British Royal Family
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The British Royal Family is shared between the Commonwealth realms; this article focuses on theperspective of United Kingdom. For information on the Royal Family in the other realms, see In other Commonwealth realms.
The British Royal Family is the group of close relatives of the monarch of the UnitedKingdom. The term is also commonly applied to the same group of people who are the relations of the monarch in her or his role as sovereign of any of the other Commonwealth realms, thus sometimes atvariance with official national terms for the family. Members of the Royal Family belong to, either by birth or marriage, the House of Windsor, since 1917, when George V changed the name of theroyal house from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. This decision was primarily taken because Britain and her Empire were at war with Germany and given the British Royal Family's strong German ancestry, it was feltthat its public image could be improved by choosing a more British house name. The new name chosen, Windsor, had absolutely no connection other than as the name of the castle which was and continues tobe a royal residence.
Although in the United Kingdom there is no strict legal or formal definition of who is or is not a member of the Royal Family, and different lists will include differentpeople, those carrying the style Her or His Majesty (HM), or Her or His Royal Highness (HRH) are always considered members, which usually results in the application of the term to the monarch, the consortof the monarch, the widowed consorts of previous monarchs, the children of the monarch and previous monarchs, the male-line grandchildren of the monarch and previous monarchs, and the spouses and thewidows of a monarch's and previous monarch's sons and male-line grandsons. On 30 November 1917, King George V issued Letters Patent defining who are members of the Royal Family; the text of the...
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