Royal notes on June 10

June 10 would have been Prince Philip’s 100th birthday. He fell two months short, somewhat like Bradman with his 99.94.

Queen Elizabeth II is now past her 95th birthday and is the longest-lived British monarch. It should be remembered that her mother (known in later years as Elizabeth, the Queen Mother) missed reaching 102 by a few months. As she lived from 1900 to 2002, she saw the entire 20th century.

After some years we can expect to hear this after a long gap:

As is well known the line of succession is Prince Charles followed by Prince William. But it does not follow that they would be known as Charles III or William V.

(Footnote: a line of succession running into several hundreds is on record. Prince Philip was about #220 on this list, by virtue of being a descendant of Queen Victoria)

Like the Pope, the monarch has some freedom in choosing his/her name. The tradition seems to be to choose from the set of given names.

Thus, the current heir apparent to the British throne, Charles, Prince of Wales, whose full name is Charles Philip Arthur George, may elect not to be known as “King Charles III” out of concern about comparisons with Charles II of England (who was known for his Catholic sympathies), Charles I of England (who was executed after the English Civil War) and the Jacobite “Young Pretender” Charles Edward Stuart (who claimed the title “Charles III”).

So he may choose to be Philip 1 or Arthur 1 or George VII. The earlier King Arthur is too far back to count. Perhaps he did not even exist.

Similarly, Prince William’s full name is William Arthur Philip Louis and he could choose any of these. Arthur, Philip and Louis would all be numbered 1, though William would be 5 (Queen Victoria’s predecessor was #4).

There has been talk that Prince Charles (b.1948) may choose not to become monarch, thus clearing the way for Prince William (b.1982). (And of course his mother may outlive him, as in the case of his grandfather George VI)

It would be nice to see a headline “King Charles III meets King Kim III in Pyongyang”. Though it may well be Queen Kim I:

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