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Prince William was almost called Arthur before mum Diana changed Charles’ mind

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If it wasn't for a last minute change of heart Prince William would have had an entirely different name, according to a royal historian.

Writing in last week's edition of PEOPLE magazine, historian Robert Lacey revealed that Princess Diana managed to alter history and talk Prince Charles out of another name.

Lacey revealed that Charles was set on naming his first son after legendary British leader King Arthur, but wrote that "Diana, Princess of Wales proposed a more robust name — William, as in 'William the Conqueror,' victor of the famed Battle of Hastings in 1066."

King Arthur was, according to medieval histories and poetry, an iconic leader of 5th and 6th century Britain who led the defence of the island against Saxon invaders from mainland Europe.

Authors after his time added the tales of Merlin, Excalibur, Lancelot, and the Holy Grail to Arthur's legend, but unfortunately, modern historians generally agree that he probably didn't exist.

As there has not been an official King Arthur, William would have been the first British monarch of that name.

Instead, he is set to become King William IV, named after the warrior King who defeated the Anglo-Saxons at Hastings 955 years ago.

Lacey, author of Battle of Brothers, the best-seller about William and Prince Harry, added that William's conquering namesake built "formidable stone castles — notably the fortress overlooking the River Thames at Windsor, from which Britain's modern royal family have taken their name and where the Queen now spends much of her time."

However, the mythical Arthur was not completely rejected by Charles and Diana. It became William's second name.

His third comes from his grandfather, Prince Philip, and his fourth is Louis which was passed on to his second son after his birth in 2018.

Lacey went on to say how William's mother always thought that her son would live up to the names of the legendary men bestowed upon him.

He wrote: "'He's obviously going to be a great King,' Diana would declare to her confidante Simone Simmons as she watched her son organize pickup games of soccer in Kensington Palace's gardens or subversive midnight feasts on sleepovers with friends.

"[She would say] 'Look how they're drawn to him! He's a born leader.'"

It's been a year like no other for the Queen from the loss of her husband to heartache over Prince Harry. But Her Majesty has also had a lot of cause for celebration, including the birth of baby Lilibet. To mark what a year the Queen has had, OK! Magazine is bringing you a limited edition collector's issue. Get your hands on it here

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