Do Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis Use Their Royal Titles at School?

The last name Prince William and Kate's kids use isn't what you'd expect

Cambridges attend pantomime
Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte and Prince George. Photo: AARON CHOWN/POOL/AFP via Getty

Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are back to school — but what will their teachers and classmates call them?

Although Prince William and Kate Middleton's three children have the royal titles of "His/Her Royal Highness" and "Prince/Princess," they don't use them in the classroom.

And no, their educators and fellow students won't be expected to bow or curtsy to them either. The former headmaster at Thomas's Battersea — the $23,000-a-year school a quick drive from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's London home at Kensington Palace where 8-year-old George and 6-year-old Charlotte attend (3-year-old Louis attends nursery school at Willcocks) — previously told reporters that Queen Elizabeth's great-grandchildren "won't be any special treatment at all."

Instead, Prince William and Kate's kids are simply known as "George," "Charlotte" and "Louis" to their fellow pupils.

Princess Charlotte and Prince George. Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty

When it comes to the matter of her last name, things are a little trickier.

Technically, the royal family's last name is Mountbatten-Windsor, the surname used by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's two children, Archie Harrison and Lilibet Diana. The royals became the House of Windsor in 1917 — previously the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The switch was prompted by anti-German feelings in the United Kingdom following World War I, so they changed the name to the more-English Windsor. The family became the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha after Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, who was German, so the name did have German roots.

The addition of Prince Philip to the family brought about another name change, this one, the addition of Mountbatten, the last name he adopted after giving up his title of Prince of Greece and Denmark. The name belongs to his maternal grandparents — it's the English translation of their German name, Battenberg. The change took sometime to make its way into the royal family — 1960, to be exact, 13 years after Philip married the then-Princess Elizabeth, and eight years after she became Queen. However, this didn't change the name of the House of Windsor, but rather just the surnames that those in said house would use when they weren't using the style of His or Her Royal Highness (or if they're members of the family but don't get said said style.)

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But in school, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis use the last name Cambridge, taking after their parents' duke and duchess titles. George himself confirmed the selection when he started at Thomas's Battersea in 2017: in a photo of his school bag, his name tag attached read George Cambridge.

Prince William and Prince Harry went by William Wales and Harry Wales during their own school days, as well as their years in the armed forces. Why? Because their father, Prince Charles, is the Prince of Wales. It's an homage to their father's title, for occasions when "Prince" just feels a bit too formal.

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