In July 1917, the British Royal Family adopted a new name – Windsor. To celebrate 100 years of the Windsor Household, the Royal Mint is releasing a new UK £5 coin.
The name change was decided upon by King George V earlier that year mainly because to keep the name Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. The family inherited the name in 1840 when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert; it was believed to be inappropriate because Great Britain and its allies were fighting Germany during the First World War.
From the Royal Mint website, here’s the official Royal Proclamation from King George V:
“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.
“Royal Proclamation of George V, July 1917”
The coin was created and designed by Timothy Noad who drew inspiration from photographs of the round tower at Windsor Castle, St Edward’s Crown and natural oak leaves. The original badge was oval but was redrawn to fit a coin. Mr Noad has previously designed several pieces for the Royal Mint.
Although the design of heraldic arms and badges is strictly established, Mr Noad did make some minor adjustments in the layout.
Mr Noad said: “I always try to go back to original sources rather than copying someone else’s heraldic painting, so looked at photographs of the Round Tower at Windsor Castle, St Edward’s Crown and natural oak leaves. I was working within a circle but the original badge was oval so I re-drew the oak branches and the Round Tower to fit in. The crown was enlarged slightly to sit nicely with the lettering of the inscription. I wanted a clean, stylised and traditional look, which I felt was appropriate for the history and continuity of the House of Windsor.”
You can purchase them here.