We had no idea.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
February 6, 2019
Bethany Clarke/Getty Images

What's in a name? A lot, it turns out, if you're in the royal family.

While so many of us know Queen Elizabeth II sans surname, she actually has an official family name, and it's quite the involved backstory.

According to the British royal family's official website, the royal family's "Royal house" names and their last names can be different. As the site explains, "The Royal Family name of Windsor was confirmed by The Queen after her accession in 1952. However, in 1960, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh decided that they would like their own direct descendants to be distinguished from the rest of the Royal Family (without changing the name of the Royal House), as Windsor is the surname used by all the male and unmarried female descendants of George V." 

Then, it was declared that descendants of the Queen or female descendants who marry would take on the name of Mountbatten-Windsor. This is because Prince Philip of Greece's name after naturalizing became Philip Mountbatten when he was a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy. As a result of this, when The Queen's children required a surname, they could take on the name Mountbatten-Windsor.

WATCH: The Two Reasons Queen Elizabeth II Has So Many Colorful Umbrellas

You can learn more about the lineage of these royal family names and what's in store for the future of "Mountbatten-Windsor" here.

So in answer to the question, yes, Queen Elizabeth II has a surname. And it's a mouthful. We think we'll stick to her nickname,"Lilibet," after all.

 

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