King Charles III? The First 2 Kings Named Charles Didn't Do So Well...

Yeah, not a great namesake.

Senior Editor
King Charles III.

King Charles III.

Queen Victoria's full first name was Alexandrina Victoria. Her son was Albert before he became Edward VII. Queen Elizabeth II's father, King George VI, was also an Albert before he ascended to the throne. So will the new king, formerly Prince Charles, adopt a new name too?

It doesn't look like it. According to the BBC, he will be known as Charles III. At the time of writing, the royal family itself hasn't confirmed this though. The new monarch has so far released only one statement, which Buckingham Palace only cryptically indicated came from "His Majesty the King."

If Charles did choose a different regnal name, he'd have good reason. In addition to the tradition of name changes among monarchs of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, renamed the House of Windsor in 1917, the new king is also faced with the dubious legacies of the first two English monarchs named Charles.

Charles I was, of course, beheaded.

According to a history posted to the royal family's website, he reigned over a period of debt and disputes with Parliament that eventually escalated to a civil war, the outcome of which was Charles' execution.

His son Charles became Charles II and fled to France but returned to England to re-establish the monarchy in 1660.

He died with no legitimate children, passing the crown to his brother James II, who had to contend with an uprising led by Charles II's not-so-legitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth.

James II's reign was otherwise characterized by religious disputes, according to the royal family website. He was eventually ousted by his daughter, Mary, and her husband, William, Duke of Orange.

So yeah, not a great namesake for this Charles.

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