Why Prince Charles may not be named King Charles III

Prince Charles may not become King Charles III

Prince Charles may not be King Charles III
(Image credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Due to a weird royal protocol, Prince Charles may not be King Charles III when the Queen dies and he ascends to the throne.

As the eldest of Queen Elizabeth's children, and next in the royal line of succession, it appears obvious that when Prince Charles becomes King, he will become King Charles III. However, based on an old royal protocol he may decide to pick one of his middle names to rule by. 

Prince Charles' full name is Charles Philip Arthur George. This means that Prince Charles could decide to be King Philip I, King Arthur I, or King George VII. 

A strange royal protocol means that when royals take to the throne, they do not have to use their birth name as their title as sovereign.

The best example of this was the Queen's father who ruled as King George VI. King George's full name before he became King was Albert Frederick Arthur George, but he picked one of his middle names when he took to the throne. 

Similarly, Queen Victoria was actually named, Alexandrina Victoria, and Edward VII was named Albert Edward. But both former rulers decided to use their middle names when they took to the throne, of course, this isn't the case for all former sovereigns and many have kept their own first name.

Prince Charles

King George VI with Prince Charles on his third birthday in November 1951 

(Image credit: Topical Press Agency / Getty)

When Princess Elizabeth took to the throne at the age of 25, she was reportedly asked if she wanted to change her name when she became Queen.

Hello reported that the young Princess was asked by Martin Charteris, her private secretary, which name she wanted to be known as. The Queen replied, "My own of course." 

Her Majesty's full name is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, so Her Majesty had a few viable options that she could choose. But, as we know, she wanted to keep her own name and has been called Queen Elizabeth II since her coronation.


Queen Elizabeth II at her coronation

(Image credit: Keystone / Stringer / Getty Images)

The Queen made the decision to keep her own name on the day her father died on February 6, 1952. The 70th anniversary of his death will be marked by Her Majesty at Sandringham House in just a few days.

This anniversary is a particularly bittersweet time for Her Majesty, who marks both the loss of her father and the day she became Queen. 

Later this year, the official date Her Majesty was coronated and became sovereign will be marked with festivities for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee 

Laura Harman

Laura is the Entertainment Editor for woman&home who primarily covers television, film, and celebrity news. Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.