The British royal family is a regular fixture in the headlines and Prince Harry and Megan symbolize the “new” monarchy evidence that it attempts to re-brand itself amid changing times and demographics. But re-branding isn’t a new thing. The royal family had undergone a re-branding in the early 20th century.
As the 20th century dawned the royal families of europe were all related through intermarriage. England’s King George IV was first cousins with the German Kaiser. But as the tumult of impending great war sweptthrough europe, the royal family was “Saxe-Coburg Gotha” as they were closely related to German monarchy. As anti-German sentiment rose, the people questioned the King’s loyalties and motivations due to the royal family’s blood kinship with German leaders.
Things worsened when air raids conducted by German Gotha aircraft dropped bombs striking a school. The Gotha bombers happened to bear the same name as the Royal family was a PR nightmare.
Royal family strategists deliberated and considered various options until they hit upon the idea of changing the royal name from “Saxe-Coburg Gotha” to the British-sounding “Windsor” after Windsor castle. Windsor castle had stood for a thousands years of British monarchy and the name was a s solid as the english stones of the castle itself. King George issued a proclamation on July 17 1917 relinquishing the use of all German titles and declaring the adoption of Windsor as the new royal family name. The proclamation also made clear that all German Degrees, Styles, Dignities, Titles, Honours and Appellations,” were to be ceased.
The change worked, and the people embraced their “British” royalty as their own and do so to this day.
–Selecting a strong brand that represents who they want to be and represent (“Windsor”)
–Strongly proclaiming the new brand as the new reality. (Authotritatively stated by the one who can speak to such matter, in this case the king.
–Backing it up with actions (from top to bottom british surnames to replace german names and titles).
–Carry it forward. Queen Elizabeth II is the fourth member of the House of Windsor. Since she is likely not going to be using “23 and Me” anytime soon her name, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, is British through and through. And
Speaks to the power of re-branding and how performed successfully, it can manifest itself and becomes the new reality.