Tradition has it that Prince Charles takes over the throne when his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, dies or renounces the crown. Whatever happens, Prince Charles will immediately become king because the system is set up in such a way that the United Kingdom will never be without a monarch.
Rumor has it that the Queen wants to retire at the age of 95. That would be in 2021, since she is now 94 years old.
When the time comes, will Prince Charles choose the title of King Charles or will he go for another name? Here’s the surprising reason why he might choose something other than Charles.
The hierarchy of the British monarchy
When Queen Elizabeth passes, the crown goes to her eldest son, Prince Charles. Her other three children – Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Princess Ann – would only be considered heirs to the throne if Prince Charles had died earlier than she had and had no children of her own.
As it looks now, he has two sons. So, the eldest, Prince William, is second in line behind his father.
Prince William’s brother, Prince Harry, would qualify for the third in line. But since Prince William has three children, they come before Prince Harry. That makes Prince Harry currently number six when it comes to one day becoming King of England.
Prince Charles may be preparing to become King of England
According to the British gossip magazines, Prince Charles seems to be preparing to take over the king. Rumor has it that he is spending more time with his mother and some speculate that he is preparing to relieve her of her duties in the near future.
Even his wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles, has shown a shift in her public activities. Where she originally attended many events, she is now seen mainly on Prince Charles’ side for fewer and more important occasions. This is consistent with how often and when she would appear as the king’s husband.
Will the British monarchy continue?
There are those who no longer cling to the idea of maintaining a monarchy. Young people in particular do not see the point of spending public money to support a family that currently plays a more ceremonial role than not.
However, a survey by YouGov shows that 70 percent of the British still support a monarchy. Those who are not in favour of scrapping the whole system are mostly older traditionalists and those who fear that not having a royal family in residence could harm tourism.
In other words, if there is no incumbent monarchy, the cause could suffer.
The title of King Charles as opposed to others
Charles Philip Arthur George can choose any name he wants when he makes the ascent king. If the Prince of Wales chooses to keep the name Charles, then his title would be King Charles III, since the rulers with the same name as a former monarch would have to put a number next to his or her name. Charles II was the king in the 17th century.
Another feasible option for His Majesty would be King George. That would make him King George VII after his grandfather King George VI and his great-grandfather King George V. The fact that he has a grandson by the name of George, who is in third place in the row of the throne, makes this name attractive.
He could also choose King Philip or King Arthur. There has not been a King Philip in England and this would give Prince Charles the title of King Philip I. Because his father’s name is Philip, the prospect of being King Philip I is perhaps tempting enough that he would reject King Philip I’s title.