- Kensington Palace revealed the baby’s full name will be George Alexander Louis
- The third in line to the throne will be known as Prince George
- George was the bookmakers’ favourite once Kate’s pregnancy was announced
- The Queen saw her great-grandson for the first time yesterday morning
- She would have been told by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge of their choice
- Six King Georges have worn the crown throughout history
- Royal biographer Robert Lacey said the choice of George would give the Queen ‘great pleasure’
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge yesterday revealed that their son – now the third in line to the throne – will be called George. Kensington Palace revealed the baby’s full name will be George Alexander Louis. William and Kate’s baby will be known as Prince George and as third in line to the throne will one day be king. Kensington Palace said in a short statement: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to announce that they have named their son George Alexander Louis.
‘The baby will be known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge.’ By naming their son George – which is synonymous with British kings – it looks like the couple have followed tradition. However, royal sources say the baby’s names are not supposed to be symbolic but that the couple genuinely like them. The name George – chosen for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s baby son – is synonymous with British kings.
It has come to represent the continuity of the monarchy and remained the bookmakers’ favourite in the name-guessing stakes from the moment Kate’s pregnancy was announced. Six King Georges have worn the crown throughout history since the German-born George I, the first Hanoverian king of Great Britain, acceded to the throne in 1714. The couple are understood to have had a few ideas for names in mind but it took a few days for them to finally confirm which one was right for their son.
It was William and Kate’s decision what to call their firstborn and all three names picked were chosen because they liked them. The Queen saw her great-grandson for the first time this morning when she visited the Duke and Duchess at their home at Kensington Palace and would have been told by the couple of their choice. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took much quicker to name their son than Prince Charles and Diana when William arrived in 1982. They took seven days to decide what to call him, while the Queen took a month to name Prince Charles when he was born in 1948.
Hundreds of thousands of pounds were staked on the possibilities of the names. George and James were the favourites at the bookies, after Alexander, Henry, Louis, Richard and Arthur were the next most betted-on choices. The name will likely come to symbolise an entire era, as in Georgian, Victorian and Elizabethan. Before the royal couple left the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in London where their baby was born, William revealed that naming the infant was a priority, saying: ‘We’re still working on a name, so we will have that as soon as we can.’
It had been thought the Duke and Duchess would spend a few days deliberating on what to call their son but it appears they may have had a name in mind and were discussing it with family members. They followed tradition and picked names for their newborn which all have royal connotations. Baby Prince George’s other middle name – Alexander – is one that three medieval Scottish kings have had. William Hill said that George had been by far and away the best backed boys name with the firm and ended as the 2/1 favourite ahead of James and Louis.
William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly said: ‘Yes, George has been incredibly popular with our punters in the last 24 to 48 hours but the pregnancy has lasted a lot longer than that and up until Monday the majority of the betting was for a girl . ‘We are paying out a six figure sum to winning punters but the Royal Baby betting has been so popular that we have enough to get in a bottle of bubbly to wet the baby’s head tonight.’
Since the baby was born on Monday William Hill has taken 3,400 bets on the name George with 25 of those being three figure punts – the biggest was a £500 wager at 2/1 on Tuesday. Historian and royal biographer Robert Lacey said he thought the choice of George as the baby’s first name would give the Queen ‘great pleasure’.
‘George is obviously a tribute to the Queen’s father and will, I imagine, give Her Majesty great pleasure,’ he said. ‘But even as we say that we have to remember that her father’s actual name was Albert or Bertie – he chose the name George. We may find that Prince George could decide to give himself a different name as king.
‘George was a natural favourite to judge from the bookmakers. They will have lost a lot of money, I think. George was the favourite name from the start and so in that sense the Duke and Duchess reflected a popular trend. ‘I think Prince William said he wanted to get to know him before they chose the name so they must feel he is a George. ‘Alexander is a surprise. I’m not aware of any other Alexanders. I’m sure there must be reason for that, which I’m afraid I don’t know. There’s Alexander the Great, so there is a Greek connection. Louis is obviously a tribute to Lord Mountbatten.’
Mr Lacey, whose A Brief Life Of The Queen was published last year, said he did not think senior royals would have put pressure on the Duke and Duchess to choose the names. He added: ‘Prince Charles said the other day he had no idea what it was going to be. My guess is that it was very much the choice of the mother and father, but I’m sure they would have checked it with the Queen. Charles Kidd, editor of Debrett’s Peerage and Baronetage, said George was a ‘very fine name’ while Alexander would have been a personal choice of the new parents.
‘George really speaks for itself, I’m really pleased,’ he said. ‘It’s very traditional but it’s also a very popular name now for young people naming their children. ‘George is the name that features the most amongst the male line descendants of all our sovereigns if you tot up all the middle names as well, particularly since George I, the founder of the House of Hanover. ‘As for Alexander, there were three Scottish kings but that’s all I can think of. It would have been a personal choice, I should think.
‘Louis of course is a very nice tribute to Lord Mountbatten. It’s one of William’s own names and we know that Prince Charles was extremely close to his uncle.’ He added that only time would tell whether the young prince might decide to be known by one of his middle names once he was older. ‘It is always interesting to speculate,’ he said. Siobhan Freegard, founder of Netmums, said the name George means farmer or earthworker. She said a recent poll on the website found mothers believe children with the name are ‘loyal, honest, talented, independent – but with a rebellious streak’.
‘Alexanders are credited with being easy-going entertainers while Louis’ are leaders – and can be highly intelligent,’ she added. ‘With traits like that, the royal tot should grow up a regal king but more in touch with his subjects than any generation before. ‘When it comes to naming babies, royals are bound by certain protocol so you won’t be seeing a Prince Tyler anytime soon. The upper classes tend to stick to a set of traditional, safe, tried and tested names which this elegantly reflects.
‘George is a classic choice in memory of the Queen’s own father King George VI and William’s great grandfather. It’s popular, classless and solidly royal.’ The name emerged after baby Cambridge was taken to see his grandparents on his first afternoon out as it was revealed the Queen and Prince Harry have now met the royal baby for the first time. Kate and William smiled broadly and waved from their car as they were driven away from Kensington Palace by security, where they had spent their first night together as a family.