Okay, I'll bite. What about the Cadaver Synod?

Re: How does a new pope decide what name to take?, by SDStaff paperbackwriter, Oct. 5, 2015.

Okay. Tell us about the Cadaver Synod.

Ask and ye shall receive

A quick summary is that a pope dug up the body of one of his predecessors, put the corpse on trial, had the corpse found guilty, and declared the corpse’s papacy invalid.

The corpse then had three fingers cut off, was reburied, then dug back up and tossed into the Tiber.

Such was the medieval church.

Well, exciting times, those! They couldn’t even settle on what number Stephen (VI) VII was. The Wiki page for Pope Stephen says the confusion over the numbering goes all the way back to Stephen II (or was it III?)

It should perhaps be noted that the tradition of Papal regnal names is not so different from that of other monarchies. In England, for instance, the King or Queen is free to select his or her regnal name, though I believe they are limited to one of their legal given names.

(For instance, the current heir to the throne could choose to be King Charles III, King Philip I, King Arthur I, or King George the VII. On the other hand, his mother, Elizabeth, when she was asked what name she wished to reign under, is reported to have said “My own, of course—what else?”)
Powers &8^]

I believe it is any name they want under the Royal Prerogative.

Poor Charles. Charles I was beheaded and England became a Commonwealth (effectively a republic), Charles II was Catholic and possibly poisoned. Not a lucky name.

Philip was consort to Queen Mary and was King of Spain against whom England was almost constantly at war for the next 150 years (for religious, territorial and colonial reasons). Name with a bad history.

King Arthur was the heroic king of legend, was he or wasn’t he he real (i.e. would it be King Arthur or Arthur II)? And could he take a hero’s name?

That leaves King George VII. In which case 3rd in line Prince George might be George VIII.

Or Charles could pick another name entirely. King Bigears? (as a royal subject, I’m allowed to mock, those born of a republic aren’t!!)

I think if Charles was really free to pick any name he wanted, he would be King Louis, after his great uncle and mentor Louis Mountbatten. But that name is too closely associated with the long line of French kings, including once who claimed the title of King of England. He did give the name to his son, William Arthur Philip Louis.

I remember reading, about the time Prince William was born, lots of discussion and speculation in the press over what his name would be (before Charles and Diana announced what they would name him).

The discussions largely consisted of reviews of past regal names, and why many of them were “bad” names that, presumably, should be forever blackballed. Another shit-listed name was Edward, due to the disgrace brought to the throne by Uncle Ed’s abdication.

The implication was always that they were trying to find a name to give him that he could easily use as his regnal name as well.

Japan follows a different tradition that I’m not aware of being used anywhere else: The Emperor reigns under his own given name (e.g., Hirohito) and is given a “regnal name” when he dies, by which he will be known to history. (Hirohito is now Emperor Showa.)

Although, to be sure, the Japanese themselves follow a slightly different tradition for referring to their own Emperor than the rest of the world follows in referring to him. They never refer to the current living Emperor by his name, and after he dies, they refer to him solely by his posthumous name. The rest of the world tends to call him by his given name (e.g., Emperor Hirohito) during his life and thereafter as well.

ETA: From Wikipedia article Emperor of Japan

Do they not have lese majeste rules in Old Blighty?

Carry on, then.

So the Posthumous name is given while he’s still alive? How interesting, and what a perspective to have throughout your life! You are so high that no one may politely use your name, but you know what they’ll call you after your death - it’s quite the ballast.

Who decides the Posthumous name, and at what age? Does the Emperor know it as a child?

There was never a John II and likely never will be. He lost the royal family too much of its power to ever be forgiven.

It certainly seems as if Liz has firmly set that precedent, despite two facts: that her father, her great-grandfather, and her great-great-grandmother all chose to forgo their first names, and that her son may very well do the same!

Elizabeth’s father used “George” instead of his first name “Albert” (“Bertie” to his intimates), though that was primarily to emphasize continuity with his father George V after Edward VIII abdicated.

Edward VII was named Albert Edward by his mother, Queen Victoria, who fully intended him to reign as King Albert I (Vicky’s devotion to her husband, Prince Albert, was legendary). But out of deference to his father, Edward VII chose his second name.

Victoria herself, of course, was born Alexandrina Victoria, but I haven’t uncovered the reason for her forsaking her first name in favor of her second.
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All’s I know is what I wrote above, more-or-less. I first learned that Hirohito would become Emperor Showa from some news article that mentioned it, shortly before he died (a time when he was on his death-bed and there was lots of chatter in the media about him). As the Wiki article shows, Akihito’s posterity name is also established. In doing my due-diligence research for making that post, it was the first I learned that in Japan they never mention the living emperor’s name.

Considering that Henry V had a brother named John, and Edward VII and George V both had sons named John, I think that’s incorrect.

It’s actually completely different.

For about a thousand years, popes have generally taken a regnal name other than their baptismal name.

By contrast, all English or British monarch have reigned under one of their baptismal names.

John of Lancaster was born before his father seized the throne. Edward VII’s “John” son died a day after birth, and was named Alexander John, anyway. George V’s “John” son was indeed named John, but he was a fifth son. (He was also physically, and probably mentally, defective.)

Royal numbering only goes back to 1066, (e.g Edward the Confessor whilst undoubtably king of England is not included in the 8 Edwards.) So even if Arthur was real this would not affect Charles.

Really think this is incorrect. Prince John was epileptic probably because of another syndrome but I’ve never read anything that indicated he had a developmental disorder.

And FYI, “defective” is a very offensive term for someone with a disability.

Victoria was her mother’s name, so she probably decided to go with that.

Edward VIII was known by his family as David till he took the throne.