June 22, 2004

*Ask Jen: Buckingham Edition

Jim wants to know, "Who (or what) was Buckingham, as in 'Buckingham Palace'? Why isn't it called London Palace or 'Whatevertheroyalfamiliesnameis' Palace?"

Good question. First, let's look at the royal family's surname, because that's kind of interesting.

Before 1917, the royal family's official surname was Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Because of the anti-German sentiment during WWI, the King renounced his family's German titles and changed the surname to Windsor. The current royals (The Queen and her direct male and unmarried female descendants) have the last name Mountbatten-Windsor, since Prince Philip took the surname Mountbatten when he became a British citizen.

Now, Buckingham Palace: it was bought by the royal family in 1761 when it was known as Buckingham House. It was originally used as a home for the queen and her children, and was much smaller. By 1847 it had the four wings we see today.

So who was Buckingham? The Duke who built the House in 1703.

Do you have a question for me? You can e-mail it. If I know the answer, I'll answer it. If I don't, I might make something up.

Posted by Jennifer at June 22, 2004 09:20 AM


Sweet. I missed these. :-)

Posted by: Jim at June 22, 2004 09:48 AM

Jen, that was very interesting. I had no idea about the name change. Then again, why would I.

Which surname carries the big giant ear gene?

Posted by: Paul at June 22, 2004 02:13 PM