-2

King Charles III name calls to memory his two predecessors, Charles I and Charles II (the father and the son) who distinguished themselves as anti-revolutionaries: the first had his head cut as a major event of the English revolution, whereas the second led multiple armies against the revolutionary forces, eventually getting soundly routed by Cromwell at the Battle of Worcester (which is apparently still considered as a military masterpiece.) Later, after the restoration of the monarchy, Charles II did promise to respect the parliament, but the symbolism of his opposition to "democracy" is still there.

Are there any indications that a message was intended by King Charles III (or his parents) when choosing this name? Are there any anti-monarchy movements that try to make the use of this symbolism? Is there any change in Charles' support among the conservative and non-conservative voters since he became the King?

Remark:
The question is to be interpreted in reasonable modern terms: e.g., that the choice of the name signals that Charles intends to stick to more traditional/conservative values rather than being a "progressive" King.

Background

Though most monarchs of the United Kingdom have used their first baptismal name as their regnal name, on three occasions monarchs have chosen a different name.
[...]
There had been speculation that Charles, current king of the United Kingdom, might elect not to be known as Charles III out of concern about comparisons with Charles II of England (who was known as the Merry Monarch for his womanising), Charles I of England (who was executed after the English Civil War) and the Jacobite memory of the "Young Pretender" Charles Edward Stuart (who claimed the title "Charles III").[9] In late-2005, it was reported that he might instead choose to be known as "George VII" in honour of his grandfather.[9] He ultimately chose "Charles III" as his regnal name after the death of his mother.

According to The Guardian, Charles, who was christened Charles Philip Arthur George, held private talks with “trusted friends” about the possibility of using his third middle name and reigning as George VII. And former Buckingham Palace press spokesman Dickie Arbiter said by using the name George, Charles would be paying tribute to the both his grandparents.
"It would not just be a tribute to his grandfather [King George VI], but a sort of loving memory to his late grandmother, whom he absolutely adored," Arbiter told the BBC at the time.

Possible political reasons for keeping name Charles:

Royal biographer Marcia Moody agrees. "He has dedicated his life to championing causes close to his heart, and he has been doing that as HRH Charles, Prince of Wales. The continuity of his work would be clearer if he progressed as King Charles. Additionally, many of the British public will be devastated at the loss of the queen, and even those who are not monarchists will be coming to terms with the first new head of state in around 70 years, so Charles will want to promote stability and constancy. "

  • This article points out it should be by no means taken for granted that a King's/Queen's adopt their Christian name as the regnal one:

A new monarch’s name is traditionally announced at the historic Accession Council, which takes place as soon as possible at St James’s Palace in London in the days after the death of a sovereign.
It forms part of the proclamation of the new king.

Moreover, although most kings in British history used their first name as their regnal name, the tradition over the last century has been different:

There has been a tradition over the last century for the regnal title to be different from the sovereign’s Christian name, Queen Elizabeth being rather an exception:

Queen Victoria’s name was actually Alexandrina Victoria, while Edward VII was born Albert Edward and known as “Bertie.” George V used his given name George.

Edward VIII, who abdicated, had Edward as a first name but was always known to friends and family as David, the last of his seven forenames.

Charles’s grandfather, George VI, was christened Albert and was also known as “Bertie”, but chose his fourth forename, George, to rule under as head of state.

When Princess Elizabeth acceded the throne on the death of her father, she was asked what name she wished to use as queen.
She is said to have replied: “My own name, of course. What else?”

4
  • 2
    I have wondered if the fact that neither was immediately followed by their sons is the aspect that Charlie wants to replicate, but I suspect not.
    – User65535
    Sep 12 at 11:17
  • 1
    The original version of this answer is relevant to this question, but it's most definitely not a duplicate.
    – Bobson
    Sep 12 at 21:30
  • It may have helped keep the Catholic Scots on board, and Scotland within the Union, had they, instead of investing him as Prince of Wales, taken to calling him Bonnie Prince Charlie.
    – WS2
    Sep 13 at 8:57
  • @User65535 Charles II had no heirs. He wasn't succeeded at all by any of his sons.
    – phoog
    Sep 13 at 20:47

1 Answer 1

14

the symbolism of [Charles II] opposition to "democracy" is still there.

In his numerous public speeches over the last half century since his investiture a Prince of Wales until his accession I doubt anyone can find any assertion by King Charles III that he is opposed to democracy. Quite the opposite. In his first speech as King he said "I too now solemnly pledge myself, throughout the remaining time God grants me, to uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation." He can not possibly be unaware that one of those constitutional principles is democracy.

By reaffirming the pledges made by Queen Elizabeth he is clearly emphasising continuity with her reign and largely her traditionalist values. However his long standing concerns about the environment and other issues are well known. Some of these might be labelled non-traditional or even progressive. His speeches suggest that he will henceforth adopt the attitude of Queen Elizabeth II in refraining from commenting publicly on political issues.

I don't think he has any need to send secret coded messages in his, very predictable, choice of regnal name. Clearly it follows a tradition, but it is a choice that might also be made by a progressive.

3
  • The question is not intended to be interpreted so literally - rather whether Charles tries to affirm his adherence to traditional values or something like that. See the Remark in the OP. Sep 12 at 13:33
  • 10
    @Roger I appreciate that. It's just that I believe these particular tea-leaves are insufficient to support that level of divination. He has numerous opportunities to explicitly state in words his intended approach to his role. Sep 12 at 13:47
  • 1
    I saw that you expanded the answer after I added my comment. +1 Sep 12 at 13:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .