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How British Royals Pick Their Names Once They’re on the Throne

On the crown passed to George II, and then George III (who was George II’s grandson and succeeded him because his father, Prince Frederick, had died) was the first in this line to be born with three names, George William Frederick. And then George III’s son and successor, George IV (born George Augustus Frederick), actually gave his daughter and sole heir a middle name.

Princess Charlotte Augusta predeceased her father, however, so George IV’s younger brother, yet another William Henry, succeeded him as King William IV. (So, the current Prince William, aka William Arthur Philip Louis, who as the eldest son of the reigning monarch is now the Prince of Wales, will likely be William V.) 

Then again, William IV also didn’t bother to make it official with any of the ladies in his life, so his myriad children couldn’t succeed him. When he died, the monarchy turned to his niece—who was the only legitimate child of William’s next-youngest living brother Prince Edward.

That niece was Queen Victoria, whose 63 years and seven months on the throne was a record until Queen Elizabeth II blew past the mark in 2016 and ended up reigning for 70 years.

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