Yes, my first name is Victoria but no, my surname is not actually Windsor.
My surname is McCubbine, it's spelled wrong phonetically so no one that hears it can spell it and no one that sees it written can pronounce it. It's a constant battle and you'll often hear me threaten to marry not for love, not for money, but for a better name... Every time I give my name to someone new I have the same conversation "Yes there's an 'e' on the end", "No, I don't know why", "No, I'm not Scottish", "No, I'm not Irish either" "No there aren't many of us" "Yes, when you google my name I'm the only one that comes up" It get's old, fast, so when I set up my company there was no way I was using it.
My first name isn't so bad so I've stuck with that. It took my parents two weeks to come up with it. They had nine months to think of names but only managed to come up with one and apparently I didn't look like a "Thomas" when I was born. It got so bad that the nurses started giving me names because "baby McCubbine" wasn't working (see above).
I needed to borrow a surname - preferably one that sounded good and wasn't entirely random. Enter: Betty Windsor, my adopted Grandma. I was one and my mum was heavily pregnant with my little sister so she needed help cleaning the house - she hired Betty who lived around the corner. When she went into labour, she realised that she needed someone to look after me and just handed me to the nearest adult (Betty) and hoped for the best. She got back with the devil child (I love my sister now) to discover that I was thriving with Betty and her husband Jimmy and from then on they were our babysitters. They didn't have any children of their own and our biological grandparents lived at the other end of the country so they quickly became part of the family.
When Jimmy died in 1995 I became even closer to Betty, she took me to church every Sunday and taught me the art of being polite whilst not taking any "nonsense". The church bit may have slipped but I know she shaped my character for the better. She died in 1998 when I was just 11. I'm still so desperately sad and miss her all the time. She was only 70 and it will never seem fair. She was the best person a little girl growing up could hope to know.
Betty left my sister and I money in her will, we both used it as deposits on our first flats. There is no way either of us would have been able to buy without it and know how lucky that makes us. I've now sold my flat and used the money to set up this business, I could not be more grateful to Betty for making it possible.
So it was easy, I would call the business Victoria Windsor. But wait, that's a royal name (yes, she was called Betty, short for Elizabeth, Windsor, she married for the best name ever!) If you want to form a limited company that includes a royal name you have to get permission. I had to email the Royal Names department of the Cabinet Office with a copy of her will showing her name and mine for them to grant permission. I'm not joking. They said yes, hooray, it's official, Victoria Windsor Ltd.
This was much harder to write than I thought it would be. I miss her so much. I hope she's proud of what I've achieved, I couldn't have done it without her