Having hadElizabeth II as our head of state for three quarters of a century, we can now reflect on having lived through an Elizabethan era - some are calling it the 'New Elizabethan' era.
After the death of the Queen, and the accession of King Charles, many people are wondering what this new era that we find ourselves living in will actually be called. 'What will the era be called when Charles is king?' has been a breakout search term on Google Trends, as well as 'What era are we in?'.
What is King Charles' reign called?
We can turn to history to answer this question. We have already twice had a King Charles on the throne: Charles I, from 1625 – 1649, and Charles II, who ruled from the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 to his death in 1685. Now, of course, we have King Charles III on the throne.
In this history books, Charles I's reign was known as the 'Caroline era', while Charles II's reign became known as the 'Carolean era', from the Latin name for Charles, Carolus. That's perhaps why many people have recently been Googling 'Carolean era', 'Caroline era' and 'Carolingian era' - and why it has not necessarily been clear to everyone how King Charles III's reign would be known.
Will King Charles' reign be the 'Carolean era'?
As fans of the monarchy – or fans of Netflix’s The Crown – will know, Queen Elizabeth broke with tradition when she chose to rule under her Christian name. She could have, as other monarchs did, chosen to rule under what is known a a regnal moniker. Her father King George VI, for example, was actually called Albert - after his great-grandfather, husband of Queen Victoria – but chose to rule under George, and even Queen Victoria herself was named Alexandrina at birth.
Likewise, Queen Elizabeth II's son Charles could have chosen to rule under a different name, but he has has notably followed his mother's lead to reign under his Christian name - thus ushering in a new 'Carolean era.'
When it comes to how we refer to the broader time period, as in the case of the Tudor period which ended with Elizabeth I’s reign, it's possible that the period dominated by this line of succession may come to be known as the Windsor era.