King Charles III reportedly considered changing his reign name to distance himself from Charles I & II

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It may seem obvious that King Charles III kept his birth name as his reign name when he… ascended the British throne on the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II.

But an anonymous source once claimed that Prince Charles at the time was considering another name, which he wanted to avoid appeal to the controversial legacies of the British Charles I and Charles II.

A “trusted friend” told the London Times in 2005 that the Prince of Wales might avoid the name Charles, claiming it was “infused with so much grief.”

The same source reported that Charles was considering making his government name George VII instead to honor his grandfather George VI.

QUEEN ELIZABETH THROUGH THE YEARS

King Charles III during a roundtable with participants of the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation seminar to discuss allergies and the environment, at Dumfries House, Cumnock on September 7, 2022.
(Jane Barlow – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Charles I was notorious for sparring with the English parliament – a tense relationship that led to the English Civil War and his eventual execution.

Charles was criticized for marrying Queen Henrietta Maria, who was a Catholic, and disbanding parliament on a whim when faced with disagreements. The controversial monarch once even dissolved parliament for 11 years.

After his Royalist army was defeated by Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentarians during the English Civil War, Charles was executed in 1649. He remains the only English monarch to be tried and executed for treason.

His son, Charles II, was exiled for nearly ten years before finally ascending the throne in 1660.

Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Triptych Portrait of King Charles I of England.

Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Triptych Portrait of King Charles I of England.
(Photo12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The legacy of Charles II was also controversial. Like his father, Charles II had dissolved Parliament in 1679 and ruled himself until his death in 1685. He was also sympathetic to Catholics and even converted to Catholicism on his deathbed, infuriating English Protestants.

HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II AND HER REGISTERING RULE AS THE LONGEST RAINING BRITISH MONARCH

The hedonistic king was nicknamed “The Merry Monarch” for a court known for debauchery, adultery and gambling. Historians claim that Charles II, who surrounded himself with libertines and bawdy courtesans, fathered at least 14 illegitimate children.

But to what extent the current King Charles III considered the legacies of the two 17th-century kings is unknown. An anonymous source disputed the claim published in the London Times.

After Oliver Cromwell's death and the fall of the protectorate in 1659, negotiations were underway to restore the monarchy and Charles made a triumphant entry into London on 29 May 1660.

After Oliver Cromwell’s death and the fall of the protectorate in 1659, negotiations were underway to restore the monarchy and Charles made a triumphant entry into London on 29 May 1660.
(The Print Collector/Getty Images)

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“Anyone who knows the Prince of Wales knows he’s not talking to his comrades about what he wants to be called,” the source told The Guardian at the time. “As far as officials have discussed it with him in accession planning meetings, the thought was that he would stay, Charles.”



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