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Royal Monikers

Throughout history especially in European history rulers tend only to use their first names and titles like King James, Kaiser Wilhelm, Queen Juliana etc. First name choices are limited so many are followed by Roman Numerals like King Henry VIII. Monikers or nicknames are also commonly used to describe and distinguish the many rulers. Some are official while others are unofficial, disrespectful and no one would have dared use them within earshot of the ruler. Some examples of acceptable names were William the Conqueror, Frederick the Wise and Suleiman the Magnificent. There were lots of the Greats like Alexander, Catherine, Frederic, Peter and Charlemagne (Charles the Great). Guys to avoid would have been Ivan the Terrible and Vlad the Impaler. There was also Louis the Pious and all those with names they would like not to hear like Charles’ the Bald, the Fat, and the Foolish. Others were simply the Bold, the Tall and the Fair. My favorite has to be the Hessian Philipp The Magnanimous. He must have been a good guy to earn a name like that and to have an order established in his name. Long after most rulers have given up their claims to Devine Right and their thrones are empty; Philipp’s name and portrait continues to live on in many medal collections.

About Fred Borgmann

Retired from KP after nearly 31 years as new issues editor and the Standard Catalogs.
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