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Why the 'King Charles' regent title could be considered unlucky - details

The fascinating reasons why royal experts thought Charles wouldn’t use his name as King 

king charles iii
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
9 September 2022
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Following the death of Her Majesty the Queen, King Charles III has ascended to the throne and will be addressing the nation as the new monarch and holding his first audience with Prime Minister Liz Truss on Friday ahead of an Accession Council. It has been confirmed that the former Prince of Wales will be known as King Charles III - but he could have gone by a different name altogether. 

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While Queen Elizabeth II chose her Christian name as her regent name, royals throughout history often chose a different name for ruling, including Elizabeth II’s father, who was known as Prince Albert before becoming King and taking the regent name of King George VI. Queen Victoria made a similar decision, as her Christian name was Alexandrina Victoria. 

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So why did some royal experts believe that King Charles would opt for a different regal name? Back in 2005, The Times reported that close friends of the royal believed that Charles would choose a different name, with King George VII in honour of his grandfather being one of his favourites. Like his ancestors, Queen Victoria and King George VI, 'George' is also one of Charles' middle names. 

His friends also suggested that he might want a different regent name as 'Charles' was "tinged with so much sadness" throughout British history. 

charles i

King Charles I was executed

Indeed, Charles I was the only British monarch to have been executed back in 1649 for high treason after being arrested and refusing to accept demands for a constitutional monarchy. The monarchy was abolished for a short time after his death, becoming a republic led by Oliver Cromwell, before being restored with Charles’ son King Charles II ascending to the throne in 1660. 

charles ii

His son King Charles II died in 1685 

King Charles II was known for his hedonistic lifestyle, and was thought to have fathered 12 illegitimate children with his mistresses - one of whom he spoke about on his deathbed, saying: "Let not poor Nelly starve." Despite being married to Catherine of Braganza, he had no legitimate children, and the throne was passed to his brother, James, following the King’s sudden death in 1685. His death was long suspected to be a result of poisoning, but it has since been claimed that it was more likely due to kidney failure. 

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bonnie prince charlie

Bonnie Prince Charlie hoped to take the British throne

The Bonnie Prince Charlie, a Stuart claimant to the throne, was also known to those who supported his claim as Charles III. However, following his defeat in the Battle of Culloden in 1746, the Prince spent the rest of his life in France and Italy, and never ascended the throne. 

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