There’s a longstanding rumor that Prince Charles may change his name when crowned king. The possibility of George VII is often mentioned since it’s a name that honors his predecessor – and grandfather- George VI.
In fact, the king changed his name from Albert to George in honor of his father, George V (whose name actually was George). So it’s not unprecedented.
Sometimes a monarch is known by an informal family nickname but use their Christian given name during their reign (think Edwards VII and VIII).
Not So Fast
As far back as 2005, however, Prince Charles’s staff denied that he would become George. Now the prince has a grandson whose name is George, so the name seems an unlikely choice now.
Perhaps Charles won’t change his name at all. If anything, the most notable difference won’t be a new name – it will be the new status. Charles was created Prince of Wales in 1958; he has been Prince of Wales most of his life. Like his parents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Charles also broke a longevity record: as of 2017, he is the longest-serving Prince of Wales in history. To refer to him as anything but that would be difficult to wrap my head around!
Left: Prince Charles in 2021. Right: King George VI, previously Prince Albert, the Duke of York.
A New Era
The prince was born Charles, and Charles he should remain. As someone who carved out a unique role for himself as Prince of Wales, he can certainly forge a positive and historic reign as Britain’s King Charles III.
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