The Name ‘King Charles’ Has A Grim History That Spans Multiple Royal Generations

In England’s history, there have been two monarchs to go by the name Charles, and now there is a third. The current king could have opted to be called Philip, Arthur, or George upon claiming the throne, but he chose to stick with King Charles, a moniker with a less-than-illustrious past. The reigns of his predecessors did not exactly go smoothly, to say the least.

A cursed name?

From the unfortunate fate of Charles I, to Bonnie Prince Charlie, the hero of the ill-fated Jacobites, the name King Charles has many a negative connotation. So much so, in fact, that the latest British monarch reportedly considered not going by this name at all when he became king. Since his full name is Charles Philip Arthur George, he could have used any one of these as his regal title. Queen Victoria’s real name, for example, was Alexandrina Victoria, while King George VI was actually christened Albert.

King Charles III

Ultimately, though, Charles opted to become the third king of his name, flying in the face of superstition — and encouraging all manner of dubious comparisons. But will his reign be a long and peaceful one? Or will he, like his predecessors, preside over a time of great turmoil and strife?

Union of crowns

The first Charles was born on November 19, 1600, the son of James VI of Scotland and his wife, Anne. At the time, the English and Scottish kingdoms were separate, with two different monarchs on their thrones. But when Elizabeth I died without an heir in March 1603 a union of the crowns saw the two merge together.

The English court

Apparently, Charles was a sickly child whose youth was marred by physical ailments and periods of ill health. And when his father left Scotland to take the throne as James I of England, he was forced to stay behind at first. But over time, he overcame these disabilities, joining his family at the English court.