Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Prince Charles

There are those who feel that Prince Charles is a little odd. Personally, I think he is an intelligent, caring man who sometimes expresses ideas that are sensible if not popular.

As Prince of Wales, he is destined to be our next King (even though his late wife announced that he was not fit to be King, and said that the title should go to her eldest son instead).

But I do feel that with his recent musings he has lost the plot a little.

Charles says that as King he might not be Charles III, as you might expect, but George VII.

His reasoning is that both previous Kings named Charles were a little suspect in the public admiration stakes – Charles I was a brave but misguided man who ended up as the only King of England to be executed, while Charles II is famous for having lots of mistresses. George VI, however, Charles’s grandfather, was universally admired for overcoming enormous difficulties when having the crown unexpectedly thrust upon him.

So far so good. But being named Charles shouldn’t make you any more or less likely to transgress like others of the same name.

The Georges have not necessarily been a particularly inspiring bunch.

George I arrived from Hanover with no English. He had already been divorced, and was said to be generally accompanied by his Fat Mistress and his Thin Mistress.

George II did speak some English with a heavy German accent. He had little time for his eldest son Frederick (to be fair neither did anybody else), who avoided becoming King by dying before his father.

George III was ill for long periods, giving rise to the belief that he was insane. He was also remembered as the King who lost the American colonies.

George IV illegally married the Catholic Mrs Maria Fitzherbert, a fact which was hushed up as this debarred him from succeeding as King. He later married his cousin Princess Caroline, and they seem to have deserved each other. While he was still Prince of Wales, an investigation was held into Caroline’s extra-marital arrangements, and the report was quite explicit. People were outraged that a Princess of Wales could act in that way.

George V succeeded as his elder brother Eddy, the notorious Duke of Clarence, died before his father. George married his brother’s fiancée, May of Teck, remembered today as Queen Mary. He announced that he had been afraid of his father, so he would ensure that his own sons were afraid of him.

George VI was afflicted by terrible shyness and stammering, and is much admired for his bravery in overcoming all this on becoming King when his brother, Edward VIII, abdicated.

If you don’t want to be King Charles, you might also not want to be King George.

On the other hand, Charles might be in a perverse sort of way keeping to a Royal tradition. Almost all the monarchs of the twentieth century used a name other than their first name or the one by which they had previously been known.

Victoria’s first name was Alexandrina.

Edward VII’s first name was Albert, after his father, the famous Prince Albert, and he was known as Bertie. And if you are ashamed of the number of Charles II’s well-known mistresses, what do you say about Edward VII?

George V actually was a George.

Edward VIII did have the first name Edward, but was known as David.

George VI was really Albert, and was known as Bertie (he had a brother George, the Duke of Kent).

Elizabeth II is actually Elizabeth.

So all in all, I reckon that Prince Charles, when he does become our King, should simply stick, in the face of tradition, to being Charles III.