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Ever since Prince Charles was born, people have been wondering about the future King Charles. He’s his mother’s firstborn child, so he’s the natural heir to her throne.

Queen Elizabeth doesn’t look like she’s going anywhere anytime soon, but someday Charles will be king. It may surprise royal watchers to learn that even though he’s the heir, there may never be a King Charles.

Yes, Prince Charles plans to take the throne, but when he does, he may use a different name. It turns out he has quite a few options

Prince Charles actually has four names 

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales meets residents of The Guinness Partnership's 250th affordable home in Poundbury.
Prince Charles | Ben A. Pruchnie – WPA Pool Getty Images

Most of the public knows the queen’s oldest son as Prince Charles. For those who know a little more about the royal family, he may be Charles Mountbatten-Windsor. His full name is actually a lot longer than that. 

The Prince of Wales was christened Charles Philip Arthur George. When he takes the throne, he can use any one of those names in his title. He could decide to be King Charles, or he could be King Arthur, King Philip, or King George. 

According to a report in The Star, Prince Charles is leaning towards George. 

Would Prince Charles take Prince George’s name?

Some people think that taking the name George would be confusing. It may seem like Prince Charles is trying to draw attention away from the current Prince George, who is Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge’s oldest son.

Previous reports say Prince Charles is considering the name Philip instead. If the prince does choose to be crowned King Philip, it would be a sweet nod to his father.

Prince Charles’ dad, Prince Philip, was never crowned king. Thanks to royal precedent, Prince Philip can’t even take the title of King Consort.

He may not have wanted it to be that way. Prince Philip is royal himself. He was born into the Greek royal family but had to abandon the country due to political turmoil. Greece no longer has a monarchy. 

Calling himself King Philip would be a way for Prince Charles to honor his father and his dual royal heritage. If he does opt to go with King George for a title, he might be on the receiving end of criticism from fans. That’s not a great way to start a reign. 

Although it seems like he’s not considering it, King Arthur may actually be a great choice. Aside from the mythical Arthur of the round table, there has never been a King Arthur of England. Prince Charles would be the first to hold that name. 

Is it a big deal if Prince Charles becomes King George?

Since George is technically one of Prince Charles’ names, it is well within his right to use it when he succeeds Queen Elizabeth.

What’s more, Prince George would hardly be the first King George when he eventually ascends the throne. Even if Prince Charles were to take the name George, he wouldn’t be the first.

But, most importantly, Prince Charles would hardly be the first monarch to take a new name. A few other monarchs have changed their names when they ascended to the throne.

In fact, Prince Charles’ own grandfather was one of them: He was born Albert Frederick Arthur George. He opted to be called King George, making him King George VI when he ascended. 

Royal watchers say Prince Charles wants to take the name George when he becomes king in part to honor his grandfather.

There’s another reason he might be reluctant to be crowned King Charles: If he does keep the name, Prince Charles will become King Charles III. The first two kings to have that name did not leave it a great legacy. 

King Charles I was actually executed. He was accused of treason and put the entire monarchy at risk. The second King Charles was better, but not by much. He had a reputation for partying and indulgence.

So Prince Charles has a good reason to pick George, and a good reason not to stick with his current name. But fans can’t help but wonder, what about the current Prince George