We’re not there quite yet but when Britain’s reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth, one day passes away or abdicates the throne, her eldest son, Prince Charles, will then become King of England. When Charles ascends to the crown, he’d likely be called King Charles III — or he could choose a brand new name altogether. Yes, seriously!

“He might choose one of his other names Philip, Arthur or George,” former Buckingham Palace spokesperson and the author of On Duty with the Queen, Dickie Arbiter, told the UK’s Hello! magazine earlier this year. As for his official royal title, Arbiter also explained, “[Charles will] also be Lord of the Mann (Isle of Man) and Duke of Normandy. But generally, he’ll only be known as King.”

Prince Charles
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Charles’ full name is Charles Philip Arthur George, so once he becomes King he might choose to go by King Philip, King Arthur or King George instead of King Charles. Though that might seem weird, a monarch choosing a different name is actually very common practice within the British royal family. For example, when Queen Elizabeth’s father became monarch in 1936, he opted to be called King George VI instead of his given name, Albert Frederick Arthur George.

Before King George VI came to power, his older brother held England’s crown as King Edward VIII. Though his given name was Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David and he kept his first name when he became King, he was always informally known by friends and family as David, his sixth middle name.

When Queen Elizabeth’s father passed away and she became Queen back in 1952, she could have chosen to go by Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Alexandra or Queen Mary, as her full name is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. But like her uncle, Elizabeth chose to keep her first name when she took over the crown. Honestly, we can’t imagine calling her anything else!

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