What name will Prince George go by when he becomes King?

Tradition usually sees royals change their first name when they become monarch

Prince George
(Image credit: GARETH CATTERMOLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

When Prince George becomes King, he may change his first name in favour of one of his middle names as per royal tradition.


Prince George may only just have celebrated his tenth birthday, but his future is set in stone as he sits second in the royal line of succession and will one day be the King of England. 

While his accession to the throne seems a long way off, with him and his siblings not yet even being known by the royal titles they will receive when their dad becomes King, speculation surrounding what sort of monarch George will be is already ripe. 

The royal youngster is already taking his duty very seriously and has reportedly 'stepped up' as he realised the family have ‘lost Uncle Harry and wants to help out. His behaviour is already showing that he will be a brilliant leader for the country, but what name will he go by when he does take the throne?

Prince

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Royal Family have some strange rules to follow, including one outdated rule that means Princess Charlotte may not get same royal titles as her brothers when they grow up, but one ancient unwritten rule means that George may go by a different name when he takes the throne. 

As per tradition, members of the Firm often change their first name when they become monarch to pay tribute to monarchs before them. The new name is called the monarch's Regnal name and is changed upon their coronation. 

When King Charles became King, it was thought he would rename himself using one of his middle names to be known as King Arthur or King Philip. However, he ultimately decided to retain his birth name as, according to Keith Roy, a spokesperson for the Monarchist League of Canada, “He's quite comfortable in his own skin, his own name and his own identity."

Similarly, Queen Elizabeth II kept her first name when she was coronated as, according to reports in The Express, her actual name was regal enough.

King Charles III and Queen Camilla with their Pages of Honour and Ladies in Attendance on the day of the coronation in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace. Pictured (left to right) Ralph Tollemache, Lord Oliver Cholmondeley, Nicholas Barclay, Prince George of Wales, the Marchioness of Lansdowne, King Charles III, Queen Camilla, the Queen's sister Annabel Elliot, the Queen's grandson Freddy Parker Bowles, the Queen's great-nephew Arthur Elliot, and the Queen's grandsons Gus Lopes and Louis Lopes. The King is wearing the Imperial State Crown, and Robe on May 6, 2023 in London, England

(Image credit: Getty)

According to myriad royal experts, Prince George will likely keep his own name for a few reasons. The first is that his name is already steeped in royal history and would honour the six King Georges that came before him. 

The second is because royals are increasingly becoming household names as TV and social media coverage bring them into people homes on a regular basis. Changing an heir's name could be confusing for the public when they have already been known by a different name for such a long period of time. 

Another reason George may keep his name is to honour his great-great-grandparents, King Charles grandparents and Queen Elizabeth's parents, King George VI and the Queen Mother. In 2005, a former Buckingham Palace press spokesman, Dickie Arbiter, told the BBC that King Charles himself was toying with the idea of using the name George to do just that. 

He said, "It would not just be a tribute to his grandfather, but a sort of loving memory to his late grandmother, whom he absolutely adored. When she died in 2002, he was absolutely devastated."

If Prince George does chose another title, he may opt for King Alexander or King Louis, which are both his middle names, though the former is more likely as the second name is also that of his younger brother.

News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.