December 26, 2022

The House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

I defy anyone to explain how Daniel could have made this prediction in Daniel 2 without its having been first revealed to him by a sovereign and omniscient God.

Clifford Goldstein

Whether from the soap opera scandals of Charles, Diana, Camilla, et al.; to the disgrace of Prince Andrew; to the antics, in exile, of Harry and Meghan; and, finally, to the death of Queen Elizabeth—most people know something about the British royal family. (In contrast, who knows much about the royals of Liechtenstein or Belgium?) 

One fact, however, that most people probably don’t know about the monarchy is that even if its lineage reaches to the ninth century, its name, the House of Windsor, is a recent invention. The year 1917, to be precise. Before then it was the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. If that sounds more like wiener schnitzel and Goethe than fish and chips and Mary Poppins, it’s because it’s German, not English. 

For centuries European royal dynasties intermarried, often to create new relationships or to cement old ones. British King Edward VII (1841-1910) and his son King George V (1865-1936) were directly descended (via Albert, prince consort and Queen Victoria’s husband) from the German House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. With England and Germany in the midst of World War I, hatred of the “Huns” was running high. Not helping matters was the Germans’ use of a heavy bomber called (awkwardly enough) the Gotha. Believing a name change expedient for the monarchy, whose popularity has always waxed and waned over the years, King George V, on July 17, 1917, decreed that the British House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was, from that day forward, the House of Windsor. 

What an astonishing fulfillment of Daniel 2, where Daniel described four world empires: Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome, followed by the breakup of Rome—depicted as feet “partly of iron and partly of clay” (Dan. 2:33)— into what are now the nations of modern Europe. And among his descriptions of these European nations was that they would “mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay” (verse 43). 

Mingle with the “seed of men”? Such as in German royalty marrying British royalty? And they shall not “adhere” to each other? Such as in World War I, with German and British subjects of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha shooting , gassing , bayoneting , and bombing each other? 


It’s hard to imagine a better example of what Scripture millennia ago predicted. When first presented, in 1979, with this prophecy, I was blown away by the rational and logical evidence it gave, not only for God’s existence but for His foreknowledge and sovereignty. And I still am today. In fact, I defy anyone, anywhere, to explain how Daniel could have made this prediction, which is based on something as firm and as immutable as world history itself—without its having been first revealed to him by a sovereign and omniscient God. 

And, too, if Daniel were right on all worldly kingdoms coming and going , including some details about them, we certainly can trust him for the final kingdom, God’s, which “shall stand forever” (verse 44).