List of regnal numerals of future British monarchs

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This is a list of the regnal numerals which may in time be used by future British monarchs.

Contents

[edit] Background

During the reign of the current monarch of the United Kingdom, Elizabeth II, there was some controversy in Scotland over whether it was appropriate to refer to her as "the Second of that name" since no Elizabeth had previously reigned in Scotland. Most supporters of Scottish independence, and many other pro-union Scots, believed the title to be an example of establishment bias favouring England. But affirming the Queen's intention to continue as "the Second" throughout the UK, a policy was announced[1] that all future UK monarchs would be reckoned according to the number of either their English or Scottish predecessors, whichever number was higher.

Accordingly, when assigning a regnal numeral to any future UK monarch, it will be necessary to consult the list of monarchs of Scotland and the list of monarchs of England, as well as the list of British monarchs for monarchs since the 1707 Acts of Union. (Checking back at all regnal names since that event, incidentally, we find that none of them violates this policy.)

It should be noted that both the regnal name and regnal numeral of a new monarch are a matter of personal choice when they assume the throne. Prior to the current Queen, it had been common for British monarchs to assume their second or a later given name when they commence their reign. For example, it is by no means certain that the Prince of Wales would become Charles III. The prince's given names are Charles Phillip Arthur George, and he has expressed a wish to take the last of these names, which would make him George VII.[2] There is also no reason why he could not become Arthur I or Phillip I; but it is considered extremely unlikely he would choose an entirely new name such as William V, Frederick I, Edward IX, John II etc.

It is unknown whether the same regnal number will be used for all the sixteen countries in the Commonwealth which are in personal union with the Crown of the United Kingdom. Currently all Commonwealth Realms use the style 'Elizabeth II'.

Note: for the purposes of this table, it is assumed that the reckoning of English monarchs started with a blank slate from the Norman Conquest of 1066. This approach is undeniably conventional with respect to the name "Edward": although there had been three Edwards (Edward the Elder, Edward the Martyr, and Edward the Confessor) prior to the Conquest, the thirteenth-century Plantagenet is always referred to as Edward I, and other Edwards are always reckoned from him. However, while the Edward precedent is by now set in stone, there is a possibility that a future Harold or Alfred might choose to number himself "III" or "II", respectively, to take into account pre-Norman kings of those names.

  -Winston Churchill, House of Commons Official Report cols 199-201, 15 April 1953

[edit] List

[edit] Names which have been used multiple times

NameScottish
uses
English
uses
which is
greater?
UK uses since
1707 union
regnal numeral
when next used
Alexander 3 0 S 0 IV
Charles 2 2 = 0 III
Constantine 3 0 S 0 IV
David 2 0 S 0 III
Donald 3 0 S 0 IV
Duncan 2 0 S 0 III
Edward 1 6 E 2 IX
Elizabeth 0 1 E 1 III
George 0 0 = 6 VII
Henry 0 8 E 0 IX
James 7 2 S 0 VIII
Kenneth 3 0 S 0 IV
Malcolm 4 0 S 0 V
Mary 2 2 = 0 III
Richard 0 3 E 0 IV
Robert 3 0 S 0 IV
William 2 3 E 1 V

[edit] Names which have been used once in both England and Scotland

[edit] Names which have been used once in Scotland but not (post-1066) in England

*Note: prior to the Norman Conquest of 1066, England did have one Edgar (two if the uncrowned reign of Edward's son Edgar in 1066 is counted, as sometimes is the case).

[edit] Names which have been used once in England (post-1066) but not in Scotland

The following rulers may have been acknowledged monarchs of England, but are not traditionally included amongst the list of monarchs in the British Isles. It is therefore unclear whether they would be included in the numbering of future monarchs.

[edit] See also

List of regnal numerals of future British monarchs

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