Boris Johnson: Do you know the PM's real name?

Did you know that the Prime Minister’s name isn’t actually Boris Johnson? Bet you can’t guess what it is.

Boris Johnson: What is his real name?
© Chesnot
Boris Johnson: What is his real name?

Everyone knows how eccentric Boris Johnson is and with all the drama of the Downing Street party during lockdown, he’s definitely making headlines. But are you aware that Boris Johnson isn’t his official name?

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Boris’ real name

Indeed, we have always known our Prime Minister as Boris Johnson, but up until his college years, he went by a different name.

To give a bit of background, Johnson was born in New York, USA but travelled a lot due to his father’s, Stanley Johnson, many jobs. Boris’ formative years were spent constantly moving around, from the US to Britain, back to the US again, then Brussels, and then finally settling in Britain.

It wasn’t until Johnson attended Eton College that he started going by Boris. His birth name is actually… Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. Only his family still call him Alexander, many calling him Al. So why did Johnson start going by his middle name?

It was during his years at Eton College that Johnson decided to go by Boris, as he adopted ‘the eccentric English persona' that he is so famous for.

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Johnson’s ancestry

Now, you may be wondering where the ‘de Pfeffel’ part of his name came from. Well, it comes from Johnson’s ancestors. Indeed, the Prime Minister was on the BBC show, Who Do You Think You Are?

The BBC wrote:

[Boris'] Granny Butter's mother was Marie Louise de Pfeffel (1882-1944), and her great-grandparents were Baron Charles de Pfeffel (1843-1922) and Caroline de Pfeffel (1862-1951). Her aristocratic pretensions appeared to have some substance

As it turns out, Johnson has German and Bavarian ancestry. In fact, his grandmother, who he calls ‘Granny Butter’ is a descendant of Prince Paul Von Wurttemberg, who is a direct descendant of George II. This means that Johnson is a (very) distant relative of the Royal Family.

Furthermore, Boris, or should we say, Alexander, is related to many of the royal houses of Europe, including the Swedish and Dutch royal families, and even the Romanoffs.

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