Where does the name Mountbatten come from and which members of the royal family use it?

Harry and Meghan’s children use the historic surname Mountbatten-Winsdor, but where did it come from and who still uses it?

Mountbatten
(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo / Contributor / Getty Images)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle recently named their daughter Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor in a lovely tribute to the queen but where did this surname come from?

• Mountbatten is a surname used by many members of the royal family.
• Here is where the surname came from and its historical significance.
• In other royal news, Princess Eugenie debuts new sleek hairstyle in powerful video.


The surname Mountbatten has often been used by members of the royal family. The surname has most recently been given to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s newborn daughter named Lilibet Diana. This is also the surname also used by their eldest son Archie Harrison.

In comparison, it has been reported that Prince William and Kate’s children use the surname ‘Cambridge’ in reference to their parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. So where did this historic name 'Mountbatten,' come from? And why do some members of the royal family use it, but others opt to use their title?

Mountbatten

(Image credit: Pool/Samir Hussein / Contributor / Getty Images)

Where does the name Mountbatten come from? 

Mountbatten is a surname that has old roots in the British Royal family. This surname first appeared as part of the British branch of the German family Battenberg. The name Mountbatten was considered to be less German sounding and therefore more in line with British culture that went through long stages of anti-German xenophobia at various points in history. 

Although many Earls, Counts and Marquesses in British aristocracy used this surname, the name returned to the living members of the British Royal family when Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, married Queen Elizabeth II. 

Prince Philip was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, but when he married the Queen and became a British subject, he elected to use the surname of his maternal grandparents: Mountbatten.

Where does the surname Mountbatten-Windsor come from?

When the Duke of Edinburgh married the then Princess Elizabeth, the two households Mountbatten and Windsor came together. It was decided in 1960 in a declaration made at the Privy council, that Mountbatten-Windsor would be a surname used by Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth’s descendants should use.

Although all of their children hold titles and do not need to use a surname, the name Mountbatten-Windsor was created for those descendants who would not hold titles. The surname was also occasionally used by Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Prince Andrew when they were required to have a surname. 

Mountbatten

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip on their wedding day in 1947

(Image credit: Hulton Archive / Stringer / Getty IMages)

Which members of the royal family use the name Mountbatten-Windsor? 

The name runs through the male line of the royal family so can be used by any of the descendants of Prince Charles, Prince Edward, and Prince Andrew. 

Prince Harry and Meghan’s children both use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor and have been respectively named, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor and Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor. 

The Queen and Prince Philip’s youngest child, Prince Edward, gave this surname to his two children. Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor was born in 2003 and her brother, James Mountbatten-Windsor, Viscount Severn, was born in 2007. 

Mountbatten

(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo / Contributor/ Getty Images)

Prince Andrew’s daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie also used this title when they were young but will not pass this title to their children. Princess Beatrice was titled Beatrice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor when she was born in 1988.

Similarly, Beatrice’s younger sister, Princess Eugenie, was also given this surname and titled Eugenie Victoria Helena Mountbatten-Windsor when she was born in 1990. Eugenie’s son August Philip Hawke Brooksbank does not inherit this title from his mother and nor will Princess Beatrice’s child, who is expected to be born in the Autumn.