He’s Prince Charles, But We Might Call Him King George VII

Chris JacksonGetty Images

No one will be surprised if Prince Charles finally assumes the throne — he’s been first-in-line for the monarchy for well over 60 years. His mother’s longevity has made his wait the longest in royal history, and that may have given him time to dwell on title choices over the years.

People Magazine reports that Prince Charles has a plethora of suitable names to choose from, if he doesn’t want to become King Charles III when (or if) the time comes.

“It’s quite possible that he might choose one of his other names: Philip, Arthur or George,” former palace spokesman, Dickie Arbiter, told People. His full name is Prince Charles Philip Arthur George.

“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,” Arbiter said.

“Edward VII’s first name was Albert, but he chose his second name, Edward.”

These choices all present interesting possibilities. Charles could decide to keep his own name, and in doing so become just the third Charles to be King of the United Kingdom. He could join the substantially longer reign of Georges as George VII.

Some speculated that another of the prince’s names, Arthur, may be too closely associated with the mythology of Arthur Pendragon and the Knights of the Round Table, among other things.

Philip may be the boldest choice, as there has never been a King Philip in the history of England. Moreover, there has never been a King Philip anywhere in the world except Spain and Belgium, although Queen Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Philip, has made his mark as a consort to the monarch.

Arbiter also noted that the first King Charles met a violent end when he was executed after the English Civil War. His son, King Charles II, was a popular king and patron of the arts.

Some wonder if Charles will even have to make the choice. The queen is still remarkably fit and healthy and the family is known for its longevity. The queen’s mother was 101-years-old when she passed; Queen Elizabeth is a mere 92.

Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, have been consistently making public appearances as all royals do, and do not seem to be slowing down. He may have some decisions to make about his name, but the the other titles they both are set to inherit are already determined.