House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

Royal house
surname = House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
estate = Saxony at Coburg and Gotha
coat of arms =
parent house = House of Wettin
country = Germany
titles = Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, King of the Belgians, King of Portugal, Tsar of Bulgaria, King of the United Kingdom
founder = Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
final ruler = Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
current head = Andreas, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
founding year = 1826
dissolution = 1918
nationality = German
cadet branches =
House of Windsor

House of Koháry

House of Braganza-Coburg

The House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was formerly the Royal House of several European monarchies, and branches currently reign in Belgium through the descendants of Leopold I, and in the United Kingdom and its associated Commonwealth realms through the descendants of Prince Albert. In the United Kingdom, King George V changed the name from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the House of Windsor in 1917. The House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha is a line of the Saxon House of Wettin.


Other members of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha came to rule in various other European countries. Ernst's younger brother Léopold became King of the Belgians in 1831, and his descendants continue to serve as Belgian Head of State. Léopold's only daughter, Charlotte of Belgium, ruled as Empress Carlota of Mexico, consort to Maximilian I of Mexico in the 1860s. The short lived monarchy in Mexico would have had its roots in the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Ernst's nephew Ferdinand married Queen Maria II of Portugal, and his descendants continued to rule Portugal until that country became a republic in 1910.

Another scion of the family, also named Ferdinand, became Prince, and then Tsar, of Bulgaria, and his descendants continued to rule there until 1946. The current head of the House of Bulgaria, the former King Simeon II, goes by the name "Simeon Sakskoburggotski" and on 24 July 2001 became Bulgaria's Prime Minister. This marked the first occasion in history where a former monarch returned to a position of power via democratic election.

In 1826, a cadet branch of the house inherited the Hungarian princely estate of Kohary, and converted to Catholic creed. The Princes of Kohary were wealthy and are magnates of Hungary and Fuerst in the Austrian Empire. They managed to marry an imperial princess of Brazil, an archduchess of Austria, a royal princess of "the French", a royal princess of Belgium and a royal princess of Saxony. The members of the Ducal House consisted of all male-line descendents of Johann Ernst, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld legitimately born of an equal marriage, males and females (the latter until their marriage), their wives in equal and authorised marriages, and their widows until remarriage.

According to the House law of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha the full title of the Duke was:

"Wir, Ernst, Herzog zu Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha, Jülich, Cleve und Berg, auch Engern und Westphalen, Landgraf in Thüringen, Markgraf zu Meißen, gefürsteter Graf zu Henneberg, Graf zu der Mark und Ravensberg, Herr zu Ravenstein und Tonna usw."

Translation: "We, Ernst, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Jülich, Cleves and Berg, also Angria and Westphalia, Landgrave in Thuringia, Margrave of Meissen, Princely Count of Henneberg, Count of the Mark and Ravensberg, Lord of Ravenstein and Tonna, et cetera."


Main branch

Dukes, 1826–1918

*Ernst I 1826–1844
*Ernst II 1844–1893
*Alfred 1893–1900
*Carl Eduard 1900–1918

Heads of the House since 1918

*Carl Eduard 1918–1954
*Prince Friedrich Josias 1954–1998
*Prince Andreas 1998-present

Other branches

Kingdom of Belgium

*Leopold I (1831–1865)
*Leopold II (1865–1909)
*Albert I (1909–1934)
*Leopold III (1934–1951)
*Baudouin I (1951–1993)
*Albert II (1993– )

Names of the Belgian Royal House

Because of the First World War, King Albert I decided in 1920 to no longer use the name "Saxe-Coburg and Gotha" as the official family name of the Belgian royal family. The decision was done in silence and not enacted in an official royal decree. Therefore there is still some confusion in other countries and even in Belgium that "Saxe-Coburg and Gotha" still is the family name used by the Belgian royals. The family name was changed to "van België", "de Belgique" and "von Belgien" ("of Belgium"). As Belgium is a country with three official languages, it was chosen to employ all three language versions as official family name with none having precedence over the other, probably making the Belgian royals the only family in the world with three different but equally valid family names. It is this family name which is used on the royals' identity cards and which they use in all official documents (marriage licenses, etc.)Fact|date=October 2008

On the accession of a member of the royal family to the Belgian throne, his/her family name is officially changed to "der Belgen"—"des Belges"—"der Belgier" ("of the Belgians") to denote the fact that Belgium is a popular monarchy.Fact|date=October 2008

Kingdom of Portugal

: "Note: In Portugal the Royal House is usually not distinguished from the House of Braganza, and when so, it is known as the House of Braganza-Saxe-Coburg and Gotha or Braganza-Coburg."
* Pedro V (1853–1861)
* Louis I (1861–1889)
* Carlos I (1889–1908)
* Manuel II (1908–1910) (d.1932)

Tsardom of Bulgaria

* Ferdinand I (1887–1918)
* Boris III (1918–1943)
* Simeon II (1943–1946) In 2001, elected [ [ "Bulgaria: Timeline"—BBC, London, 27 June 2007] . Retrieved on 2007-07-28.] as Prime Minister of Bulgaria (Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha)—also known as Simeon "Saxecoburggotski". [ [ "Former king marks first year as Bulgarian Prime Minister"—Radio Free Europe, 26 July 2002] . Retrieved on 2007-07-28.] [ [ "Bulgarian (or Spanish) Prime Minister?"—Bulgaria Development Gateway, 24 July 2003] . Retrieved on 2007-07-28.] [ [ Lord Alderdice speaking in the UK's House of Lords on 19 May 2005, "Hansard, Lords"] . Retrieved on 2007-07-28.]

