Friday 26 December 2014

By George, it turns out to be a classic royal choice

Couple name little prince after monarch's beloved late father

Gordon Rayner London

Published 25/07/2013 | 05:00

Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge

Given the task of choosing a name that will suit a 22nd Century king, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge decided to stick with tradition by naming their son George Alexander Louis.

Prince George of Cambridge, as he will be known, was named after the Queen's beloved father, George VI, meaning he will one day become King George VII.

The name had been the most heavily-backed boy's name with bookies from the moment that Kate announced she was pregnant, and follows a line that began with George I, the first Hanoverian king, in 1660.

The baby's middle names also have strong royal connections: the Queen's middle name is Alexandra, the female counterpart to Alexander, and Louis is one of Prince William's middle names, after his father's mentor Earl Mountbatten, who was murdered by the IRA in 1979.

The only major surprise in the couple's choice of names was that they did not include a nod to the Middleton family; many had expected the baby's names to include that of Kate Middleton's father Michael, her brother James or grandfather Peter.

The Duke of Cambridge had said the couple were still "working on" names when they left St Mary's Hospital with their son on Tuesday, and sources said they wanted to "wait until they had seen the baby" before deciding if their choice was a good fit.

The Queen, who met her great-grandson for the first time yesterday when she made a half-hour visit to Kensington Palace, was one of the first people to be told the name.

In choosing a name borne by six previous kings, as well as England's patron saint, the couple effectively future-proofed their son against fads and trends that can blight more unusual choices.

Siobhan Freegard, founder of the Netmums website, said: "George Alexander Louis is a classic royal choice, and fit for a future king. It is popular, classless and solidly royal."

BODYGUARDS

After meeting the Queen, Prince George's busy start in life continued when he and his parents left Kensington Palace at lunchtime and drove to Bucklebury, Berkshire, to stay with Catherine's parents.

The Middleton family's Georgian manor house was surrounded by an unprecedented security cordon for the baby's arrival. As well as the usual armed police and personal bodyguards, a police helicopter hovered overhead and officers on horseback rode around the perimeter of the 18-acre property.

Their pres ence is likely to be aimed as much at deterring paparazzi, keen to sell pictures of mother and baby to foreign magazines, as at potential terrorist threats.

The local council put up notices banning cars from stopping in the lane outside the house for the next three weeks, suggesting Kate is intending a lengthy stay.

Aides have said she has no plans to hire a nanny, and is likely to lean heavily on her mother for support.

The Duke of Cambridge will go back to work with his RAF squadron after two weeks' statutory paternity leave, and Kate clearly plans to remain under her mother's roof once her husband returns to Wales.

The couple may also try to fit in a visit to Balmoral over the summer so that the royal family can spend more time with the prince. It would also enable the Duke of Edinburgh, who is convalescing after abdominal surgery last month, to meet his great-grandson.

Kensington Palace made the announcement of the baby's name at 6.15pm yesterday, with the short statement that: "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."

The name Alexander is rumoured to be a particular favourite of the Duchess. It was also the name of three medieval kings of Scotland, the country where the Duke and Duchess met while they were students at St Andrews University.

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