When it comes to choosing baby names, the royal family is pretty predictable. Protocol dictates that the Windsor family need to stick to traditional names, often ones that are already in the family. This is particularly true of those in the direct line of succession, who may one day be crowned king or queen, including: Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry (Henry), who are all named for their ancestors.
Prince William and Kate Middleton continued this theme when they chose to name their son, Prince George. Princess Charlotte is named after her grandfather, Prince Charles. So it is fair to assume that the next in line to the throne, the couple’s third child due in April, will also have a classic name. Bookmakers are currently predicting that the couple might choose Albert or Alice, but there is one royal predecessor who probably won’t be considered: King John. That’s because during his 19-year rule, he caused enough trouble to become one of the most infamous and hated monarchs in history.
Born in 1166 as the second son of King Henry II and the younger brother of King Richard I, he attempted an unsuccessful coup, but was somehow forgiven for his treachery and was spared his life. When Richard died from a war wound, John ascended to the throne. Today, he is mostly remembered for his terrible treatment of the poor — he increased their taxes excessively during his reign to finance a war with France — as well as his poor military knowledge and ineptitude in battle. You might also recognize him from popular culture as the chief villain of Robin Hood.
John is far from the only misguided character in British regal history: Richard III is infamous for murdering his two nephews, and Prince Charles I (whom Prince Charles is named after) is blamed for losing the Civil War. But, there’s always a chance that all will be forgiven and George and Charlotte’s new sibling could be named John after all.
We all know how Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met, but what about the rest of the royals? Find out below:
This post was written by Rebecca Cope. For more, check out our sister site Grazia.