Why Queen Elizabeth II Didn't Change Her Name When Taking The Throne

You may be surprised to know that the name a British king or queen uses during their reign is not necessarily the name they were born with, as Royal Central explains. There is the monarch's birth name, and then there's their regnal name — the name they use during their reign. For example, the monarch who preceded Queen Elizabeth II, her father, reigned as King George VI, though he was born as Albert Frederick Arthur George. Similarly, her son, Charles, will have to choose a regnal name when he assumes the throne. He may keep his given name and reign as King Charles III, he may take the name of a previous king, or he may indeed take a completely new one.

Elizabeth II, for her part, did not choose a regnal name when she assumed the throne in 1952 on the death of her father. Indeed, the moment she was tasked with doing so became one of the more compelling scenes in Season 1 of "The Crown," when she famously declined to change names.

Elizabeth didn't feel like changing her name

Elizabeth II was born as Elizabeth and has reigned as Elizabeth for nearly seven decades. While keeping the same regnal names as her birth name is somewhat unusual among British monarchs, it's not outrageously so, as there's precedent in her lineage for either choice.

So why didn't she choose a different regnal name? Apparently, according to Romper, it's simply because she neither had to nor wanted to. Elizabeth was the name she was born with, and it was the name she chose to reign with: nothing more, nothing less.

That's not to say that the matter of names wasn't an issue for Elizabeth and her family. Officially, the royal family doesn't have surnames, instead using a house name, such as Tudor or Stuart. When she married Philip, House of Mountbatten, the royal family altered the rules in such a way that Elizabeth's descendants could use the name of her royal house, the House of Windsor, or they could choose to use the hyphenated names of her and Philip's combined houses, House of Mountbatten-Windsor.