England, King John of England, King Philip II of France, King Phillippe II of France, King Richard III of England, King Stephen, Magna Carta, Pope Innocent III.
In my discussions in the past over the subject of royal names I have come to learn that in each country there are those names that have become taboo. In other words, there are those names that probably will not be used again due to their association with bad monarchs that last carried the name. Today I will look at some examples.
A couple of the names that comes to mind for the Kings and Queens of the UK is John and Stephen. There has only been one each. It seems very doubtful that there will be other kings of the United kingdom by those names. Stephen, who usurped the throne from his cousin, the Empress Matilda, and plunged the country into civil war, was an able soldier but a weak and indecisive administrator who lost Normandy to Matilda. John is famous, or is that infamous, for being forced to sign the Magna Carta at Runnymede in 1215. John had a poor relationship with the nobles, lost Normandy to Philippe II of France and was excommunicated by the powerful Pope Innocent III.
King Richard III has also been a king who has had poor reputation. He is one of the top suspects for the murder of his nephews, King Edward V and Prince Richard, Duke of York and with the help of William Shakespeare’s play that doesn’t paint him in a positive light, he is still a much maligned king despite the attempts of the Richard III society to redeem him.
So, no Stephen II or John II or even a Richard IV. Those are the three names that I do not suspect we will see again in the United Kingdom. This will be a short series but I will continue by looking at some other monarchies were certain names may have fallen out of favor.
Part II next week!