Update: Following the death of Queen Elizabeth, we're republishing this 2020 story about Prince William's possible regnal names. His father has chosen the name Charles III.
Leave it to a child to ask the hard-hitting questions.
Earlier this week, Prince William and Kate Middleton hopped on video call (possibly of the Zoom variety) with teachers at a school in Lancashire, which is staying open so the children of essential workers have a safe place to learn during the ongoing coronavirus crisis. The royal couple shared their appreciation with the staff, and also spent some time chatting with the students.
The kids told William and Kate about their parents' jobs and how proud they were of their moms and dads, and shared a few crafts with the Cambridges. (Watch a portion of the call above.)
Then, one future journalist asked William a rather pointed question. According to royal reporter Roya Nikkhah, the child quizzed the Prince: “The first William was William the Conqueror. What do you want to be called?"
Per Nikkhah, William laughed at the query and "declined to comment."
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took part in a video call today with kids at @ShineCasterton where one plucky pupil asked: “The first William was William the Conqueror. What do you want to be called?" The diplomat prince laughed, and declined to comment 📸@KensingtonRoyal pic.twitter.com/OYZ4JOyilE
— Roya Nikkhah (@RoyaNikkhah) April 8, 2020
The question of William's regnal name is an interesting one, though. Throughout history, some British monarchs have adopted a new name after taking the throne. For example, when the Queen's father, whose given name was Albert but was known as Bertie, became King, he chose the regnal name George, and therefore held the title of King George VI.
Queen Elizabeth, though, did not choose a different name, and became known as Queen Elizabeth II. (Her full title is Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith’, with the style of ‘Majesty.’)
William certainly has the option of choosing a new regnal name when he becomes King (perhaps one of his middle names: Arthur, Philip, or Louis, or George, like his great-grandfather), but if he keeps William, he would be known as King William V. For her part, Kate will be known as Queen consort, and will hold the title of Queen Catherine.
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