis of Milford Haven change of name on 14th July 1917.

(b) Lord Louis Mountbatten's nephew HRH Prince Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh - change of name in 1947 to Mountbatten as a result Family Change of Name 14th July 1917 (see 1st Marquess of Milford Haven).

2. Alexander Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Carisbrooke- change name 14th July 1917. On 18th July 1917 he was created Marquess of Carisbrooke by Letters of Patent.

(a) Lady Iris Mountbatten was 'Lady Mountbatten' as a result of her father Alexander change of name on 14th July 1917 

(b) Lady Grace (aka Grania) Mountbatten is 'Lady Mountbatten' as a result of her maternal grandfather Alexander change of name on 14th July 1917. 

Re Family Change of Name - National Archives

 Prince Alexander of Battenberg

was born 1886
Queen Victoria died 1901.
He was therefore by birth Grandson of the Sovereign.
He was also by birth nephew to King Edward 7th being the "son of a sister".
If given a Peerage no matter what rank he takes by birth under the Act 31 H.8 Precedence of All Dukes [vide opinion of the late Lord Redesdale].
This leads me to the conclusion that the whole question should be settled by the Committee for Privileges as was the case with the Duke of Cambridge in 1850.

[initialled; in Garter's handwriting]

17th July 1917. 

Dear Lord Stamfordham,

Many thanks for your letter of the 16th July.  The Patents of the three Marquesses have been dated accordingly as follows:
Marquess of Cambridge, 16th July, 
Marquess of Milford Haven, 17th July, . 
Marquess of Carisbrooke. 18th July.

I assume that it is intended that the Earl of Athlone's patent should be dated the 19th.  There is no question of precedence in this last case since anyhow he will come after the Marquesses, but it seems reasonable that he should receive his Earldom after his elder brother receives his Marquessate.

We learnt last night that the warrants had been signed by the King.  We are therefore sending the Patents across to the Home Office today and are asking the officials to hare thorn stamped at once. When this is done they will return them to us; we shall then affix the seal and everything will be ready.

You have probably been informed by the Home Office that in normal course the fees are supposed to be paid to that office before the sealing.

Yours very truly,


The Right Hon.
Lord Stamfordham. C.C.B., G.C.V.O.


The Battenbergs


This family finds its origin in the morganatic marriage of Prince Alexander of Hesse (1823-88), second younger brother of Grand Duke Ludwig III of Hesse and by Rhine.  This prince accompanied his sister Marie to St. Petersburg in 1841, where she was to wed the future Czar Alexander II; he entered the Russian army, and later met and fell in love with Julie von Hauke (1825-95), whom he married in 1851.  A few days later she was created countess of Battenberg and, on Dec 26, 1858, she and her posterity were created prince/ss of Battenberg.

Two of the couple's children eventually settled in Britain.  The first was Ludwig Alexander or Louis Alexander (1854-1921), in whose family Queen Victoria took an interest when she visited her daughter in Darmstadt in 1863.  Ludwig Alexander, with the help of Victoria's son Prince Alfred, moved to Britain in September 1868 at the age of 14, and in 1869 he entered the Royal Navy as a cadet, beginning a long career that ended in October 1914, when anti-German feelings forced him to resign as first sea lord of the Admiralty.  He was sworn of the Privy Council on Nov, 5.

A certificate of naturalization (B321) was issued to him on 18 January 1909 (HO 144/594/B16148; see also HO 144/870/159961).  (His biographies note that he took an oath of allegiance to the Qurrn on Oct. 14, 1868 before a public notary in Gosport.) He was styled in Britain "Serene Highness" (e.g., London Gazette 28749, p. 6075: "Admiral H.S.H. Prince Louis of Battenberg, G.C.B., G.C.V.O., K.C.M.G.").  By royal warrant of July 14, 1917 he received permission to relinquish the style of Serene Highness and Prince (both Hessian, not British styles), and to change his name to that of Mountbatten.  By letters patent dated July 16, 1917 he was created marquess of Milford Haven.  

Prince Louis Alexander had four children: Victoria (1885-1969) who married Prince Andrew of Greece in 1903, Louise (1883-1965), George (1892-1938) and Louis (1900-79). 
Prince Henry Maurice (1858-96), younger brother of Louis Alexander, was a cavalry lieutenant in the Saxon army from 1877 to 1882 and in the Prussian army 1882 to 1885.  He met Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Beatrice in Darmstadt, where she was attending the wedding of her niece, Victoria Alice of Hesse, with Louis Alexander, in 1884.  Princess Beatrice overcame her mother's reluctance and was allowed to marry him on July 23, 1885.  He was naturalized by private Act of Parliament (48 & 49 Vict. c.1) shortly before the weddingand took the oath of allegiance before the House of Lords July 31, 1885 and was naturalized by private act 48 & 49 Vict cap. 1 (1885).  He was made lieutenant-colonel in the army 1887, governor of the Isle of Wight and Carisbrooke Castle in 1889, colonel in the army 1893, PC in 1894. He died at sea after catching a fever in the expedition against the Ashantis.
Prince Henry of Battenberg (1858-96) and Princess Beatrice had four children:
  • Alexander Albert (Nov 23, 1886-Feb 23, 1960) who was created marquess of Carisbrooke in 1917
  • Victoria (Oct 24, 1887-Apr 15, 1969) who was styled Royal Highness in 1906 and married Alfonso XIII, king of Spain
  • Leopold (May 21, 1889-Apr 22, 1922)
  • Maurice (Oct 3, 1891-Oct 27, 1914)
On July 14, 1917 Alexander and Leopold received Royal Warrants giving them permission to relinquish the style of Highness (granted to them by the warrant of Dec. 13, 1886) and Prince, and change the name of Battenberg to Mountbatten.  By royal warrant dated September 11, 1917 Leopold received the precedence of a younger son of a marquess.  By letters patent dated July 18, 1917, Alexander Albert was created marquess of Carisbrooke.

At the time of Ena's marriage to Alfonso XIII of  Spain, the following appeared in the Times(Apr 12, 1906, p. 8):
Supplementing the formal acknowledgment of the Protestant Reformation. Society's petition against the marriage of Princess Ena to the King of Spain, sent through, the Home Secretary to his Majesty the King, the following official reply has now been received at the society's office :—
Whitehall, 5th April, 1906.
Sir,—I am directed by the Secretary of State to inform you that he has laid before his Majesty the petition of the executive committee of the Protestant Reformation Society respecting the marriage of her Royal Highness Princess Ena of Battenberg.
I am to point out that the prohibition of Royal marriages  without the consent of the Sovereign which is contained in the Act 12 Geo. III., c. 11, does not apply to "the issue of Princesses who have married or may hereafter many into foreign families."
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
This is the first time, we believe, that an official intimation has been given that the King's assent is not necessary to this marriage contract.

As a matter of fact, few Battenbergs/Mountbattens have received royal consents for their marriages.

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