In the UK, the Elizabethan era has come to an end. Previously we have had Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras. Under King Charles III, what is the name of the era now?

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    – Laurel
    Sep 14, 2022 at 15:25

5 Answers 5


There are precedents. He is King Charles III. The era of King Charles I was called Caroline, whereas the reign of King Charles II was referred to as Carolean.

It may be that a third term will have to be coined to differentiate His Majesty from his predecessors.

Otherwise, these two terms are good candidates too. (Maybe New Carolean Era or New Carolean Age, as some hasten to say already).

Express.co.uk writes in the same lines:

The era of King Charles I was known as the Caroline era, while the reign of King Charles II has been noted in records as the Carolean era.

So it remains to be confirmed what historians may refer to this period of Charles' reign as.

Note that the late Queen's era has been called, unofficially though,

The Second Elizabethan Age (The Atlantic, INews, TortoiseMedia etc.)

not the Elizabethan Age which denotes the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

As for Carolingian, historians did not select this term for the former two English kings named Charles. Perhaps in order to distinguish them from the Frankish line of kings. Carolingian is defined by M-W:

of or relating to a Frankish dynasty founded by Charlemagne's father (Pepin III), dating from about a.d. 613 and including among its members the rulers of France from 751 to 987, of Germany from 752 to 911, and of Italy from 774 to 961. (See also OxfordL)

Here is an interesting article entitled What Will King Charles’ Reign Be Called? that mentions all three terms, but warns that we might end up with none of them. Here's a quote:

When it comes to how we refer to the time period in general, in the case of the Tudor period which ended with Elizabeth I’s reign, it's also likely that the whole line of succession may come to be known as the Windsor era, from Charles V [sic] onwards. Others speculate that modern-times will call for the period to be known by landmarks other than the monarch, like ‘the digital age’.

[Ed note: "Charles V" should of course say "George V".]

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    Just an added bit of trivia, the Carolinas (i.e., North Carolina and South Carolina) weren't named after some woman named Caroline or Carolina but were named after Charles I of England by the British back when they were still colonies of Great Britain, thus underscoring this answers' answers, none of which start with the "ch." Sep 9, 2022 at 17:23
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    Well, this can be misleading. Etymonline says about Merovingian: Merovingi is a Latinization of his Germanic name (compare Old High German Mar-wig "famed-fight") with the Germanic patronymic suffix -ing." So I guess, we're back home with the presence of G in Carolingian :)
    – fev
    Sep 9, 2022 at 17:57
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    The OED doesn't distinguish those two for the first and second Charles: Caroline, Carolean. They have both going with both for the Charleses’ adjectives.
    – tchrist
    Sep 9, 2022 at 19:07
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    The British army will have to find themselves some blue coats and tricorn hats! Sep 10, 2022 at 14:51
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    Good times never seemed so good. Sep 11, 2022 at 11:13

In a speech in the House of Commons, the UK's new Prime Minister Liz Truss said We will all support him in this House as he leads our country to a new era of hope and progress. Our new Carolian era. This is the spelling used in this report.

In a statement made today, Fri 9 Sep 2022, Fabian Picardo, Chief Minister of Gibraltar, said A new Carolian era beckons. That is the spelling used in the transcript on the linked web page.

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    The words of the new Prime Minister should not be taken as definitive. She is not noted for her command of the subtleties of the English language. Only if checked by her speech writers and civil servants and if subject to the rigours of formal record might her use of words have authority.
    – Anton
    Sep 9, 2022 at 22:36
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    I'm afraid that your report is just what someone transcribed her speech to, and they've made a spelling error. See gov.uk/government/speeches/… for something perhaps more official given its provenance, in which you will see that it is spelt the normal Carolean way there.
    – tchrist
    Sep 10, 2022 at 1:31
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    Hansard's official record of when Liz Truss said, at 12:16 on 9 November, also has The British people, the Commonwealth and all of us in this House will support him as he takes our country forward to a new era of hope and progress: our new Carolean age. The Crown endures, our nation endures, and in that spirit, I say God save the King. The live proceedings is similar
    – Henry
    Sep 12, 2022 at 8:15

We are yet to see. The 'Caroline era' or the 'Carolean era' (or something similar) may be used once again (the former is used to refer to King Charles I's reign and the latter to King Charles II's).

However, it might be the case that we won't give King Charles III's era a name that corresponds to his name.

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    Most of the names of periods have been given by later historians. People didn't say, the day after Charles I succeeded to the throne "We'll call this the Caroline era." Sep 9, 2022 at 18:18
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    @KateBunting It is true for then, but we live in a media era that constantly hunts for catchy phrases and titles, in an attempt to state truths in a memorable way... The word Carolean (or the spelling Carolian) is already all over the place in newspapers. However, I do agree that the official term will be established much later.
    – fev
    Sep 10, 2022 at 7:53
  • True, I heard a reporter on morning TV refer to the 'Carolean' era. Sep 10, 2022 at 8:19
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    @fev This is so true. When I was a kid we didn't have a dramatic title for every lunar cycle like "Full Wolf Moon", "Full Sturgeon Moon", etc.
    – Michael
    Sep 10, 2022 at 16:55

One possibility would be Carolingian, which currently refers to the dynasty of Charlemagne (Charles I in French).

Calling it post-Elizabethan would be a little rude.

  • I think they dispensed with that idea when first naming CI & CII's eras, as being potentially confusing with the French line [& several popes] - so ended up with Caroline [also confusing to a modern ear] & Carolean.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 11, 2022 at 9:02
  • @Tetsujin To an American ear, it’s where the names of North and South Carolina come from.
    – Davislor
    Sep 11, 2022 at 15:53
  • It is precisely where they come from - they were named for Charles I.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 11, 2022 at 17:21
  • @Tetsujin Yes, exactly. So I think it’s pretty well-known in that part of America.
    – Davislor
    Sep 11, 2022 at 18:11
  • But how does that justify using Carolingian, which is only for French kings/popes? The US doesn't really get a vote on this, but it would seem a very unlikely reversion.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 11, 2022 at 18:16

No era named has been decided yet, and given how era names tend to be used the most in the field of history, there may not even be an era name this century.

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