Are the British royal families German

The German language at the British royal court

In the 19th century, German played an important role at the British royal court in three areas:

In the court library
In addition to English and French publications, German books were also represented in the main collection of the larger libraries of the royal court, e.g. in the Royal Library in Windsor Castle and in the two private libraries of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, which were in Buckingham Palace. Albert hired a German librarian for his library who systematically acquired books in German. A number of duplicates have been donated to London libraries. The librarian also served Albert as private secretary and was responsible for Prince Albert's correspondence in German. He was also a tutor to the royal children. Queen Victoria wrote in German with Ernst Becker from Darmstadt for nine years. The 1843 catalog, which reflects the holdings of Queen Victoria's private library, lists a relatively small number of German books (66 of 1268 titles). In addition, she owned 44 German-language fairy tales and children's books, which were primarily bought for the royal offspring.

In royal correspondence
In line with their numerous German relatives, Queen Victoria usually spoke German to them. This was a means of expressing the special closeness of the British royal family to the ruling houses in Germany. Ultimately, she herself came from the house of Hanover, while Prince Albert and their children belonged to the house of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

In the family
Victoria and Albert usually spoke German among themselves. Her children's school lessons also included teaching in the German language. As a result, the royal offspring spoke the language so well that their parents could converse with them in German. This not only honored her father's German heritage and the family membership of the German nobility, but also shielded the innermost family circle from the rest of the royal court. Because only a few members of the court had an active knowledge of German.