PRINCE CHARLES will become the next King of England and is currently the oldest King in Waiting in history at 71, having spent nearly his entire life as first-in-line. When he does succeed Queen Elizabeth II, however, he said he would drop one of the monarchy’s core mottos.
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Prince Charles would become King Charles III when he succeeds his mother according to royal tradition and would take on all of the monarch’s duties. While he would have to continue her work in the most part, he may also choose to make some alterations to his reign. In the past, the Duke of Cornwall has expressed his desire to change the wording of his future position.
The monarch possesses a litany of titles when they accede the British throne.
The Queen’s full title is currently “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”.
When Prince Charles eventually takes her position, he will inherit those titles, but he has voiced his intention to change the “Defender of the Faith” moniker.
Bestowed on King Henry VIII in 1517 by the Pope, it reflects the monarch’s position as supreme governor of the Church of England.
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Prince Charles news: Why Prince Charles would choose NOT to become Defender of the Faith (Image: GETTY)
Prince Charles news: Prince Charles may be known simply as “Defender of Faith” (Image: GETTY)
As such, it relates to their ability to preserve the national faith, which, since Henry VIII’s rule is Christianity.
However, in the more than 500 years since the title came into being, the UK’s religious landscape has markedly diversified.
The new interfaith identity of the country has led Prince Charles to voice his preference for the streamlined “Defender of Faith” instead.
He revealed his intentions in 2008, in a bid to add a contemporary spin to the monarchy.
Prince Charles news: British monarchs are all known as “Defender of the Faith” (Image: GETTY)
University College London’s Constitution Unit said the moved showed support for religious freedom.
They said: “Charles was making the point that, in a country with many religions now present, the sovereign should be concerned to see all religion defended and not just the Church of England.
“Because Latin has no definite article, he offered ‘Defender of Faith’ as an alternative and viable translation to signify how a sovereign should nowadays understand the contemporary meaning of the title.
“In practice, religion is protected by laws made by Parliament or as a result of international agreements like the European Convention on Human Rights.”
Prince Charles news: Prince Charles is currently the longest King in Waiting (Image: GETTY)
But drawing attention to the need for protection in this and other ways is how the sovereign can reinforce society’s support for the principle of religious freedom.
Vernon Bogdanor, a former Professor of Government at Oxford University, observed the changes the country has taken to since the Queen took to the throne in 1952.
He told The Daily Telegraph: “In 1952, when the Queen came to the throne, it was very much an Anglican society.
“The Prince of Wales will become head of a nation which is multi-denominational.”
“The Prince has said that he wants to be seen as a defender of all religious faiths and not just the Anglican church but the Coronation is an Anglican ceremony. Any change would require legislation.”
Prince Charles could also choose to alter another aspect of his reign, taking a different name than Charles III.
His full name is Charles Philip Arthur George, and he could pick from each of these names to form his title.
If he wished, he could take the name of the legendary King Arthur.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK