The reigns of King George

King George I     1714-1727
King George II    1727-1760
King George III   1760-1820
King George IV   1820-1830
King George  V   1910-1936
King George VI   1936-1952

    **George VII  2013-        (His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge)

Following the death of his father Edward VII in 1910, George V reigned when war was declared war on Germany in 1914, pitting him against his first cousin, Kaiser Wilhelm II. He recognised the strength of anti-German feeling at the time and changed the Royal Family's name from the House of “Saxe-Coburg and Gotha” (also known as Brunswick or Hanover) to the House of “Windsor” in 1917.
George VI reigned during the second World War, following the abdication in 1936 of his elder brother Edward VIII (who had been the created Prince of Wales as heir apparent, but who later became the Duke of Windsor upon abdication). The wife of George VI was Queen Elizabeth by marriage (formerly Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon) and popularly known as the Queen Mother.

George VII

The Duke (formerly Prince William) and Duchess of Cambridge (formerly Catherine Middleton) have named their baby son George Alexander Louis. He was born on Monday 22nd July 2013 at 4:24pm in St. Mary’s Hospital in West London.

Prince George's birth certificate and marriage certificate technically should show his Surname (family name) as Mountbatten-Windsor; however his name and surname were registered as "His Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge".

As heir apparent and third in line for the British throne; when he rules he will become King George VII. Until then, he will be known formally as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge.

Background to the Royal names:-
Queen Elizabeth II was born on 21st April 1926. Her ‘husband to be’ Philip, was granted permission by George VI to marry Elizabeth. Before the official engagement announcement, Philip abandoned his Greek and Danish royal titles, converted from Greek Orthodoxy to Anglicanism and became a naturalized British subject; adopting the surname Mountbatten from his British maternal grandparents. Elizabeth II therefore married Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, now the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947. For this reason, the surname of the present Royal Family is still Mountbatten, though The Queen’s side of the family is from the House of Windsor.

George: The name George means farmer or earth worker and originates from ancient Greek. It was the 12th most popular name for boys born in England and Wales in 2011. Importantly, the name is synonymous with British kings. It has come to represent the continuity of the monarchy and it echoes the name of King George V, the founder of the House of Windsor. Baby Prince George is the latest member.

It is likely that Queen Elizabeth II will have been delighted by the choice of the name George; given that her much loved father Prince Albert, Duke of York became George VI. He was christened Albert and was known to his family as Bertie; but monarchs are allowed to pick a name under which to rule and he selected George; his fourth name for use as the Sovereign.
 
George VI was the new Prince George of Cambridge's great-great grandfather. George VI chose George in honour of his own father George V and to create the impression of stability after the scandal caused by the abdication of his own brother Edward VIII.

George is also the fourth name of Charles the Prince of Wales. Edward VIII also had George among his seven names.

Six King Georges have worn the crown throughout history since the German-born George I; the first Hanoverian King of Great Britain acceded to the throne in 1714. In addition St George; a fourth-century Christian martyr, is the patron Saint of England and represents honour, bravery and gallantry. The legend of George slaying a dragon and rescuing an innocent maiden is medieval.

There has only been one other Prince of Cambridge and he was also called George. His father Prince Adolphus Frederick was the 1st Duke of Cambridge and lived from 1774 to 1850. Though his father was never a ‘Prince of Cambridge, he was given the title the ‘Duke of Cambridge’ by his own father George III in 1801.

So the 1st Prince George of Cambridge was a grandson of George III and he was the only son of Prince Adolphus Frederick. Prince George was born in 1819, but refused to have an arranged royal marriage after he fell in love with a commoner; actress Sarah Louisa Fairbrother - who was said to have classic beauty and to be a graceful dancer.

They married in 1847 when she was already the mother of two of his children and pregnant with his third; but the Duke did not seek the sovereign's approval in this marriage. The marriage was never recognised and their union was ostracised by the Royal Family; hence his children were not eligible to inherit royal titles. Instead, his wife became known as Mrs. FitzGeorge.

This surname was taken by the 1st Prince George's offspring.
Despite his marriage, Prince George of Cambridge took up with mistress Louisa Beauclerk soon after he was married and remained her lover for more than 30 years.

He went on to become the 2nd Duke of Cambridge after his father's death. He was in the Army and served in the Crimean War. He was promoted to Commander-in-Chief in 1887 and an equestrian statue of him stands in the middle of London's Whitehall. He was said to have been a disciplinarian, who believed Army promotions should be based on social connections rather than ability. He died in 1904.

Alexander: A less obvious choice of name is one that three medieval Scottish kings have had, and was also the name of the famous 4th Century ruler Alexander the Great. Prince Philip’s grandfather was Prince Louis Alexander of Battenberg and therefore Prince William's great-great-grandfather. Louis is also one of William's middle names. This name is also popular in Scotland, where Alexander III was regarded as one of the country's greatest rulers. Queen Elizabeth II has a middle name of Alexandra and the name was apparently a favourite choice of the Duchess of Cambridge (formerly Catherine Middleton). In April 2013, Willem-Alexander was sworn in as King of the Netherlands after the abdication of his mother, Queen Beatrix.

Louis:  The name Louis was chosen by Charles Prince of Wales as a tribute to Louis Mountbatten; his favourite ‘great-uncle’ and also his close friend and mentor.

Lord Louis Mountbatten was a second Cousin to Queen Elizabeth II and was known as Uncle Dickie by the Royal Family. He was assassinated by the IRA in August 1979 when his boat Shadow V was blown up on a fishing trip off the coast of Ireland. He was the Duke of Edinburgh’s uncle and was the last British Viceroy of India before independence in 1947.