Prince Charles is the longest-serving heir apparent in British history – right behind his mother Queen Elizabeth II as the longest-serving British monarch. Questions of his future title have long been raised as the 72-year-old prepares to take the throne.
Royal name changes are not uncommon when a new monarch comes to the throne.
Although Queen Elizabeth kept her name when she was crowned in 1952, her father changed his from Albert to George VI, as did Queen Victoria.
The name Charles, unfortunately, has some negative connotations if you’re clued up on your royal history.
Charles I was the only member of the monarchy to be tried and executed for treason.
What’s more, his son, Charles II, was known for his legendary love life and ruled during a particularly nasty bout of the plague and the Great Fire of London.
According to The Guardian, the Prince, who was christened Charles Philip Arthur George, held private talks with “trusted friends” about the possibility of using his third middle name and reigning as George VII.
A former Buckingham Palace press spokesman said by using the name George, the Duke of Cornwall would be paying tribute to his grandfather, George VI.
However, Clarence House quickly denied these claims.
“No decision has been made and it will be made at the time,” Charles’ representatives said in response to the news.”
Other royal experts think Charles will continue with his birth name as his regnal name.
“I think it’s very probable that he will be King Charles III,” journalist and author Penny Junor told Town & Country.
“I think there is no good reason why he might not.”
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Royal biographer Marcia Moody agrees.
“He is 68 years old at the moment, and if the Queen takes after her mother and lives past the age of 100, Charles will be in his late seventies by the time he takes to the throne,” she said several years ago.
“He has dedicated his life to championing causes close to his heart, and he has been doing that as HRH Charles, Prince of Wales.
“The continuity of his work would be clearer if he progressed as King Charles.
“Additionally, many of the British public will be devastated at the loss of the Queen, and even those who are not monarchists will be coming to terms with the first new head of state in around 70 years, so Charles will want to promote stability and constancy.”
There have also been questions about what his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall will rule as.
Following the death of Princess Diana in 1997 and the subsequent public blossoming of the pair’s relationship, it was agreed that the Duchess would rule alongside Charles at Princess Consort, not Queen Consort.
Most of the constitutional experts agree that by common law and tradition she is entitled to be Queen,” author Sally Bedell Smith told People.
“It was obviously fudged when they got married. Diana was so uppermost in many people’s mind, so they concocted the notion of a Princess Consort, which is made up.”