Royal fury: Why William’s name could spark huge backlash in Scotland

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PRINCE WILLIAM will one day inherit the throne of the United Kingdom – but the name he takes as King could cause controversy in Scotland as his grandmother the Queen’s once did. 

The Queen was crowned in 1952, becoming the second Elizabeth to reign in the United Kingdom. However, Her Majesty’s title caused controversy in Scotland as there has never been an Elizabeth I on the throne there. This is because Elizabeth I ruled in England and died in 1603 – before the Acts of Union – and the Scottish public were so outraged at the perceived omission of Scottish history that symbols showing the new Queen’s insignia were targeted. 

An explosive was even planted in a postbox in Edinburgh bearing her EIIR cypher, leading to the Scottish Crown being borne on all postboxes north of the border to this day. 

Eventually, the claim that the Queen should be Elizabeth I in Scotland was rejected by the courts, which found that the monarch has the Royal Prerogative to adopt any name she chooses. 

Another argument put forward by the Palace was that Her Majesty was the second Elizabeth to rule in territories that had now become the United Kingdom. 

Nevertheless, there is still some controversy over the naming of William, which could prove to be an issue when the Duke of Cambridge becomes King. 

Prince William Queen Elizabeth II Image Getty
Prince William Queen Elizabeth II Image Getty

Prince William; Queen Elizabeth II (Image Getty)

Queen Elizabeth IIs coronation in Image Getty
Queen Elizabeth IIs coronation in Image Getty

Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1952 (Image Getty)

This is because the last William to reign is still styled William IV, even though there was a prior King William in Scotland who ruled before the Union. 

William, King of Scots ruled from 1165 to 1214.

William IV, who was on the throne from 1830 to 1837, should be considered the fifth William to rule in what had by then become the United Kingdom. 

When Prince William comes to the throne, then, he should actually be styled William VI to reflect Scottish history. 

Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen in Scotland this year (Image: Getty)

The Queen in Scotland this year (Image: Getty)

However, because William IV has never been re-named, it remains to be seen whether this will actually happen when the time comes.

Parliament has drawn up guidelines, at the suggestion of Winston Churchill at the time of the Queen’s accession, that suggest the monarch should choose the highest regnal number, taking into account both English and Scottish traditions. 

However, any monarch’s regnal name is the prerogative of the sovereign and is not enforceable by Parliament. 

Prince Charles’ regnal name, if he does indeed choose Charles, would not be subject to the same controversy, as both Charles I and Charles II were Stuart monarchs who ruled both Scotland and England.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles
Prince Charles has not revealed what his regnal name will be (Image: Getty)

Prince Charles has not revealed what his regnal name will be (Image: Getty)

Prince William and Kate Middleton
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Image: Getty)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Image: Getty)

However, Charles’ name once he takes the throne has been the subject of intense discussion.

Many point to the fact that Charles I was beheaded, and the various controversies of Charles II’s reign, as ill omens for a new King Charles.

Clarence House has always maintained that an official regnal name has not yet been chosen, appearing to scotch rumours that Charles may reign as George VII.

George would be a nod to the Queen’s beloved father George VI, and also honour the bond the prince had with his grandmother. 

Prince WIlliam greets the president of the Seychelles at Buckingham Palace this week Image Getty
Prince WIlliam greets the president of the Seychelles at Buckingham Palace this week Image Getty

Prince WIlliam greets the president of the Seychelles at Buckingham Palace this week (Image Getty)

The Prince of Wales’ full name is Charles Philip Arthur George, however he is entitled to settle on any regnal name he chooses and is not limited to his given names.

As recently as 2002, then leader of the SNP Winnie Ewing wrote to Her Majesty to urge her to use the regnal name Elizabeth I, Queen of Scots when in Scotland. 

With the prospect of an independent Scotland still potentially on the cards, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon calling for a second referendum, the Queen’s title in Scotland may once again be under debate.

In 2014, Alex Salmond told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “We want to see Her Majesty the Queen as Queen of the Scots. 

“That is a fantastic title and a fantastic prospect.”

Source: EXPRESS CO UK