The weird reason Prince Charles might not be known as ‘King Charles’ when he takes the throne

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales waves as he attends the Royal Cornwall Show on June 07, 2018 in Wadebridge, United Kingdom.
(Image credit: Getty Images / Tim Rooke - WPA Pool)

Prince Charles may take on a completely different name when he becomes King due to royal protocol.

Prince Charles may choose to drop his name when he becomes King, instead opting for one of his middle names. 

Charles is first in the line of succession (opens in new tab) and will take the throne when the Queen dies (opens in new tab), however, we may not know him as ‘King Charles’.

According to royal protocol, monarchs are allowed to choose any of their middle names as their royal moniker. The Queen’s eldest son has three middle names, ‘Philip Arthur George’ so could pick one of these for his reigning name.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales during the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster on October 14, 2019 in London, England.

He will not be the first royal to change his name, the Queen was also met with this choice, but decided to keep Elizabeth as her name. The Queen’s own father however chose to become King George VI after his father George V, dropping his birth name of Albert.

Charles could theoretically become ‘King Philip’, ‘King Arthur’, or ‘King George’ after his grandfather.

This seems likely as there are negative connotations around previous Kings called Charles. For example, according to the royal website (opens in new tab), King Charles, I’s reign was fraught with controversy, as he was deeply unpopular throughout the nation, leading to several civil wars and his own beheading in 1649.

Queen Elizabeth II presents Prince Charles, Prince of Wales with the Royal Horticultural Society's Victoria Medal of Honour during a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show on May 18, 2009 in London.

This choice is something the future King will likely not be dwelling on after it’s been reported he’s ‘terrified’ of taking the throne (opens in new tab), as it will inevitably mean the death of his mother.

He will have his wife Camilla as support, however, as the Queen has now named her Queen Consort. This means she will share in Charles’ rank and status when he becomes King.

Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Lifestyle team and has recently earned her Gold Standard Diploma in Journalism from the NCTJ. She has a background in design, having studied Illustration at Plymouth University but has taken a leap into the world of journalism after always having a passion for writing. She currently writes pieces on beauty, fashion, and entertainment for Goodto.com and My Imperfect Life.