Ever since 1952, Prince Charles has been the heir apparent to the British throne. Today, 70 years later, he is the longest waiting heir in royal family history. When he finally gets to wear the crown, he will become King Charles III, unless he decides to change his name.
Will Prince Charles change his name when he becomes king?
Changing a name upon ascension to the throne isn’t that uncommon, says Dickie Arbiter, a former palace spokesman.
“It’s quite possible that he might choose one of his other names: Philip, Arthur or George,” Arbiter 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.”
If he goes through with the name change, Prince Charles will probably choose George “in deference to his grandfather and in recognition of his mother, the Queen.”
Other choices would be Arthur and Phillip, honoring his father. He would also be the first King Phillip in British history. Arbiter notes that Charles isn’t really a bad thing, as names carries a lot of symbolism in royal family.
“Charles II was a patron of the arts, like Prince Charles is,” he said. “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.”
Why do monarchs change their names?
When a new king or queen is crowned, they get to choose a Regnal name. They can keep their first name or choose some other that will be the name under which they rule.
When will Prince Charles become king?
Prince Charles may have another decade before getting an opportunity to become the king and change his name.
“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.”