United Kingdom

* Edward VII (1901–1910)
* George V (1910–1936, Until 1917 when the name was changed and the Royal House and family were to be known as Windsor).
* Edward VIII (1936)
* George VI (1936-1952)
* Elizabeth II (1952-)

When her descendants inherit the throne, the patriline will no longer belong to the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, but will instead belong to the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, a branch of the House of Oldenburg.

According to the official website of the British Monarchy, however, "the only British monarch of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was King Edward VII, who reigned for nine years…. King George V replaced the German-sounding title with that of Windsor during the First World War. The name Saxe-Coburg-Gotha survived in other European monarchies, including the former monarchies of Portugal and Bulgaria and in the Belgian Royal Family until 1920." []

Names of the British Royal House

Ernst I's younger son, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, became Prince Consort to Queen Victoria, Ernst's niece through his sister Viktoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. As a consequence of their marriage, "Saxe-Coburg and Gotha" became the Royal House name of the British Royal Family from the accession of Edward VII in 1901 until changed to Windsor by King George V in 1917 because a German name was deemed unpatriotic during World War I.

Contrary to common belief, "Saxe-Coburg and Gotha" was not the "personal surname" of either Prince Albert, his wife or their descendants. Neither Albert nor Victoria, in fact, knew their actual surname (royalty had no need of and never used such common labels) until in the late 19th century Queen Victoria launched an inquiry to identify her surname. After an exhaustive search her advisors concluded that Prince Albert (and thus the Queen — by virtue of her marriage) had the surname "Wettin".

George V changed both "Wettin" and "Saxe-Coburg and Gotha" to "Windsor" in 1917. However, an Order-in-Council in 1960 again separated the Royal House name and the personal family surname of the monarch and her family. It decreed that while the Royal House name would remain "Windsor", the descendants of Queen Elizabeth II and of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh would use the surname "Mountbatten-Windsor". However, Prince Philip belongs to the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg/House of Oldenburg, and, technically, so will his descendants in the male line.

Patrilineal descent

Patrilineal descent, descent from father to son, is the principle behind membership in royal houses, as it can be traced back through the generations—which means that the "historically accurate" royal house of the monarchs of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was the House of Wettin.

Descent before Conrad the Great is taken from [] and may be inaccurate.

House of Wettin
#Burkhard I, Duke of Thuringia, d. 870
#Burchard, Duke of Thuringia, 836–908
#(possibly) Burkhard III of Grabfeldgau, 866–913
#Dedi I, Count of Hessegau, 896–957
#(probably) Dietrich I of Wettin, d. 976
#(possibly) Dedi II, Count of Hessegau, 946–1009
#Dietrich II of Wettin, 991–1034
#Thimo I of Wettin, d. 1099
#Thimo II the Brave, Count of Wettin, d. 1118
#Conrad, Margrave of Meissen, 1098–1157
#Otto II, Margrave of Meissen, 1125–1190
#Dietrich I, Margrave of Meissen, 1162–1221
#Henry III, Margrave of Meissen, c. 1215–1288
#Albert II, Margrave of Meissen, 1240–1314
#Frederick I, Margrave of Meissen, 1257–1323
#Frederick II, Margrave of Meissen, 1310–1349
#Frederick III, Landgrave of Thuringia, 1332–1381
#Frederick I, Elector of Saxony, 1370–1428
#Frederick II, Elector of Saxony, 1412–1464
#Ernest, Elector of Saxony, 1441–1486
#John, Elector of Saxony, 1468–1532
#John Frederick I, Elector of Saxony, 1503–1554
#Johann Wilhelm, Duke of Saxe-Weimar, 1530–1573
#John II, Duke of Saxe-Weimar, 1570–1605
#Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha, 1601–1675
#John Ernest IV, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, 1658–1729
#Francis Josias, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, 1697–1764
#Ernest Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, 1724–1800
#Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, 1750–1806
#Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, 1784–1844
#Albert, Prince Consort, 1819–1861
#Edward VII of the United Kingdom, 1841–1910
#George V of the United Kingdom, 1865–1936


External links

* [ The Ducal House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha] "The official website in English".
* [ Royal and Ducal Houses of Saxony]
* [ Royal House of Belgium]
* [ Royal House of Bulgaria]
* [ Royal House of Great Britain]
* [ Royal House of Portugal]


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