While I think we can all agree that being a prince/princess sounds pretty great, things can get slightly awkward when you show up for school and straight-up don’t have a last name. Which is pretty much what Prince George, Princess Charlotte (and Prince Louis, now that he’s in school!) are dealing with on a regular basis. Honestly, the royal last name situation is a whole thing in general—and involves a fleet of last names the British royals *can* use if and when they need to—so let’s get into it.
The Royal Kids Technically Don’t Have Last Names
Go ahead and check out Princess Charlotte’s birth certificate for proof. As you can see in this pic, under the “name and surname” section, it simply says “Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge.”
George and Charlotte Previously Used the Last Name “Cambridge” at School
Makes sense! After all, their family was—until recently—primarily known as “the Cambridges,” and both “Charlotte Cambridge” and “George Cambridge” have a nice ring to it.
But What Last Name Are George and Charlotte Using Now?
‘Kay so while they were using the last name “Cambridge” at school, now that William and Kate are the Princes and Princess of Wales, George, Charlotte, and Louis are also officially “of Wales.” They were even referred to as such in the royal order of procession for the Queen’s funeral.
That said, it remains to be seen whether Charlotte, George, and Louis will formally switch their last name to “Wales” at school—especially since they started their new academic year the day Queen Elizabeth died (and presumably enrolled with the last name Cambridge).
When All Else Fails, They Can Use “Mountbatten-Windsor”
Back in 1960, the Queen and Prince Philip created a special last name for their untitled family members. Per the royal family’s website, “The Queen’s descendants, other than those with the style of Royal Highness and the title of Prince/Princess or female descendants who marry, would carry the name of Mountbatten-Windsor.”
Meanwhile, titled royals can also use the name—if and when the need should arise! As the royal website puts it: “For the most part, members of the Royal Family who are entitled to the style and dignity of HRH Prince or Princess do not need a surname, but if at any time any of them do need a surname (such as upon marriage), that surname is Mountbatten-Windsor.”
FYI, this last name is a shoutout to both Elizabeth and Philip’s families—with “Windsor” being the last name George V gave his descendants, and “Mountbatten” being the last name of Philip’s maternal grandparents. Cute, honestly.