Why Princess Charlotte and Prince George won't use their surname at school

Royal family
It’s totally optional [Photo: PA]

Imagine having to go to school with famous parents.

And then imagine what it would be like being little Princess Charlotte or Prince George on their first day of school.

We can only imagine that even young kids will pick up on the fact that these are no ordinary siblings, but at least the pair have one little-known trick up their sleeve; they don’t have to use their surnames.

So no awkward moments when they’re called out on the register.

Royal family
One less thing to worry about [Photo: PA]

It’s not usual for a member of the royal family not to use their surname.

Before 1917, British Royal Family members didn’t have surnames at all – just the name of the dynasty or house they belonged to.

They were simply known by the names of the countries they and their family ruled, so they could sign just their first names, which is a tradition the UK still holds today.

Royal family
A VIP-only option [Photo: PA]

1917 was a significant year as that’s when George V adopted the name Windsor, both as the name of the House or dynasty and as his family surname, declaring 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”.

Kate Middleton and children
Would you drop your surname if given the choice? [Photo: Pexels]

But in the sixties, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh went against the grain and decided that the Queen’s descendants – other than those called Royal Highness or Princess/Prince, or married female descendants – would be called Mountbatten-Windsor.

So if Prince George or Princess Charlotte want to use a surname, they can use that, but aren’t under any obligation to.

As The Royal Family website explains:

Thomas' Battersea
George will begin school at Thomas’s Battersea this September [Photo: PA]

“A proclamation on the Royal Family name by the reigning monarch is not statutory; unlike an Act of Parliament, it does not pass into the law of the land. Such a proclamation is not binding on succeeding reigning sovereigns, nor does it set a precedent which must be followed by reigning sovereigns who come after.”

So there you go – it’s not just Adele who can get away with it.

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