There was a time — for nearly two decades at the turn of the 1900s — where Real Madrid was simply known as ‘Madrid CF’. Now, the word ‘Real’ is synonymous with the club.
From 1902-1920, while the club played sporadic football, years before La Liga even existed, the team was called Madrid CF.
That all changed on June 29th, 1920, when King Alfonso XIII granted the title ‘Real’ (meaning ‘royal’) to the club, and thus forever changing the club’s name to ‘Real Madrid’.
On June 29, 1920, King Alfonso XIII granted Madrid the title of Real (Royal). He did it through a letter that the High Steward of the monarch sent to the president of the club, Pedro Parages, in which he was granted the right to use that denomination and which said: “His Majesty the King (q.D.g.), has served to grant with the greatest satisfaction the Title of Royal, to this Football Club of which you are worthy President, which, from now on, will be able to prevail over your name. I hereby inform you of the above and of the consequences thereof”.
This concession allowed the club to wear the royal crown on its badge and, from that year on, Madrid Football Club was renamed Real Madrid Football Club.