Prince Charles may be first-in-line to the throne, but don’t expect him to take on the obvious title following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II . Though he’ll definitely be referred to as the king, Charles may decide to go with a different name – a choice that is not uncommon for British Kings and Queens. Former Buckingham Palace spokesperson Dickie Arbiter revealed that the royal has a few options, telling HELLO!: “He might choose one of his other names Philip, Arthur or George.”
This wouldn’t’ come as a surprise, as the Queen’s father went with the title King George VI, despite his real first name being Albert and previously being styled as Prince Albert. King Edward VII’s given name was also Albert, but he chose to be known as Edward during his reign. If the Prince of Wales opts for George, he will be King George VII, but if he settles on Charles, it will be King Charles III – King Charles I was executed for treason in the 17 th century and his son King Charles II ruled during the Great Plague of London and the Great Fire of London.
In addition to being king, Prince Charles is slated to inherit numerous other royal titles, like Duke of Lancaster, Head of the Commonwealth, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, and King of Other Realms and Territories. Dickie, who wrote On Duty with the Queen, elaborated: “[Charles will] also be Lord of the Mann (Isle of Man) and Duke of Normandy. But generally, he’ll only be known as King.”
Like all other aspects of British royalty, titles are heavily steeped in tradition and carry a lot of historical significance – and this goes for the partner of the monarch as well. When Prince Charles and Camilla first became engaged, it was believed that she would be The Princess Consort when her husband ascended the throne.
“Coming as it did eight years after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, sensitivities were running high and the title Princess Consort was seen as a compromise pleasing some but not all,” Dickie explained. However, the title has since been removed from her bio on the Royal Family website. After 21 years, she’s gained the affections of the public and worked hard to support her husband and the Queen. “So when the day does ultimately come, Camilla will take her place alongside her husband not as Princess Consort but as Queen Consort.”
The same goes for the Duchess of Cambridge when her husband Prince William takes the throne. According to royal historian Marlene Koenig , of the Royal Musings blog, it’s most likely that she’ll simply be called Queen Catherine. “The wife of the king is by tradition a queen,” Marlene told HELLO!, And although she’ll be the sixth queen with the first name Catherine, Kate will not be styled as Queen Catherine VI, as regnal numbers are only given to the sovereign and not the consort.