The Surprising Reason Prince Charles Might Reject the ‘King Charles’ Title

As tradition would have it, Prince Charles is set to take over the throne when his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, either passes away or relinquishes the crown. No matter which occurrence, Prince Charles will become king immediately because the system is set up so that the United Kingdom is never without a monarch.

It has been rumored that the queen wishes to retire at age 95. That would be in 2021 since she is presently 94 years old.

When the time comes, will Prince Charles choose the title of King Charles or will he go for another name? Here is the surprising reason why he might opt for something other than Charles.

The hierarchy of the British monarchy

When Queen Elizabeth passes on, the crown goes to her eldest son: Prince Charles. Her other three children — Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, and Princess Ann — would only be considered as heirs to the throne if Prince Charles had passed away before she did and had not had any children of his own.

As it stands, he has two sons. So, the eldest, Prince William, is second in line behind his father.

Prince William’s brother, Prince Harry, would get consideration for the third in line. But since Prince William has three children, they come before Prince Harry. That makes Prince Harry currently number six as far as getting to one day become the king of England.

Prince Charles may be preparing to become King of England

Prince Charles
Prince Charles | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

According to British tabloids, Prince Charles appears to be readying himself to take over as the king. Rumored to be spending more time with his mother, some speculate that he is preparing to relieve her of her duties in the near future.

Even his wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles has shown a shift in her public activities. Where she originally attended many events, she is now mostly seen at Prince Charles’ side for fewer and more important occasions. This is in line with how often and when she would appear as the spouse of the king.   

Will the British monarchy continue?

There are some who no longer hold to the idea of keeping a monarchy intact. Young people especially don’t see the point in spending public money to support a family whose role at this time is more ceremonial than not.

A poll conducted by YouGov reported that 70 percent of Britons still support having a monarchy, however. Those not in favor of scrapping the whole system are mostly made up of elder traditionalists and those who fear that not having a royal family in residence might hurt tourism.

In other words, if there is no sitting monarchy, the business might suffer.  

The title of King Charles as opposed to others

Charles Philip Arthur George can choose whatever name he likes when he makes the ascension to king. If the Prince of Wales chooses to stick with the name Charles, his title would be King Charles III as rulers with the same name as a prior monarch must attach a number next to his or her name. Charles II was the King during the 17th century.

Another viable option for His Majesty would be King George. That would make him King George VII after his grandfather King George VI and his great grandfather King George V. The fact that he has a grandson named George, who is third in line to the throne, makes this name seem attractive.

He could also choose King Philip or King Arthur. There has not been a King Philip in England and this would grant Prince Charles the title of King Philip I. Being that his father’s name is Philip, the prospect of being King Philip I may be enticing enough that he would reject the King Charles title.