Most are probably already tired of hearing about the latest member of the royal family. If you are, don’t read on.
Personally, I’m not a huge royal watcher or really a monarchist. I will admit that I did get up very early and watch the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding. I did indeed take a whole day off work just to catch a glimpse of the Queen in Halifax a couple years ago. I’m of course, a history buff and that’s what draws my attention to the royal family.
Much speculation was made about the little prince’s name after his birth. This begs the question, how does one choose a name for the future king of England (and Canada)?
Prince George Alexander Louis is actually a relatively short name in comparison to some of his family members. It is still to be seen what he will be called by his close family. Many are speculating he will be called Alex.
The royals usually attempt to tip their hats at all the right people when it comes to naming babies, particularly those in line for the throne. Prince William and Catherine however, are a bit different. Alexander could be a tip of the hat to an ancestor, or even Queen Elizabeth II, whose second name is Alexandra. Louis is also the baby prince’s father’s name.
Many of the royals choose a name to be known as with family and one for the public.
In the Windsor (and Hanover) house Victoria was actually born Alexandrina Victoria. Edward VIII (Queen Elizabeth II’s uncle) was named Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David. He went by David with his family. He was named to honour family members but also his last four names are the patron saints of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
George is definitely popular in the Windsor family and included in many names, even those who are siblings to one another. Edward VIII’s brother, King George VI was called Albert Frederick Arthur George. He went by Albert privately, but the Windsors tried to steer away from their German roots due to World War I and II and thus he went by George for the public.
A name that is used during the reign of a monarch or a pope but is not their first given name is called a “Regnal” name. Queen Elizabeth’s name is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. When she became Queen, her name had already been used by a Queen and thus had II added to it. Her mother would not have been Elizabeth II as she was a Queen consort and not a Queen in her own right as Elizabeth II is.
Nearly every granddaughter and great granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II has Elizabeth in her name somewhere.
Many royals have also had the name Arthur in their names, which pays homage to the legend of King Arthur. King Arthur can represent many things such as British patriotism or chivalry. England came close to having a King Arthur in the Tudor period. Henry VII had a son called Arthur but he died when he was just 15 years old. Of course, the notorious Henry VIII inherited the throne and the rest is history.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge played it safe with little George Alexander Louis. They didn’t over do it with names but they also chose a name much beloved by the royal family.
I promise, I’ll stop talking about the royal family for quite a while now!