British royal family circumcision legend

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There is a long-standing British royal family circumcision legend about the royal family and its alleged practice of male circumcision that has long been circulated in the print media and orally.


According to the legend, Queen Victoria believed that she was descended from the Jewish King David of the Bible. She had her sons circumcised in accordance with Jewish practice. After Queen Victoria's death succeeding generations of the royal family continued the practice.


Robert Darby and John Cozijn thoroughly investigated the legend and were unable to verify any of it. Moreover, they showed evidence that it cannot be true.[1]

Although this long standing legend cannot be proved to be true, it was generally believed to be true. It is probable therefore, that many parents had their sons circumcised because the royal family was believed to do it.

Non-therapeutic circumcision of children was still a recognised medical practice in 1948 when Prince Charles was born. There is some evidence that Prince Charles was non-ritually circumcised in 1948 by Dr Jacob Snowman, a Jewish mohel, not by any royal tradition, but by order of his grandfather, King George, who was the head of the Anglican Church.

See also