The Naming of the King: Unraveling the Choice of Charles III

During a period of transition, as a new monarch assumed the throne, there was an initial state of uncertainty surrounding his name. The individual formerly recognized as Prince Charles was simply identified as "the King" in a significant tweet from the official Royal Family account, which delivered the news of Queen Elizabeth II's passing. However, this triggered speculation and doubts among royal observers about the precise name the new monarch would adopt.

King charles coronation

In his initial statement, the newly crowned ruler chose not to disclose his name, leaving it to Prime Minister Liz Truss to officially introduce King Charles III to the public. Due to Truss's contentious history with truth and the law, skepticism persisted until the BBC confirmed the information with Charles' staff at Clarence House. Ultimately, it was confirmed that the monarch indeed took on the name King Charles III.

So, why wasn't he named King George, King Philip, or King Arthur? The possibility of Charles assuming the title of King George VII had gained traction in the media back in 2005. Name changes were not unheard of in royal history, as demonstrated by Charles' great-uncle David's brief reign as Edward VIII and his grandfather Bertie becoming George VI upon David's abdication. Despite strong denials from Clarence House, which had left the door open to a potential name change, Charles made the decision to become Charles III on September 8, 2022, at Balmoral Castle.

When considering the other contenders, Philip was disregarded due to historical associations with Philip II of Spain, who co-ruled England with his wife Queen "Bloody" Mary during the 16th century. Philip's actions, including abandoning Mary and attempting to claim the country after her death, made him an unfavorable choice. As for King Arthur, although an intriguing name, it was deemed unsuitable for Charles, given his age of 73 and his reputation for sensibility, which made it challenging for him to embody the role of a modern-day mythical figure.

As for the possibility of King George, Charles may have hesitated due to the weight of previous Georges in British history. From George I to George IV, each George had their share of flaws and controversies, including a lack of fluency in English, mistreatment of the Scots, the loss of the American colonies, and public perception as privileged and lacking intelligence. Victorian poets even expressed relief when the reign of the Georges came to an end.

Additionally, the anticipation of another George in the future, such as Prince George of Cambridge and Cornwall, who currently holds the second position in line to the throne, may have influenced Charles' decision. Ultimately, it appeared that Charles had little choice but to embrace the name associated with a headless King, a King known for his numerous mistresses, and a King who never truly reigned.

In summary, the abundance of Georges in British history, along with Charles' age and practicality, led him to choose the name Charles III, despite earlier speculations regarding other potential names.