Revealed: Prince Charles Might Change His Name to ‘George’ When He Becomes King

Prince Charles has been a loyal member of the monarchy for 70 years. And, Since becoming the heir apparent in 1952, the Prince of Wales has patiently waited for his turn on the British throne. As the longest-waiting heir in royal family history, Prince Charles is now closer than ever to his reign. But, as it turns out, Prince Charles possibly won’t go by King Charles III when he ascends the throne.

Will Prince Charles change his name when he becomes king? Find out, ahead.

Will Prince Charles change his name when he becomes king?

Prince Charles
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We know him as Prince Charles, but one day, he might go by King George VII. That’s right, some reports claim that the Prince of Wales might change his name when he ascends the throne and becomes king. “It’s quite possible that he might choose one of his other names: Philip, Arthur or George,” Dickie Arbiter, a former palace spokesman told People. “It’s not common, but it’s not unusual. His grandfather, King George VI, was Albert Frederick Arthur George, but he chose George in honor of his late father.”  

So, what name will he choose? It’s completely possible that Prince Charles will simply go by King Charles III — after all, it’s what he has been called for 70 years and it might feel weird to change it after so long. However, Arbiter seems to think that, if he does change his name, he would likely choose George “in deference to his grandfather and in recognition of his mother, the Queen.”

“King Arthur” is another good choice — with an excellent reputation, we might add — but its connection to the tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table might cause Prince Charles to steer clear. “King Philip” is another great option, especially since it would pay tribute to his father, Prince Philip, and make him the first King Philip in Britain.

Will Prince Charles become King Charles III?

While King George VII has a nice ring to it, Arbiter notes that being a King Charles is not necessarily a bag thing. In the royal family, reputation is everything and definitely something that royals look at when naming their children or changing their name upon ascension. “Charles II was a patron of the arts, like Prince Charles is,” Arbiter notes. “He is the one who initiated the Royal Observatory and got Sir Christopher Wren to build the Royal Hospital. So he is a man remembered for his patronage of the arts and going good deeds.”

That said, King Charles I wasn’t as well-liked and his reign resulted in the English Civil War. Additionally, the Black Death and the Great Fire of London occurred until King Charles II’s reign. However, according to Arbiter’s comments, he doesn’t appear to be remembered for these two great tragedies.

Why do monarchs change their names?

In the royal family, those destined for His or Her Majesty status are not tied to their first names. In fact, they have the liberty to completely change their name upon ascension. When Prince Charles ascends the throne, he can decide whether or not he wanted to keep his first name (the name he was christened with) or choose a Regnal name from one of his middle names.

The monarch’s name is called a Regnal name — aka, “reign name” — and can be the king or queen’s first name or one of their middle names.

When will Prince Charles become king?

While he is closer than ever, Prince Charles could still have to wait another decade before ascending the throne. “The Queen is hale and hearty,” Arbiter told People in 2018. “She is only 92 [Queen Elizabeth has since turned 93] — her mother was 101 when she died. So we’re probably not even thinking about this for another decade at least,” he added.

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