Charles Windsor - who would of course be named Charles Saxe-Coburg-Gotha had not his great grandfather George V changed the family name to Windsor during the First World War - was presented with a giant pretzel yesterday and received a rare reminder of his German roots - which he distanced himself from as much as possible.
Petra Braun, a baker orignally from Stuttgart wjho ha since opened a shop in London, handed him the doughy snack, telling him: “Since you’re almost German, you might like this.”
Charles laughed and said: “That was a very long time ago,” before moving swiftly along.
Hmm, not that long ago really.
George V was a member of the German ducal House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha by virtue of his descent from Albert, Prince Consort, husband of Queen Victoria. High anti-German sentiment amongst the people of the British Empire during World War I reached a peak in March 1917, when the unfortunately named Gotha G.IV, a heavy aircraft capable of crossing the English Channel, began bombing London directly and became a household name.
The King and his family were finally convinced to abandon all titles held under the German Crown and to change German titles and house names to anglicised versions. Hence, on 17 July 1917, a royal proclamation issued by George V declared:
"Now, therefore, We, out of Our Royal Will and Authority, do hereby declare and announce that as from the date of this Our Royal Proclamation Our House and Family shall be styled and known as the House and Family of Windsor, and that all the descendants in the male line of Our said Grandmother Queen Victoria who are subjects of these Realms, other than female descendants who may marry or may have married, shall bear the said Name of Windsor...."
The giver of the pretzel, Mrs Braun, 47, who opened the Hansel and Pretzel bakery in Ham, west London, 10 years ago, told the Daily Telegraph: “I didn’t know he was going to be in the area until my customers told me about 10 minutes before he arrived. I went out to see him and thought I’d better take him a gift. As Germans we are aware that we have a connection to the Royal family.”
That may be so but look, HE DOESN'T WANT TO KNOW.