The Real Reason Prince Charles's Name May Change

"What's in a name?" a lovestruck teenager once famously lamented. Well, apart from causing the odd family feud, names actually form a crucial part of your identity. They're often the first thing people learn about you, and many names carry significant sentimental or historical importance. Names also help celebrities build a more recognizable brand: you're unlikely to see a public figure change theirs once well established. And yet, it seems that a certain ultra-famous name might one day undergo a rebrand: specifically the very well known Prince Charles.

Just like everything else, names fall in and out of favor. Prince Charles himself was recently upstaged by his own grandson, when "Archie" knocked "Charlie" out of the top ten in the annual list of most popular baby names. But, it isn't intergenerational jealousy or a desire to keep up with trends that could prompt a name change from Charles — in fact, he may invoke a rarely used historical rule to escape some unsavory connotations.

The royal rule that could change Prince Charles's name

After 73 years, a sudden name change would be an unusually impulsive move for the dignified Prince Charles. Besides, he'll enjoy a slight shift to King Charles III once he ascends the throne... or maybe not. As it turns out, becoming king is perhaps the only way to change your name without the paperwork. This is due to what's known as a regnal title, a seldom-used opportunity for a monarch to pick a different name once they start their reign, as per Express. But, don't expect a King Leo or Sam: the Prince of Wales's choices are restricted to his full name: Charles Philip Arthur George.

Apart from the literary thrill of being known as King Arthur, why would Prince Charles actually want to change his name? Well, as any Karen will tell you, some names have less than flattering associations. The title of King Charles already comes with baggage, with The Guardian pointing out that its former holders include the only British monarch to be executed for treason, and one more famous for his womanizing than his leadership — not exactly the picture of nobility.

Prince Charles himself hasn't actually commented on whether he'll opt for a royal rebrand, apart from a 2005 denial that he has his heart set on George. However, it could just be best to stick with Charles: if anyone can restore its image, it's him!