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English monarchs. Why do they all use similar first names?

I always wondered why monarchs keep using the same first names. One of the many examples is Henry I- all the way to Henry VIII. Why can't they use names like king Michael or David? Is there a reason why they use certain names more than others?

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Asked by Anonymous at 4:51 PM on Apr. 19, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Answers (5)
  • Many cultures name children after a family member. My husband is Irish and they traditionally have a naming pattern: first son after paternal grandfather, first daughter after so and so. It's weird because out of one set of his first cousins, the first kids have the same first name, the second born have the same name and so do the third born children. Luckily, their aunt stopped at 3. There are many, many Johns, Marys and Josephs among the 50-something Irish. I'm sure the English are very similar in their naming practices. Our kids have family middle names, as do all the cousins, so again many similar names used-


    Answer by Sisteract at 5:31 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • They also may not use their birth name after inheriting the throne. King George the VI, the current Queens father was actually named Albert. Otherwise they use traditional family names.

    Answer by Carpy at 5:34 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • If memory serves, there were more than just 8 Henry's, just the 8th was most popular?

    Answer by hopeandglory53 at 7:53 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • They're all named after their predecessors. Most of them actually have 5 or 6 names. We're used to hearing them referred to only by the name they (or the family) use informally, but when it's time to take the throne, they switch to using whichever name is first on the list (or whichever one is more formal that they prefer). Like Prince Charles' actual name is Charles Philip Arthur George, so when he takes the throne, he could choose to be any of the 4.


    Answer by NotPanicking at 9:32 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • Yet another reason why I'm glad I'm NOT English royalty. Queen Tina just does not work as the name of a monarch. :-)

    Answer by tinamatt at 10:56 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

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