Tuesday 12 December 2017

History behind the baby's new name

Alex Diaz and David Wilcock

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have given their newborn son names which hark back to history but also nod to the Royal Family's most beloved ancestors.


Announcing that he is to be called George Alexander Louis some 50 hours after his birth, William and Kate chose a first name used by six previous kings and hence closely linked to the British monarchy.


It had been a favourite with bookmakers ever since the Duke and Duchess revealed that they had put together a shortlist halfway through Kate's pregnancy.


And as the name taken by the Queen's father and grandfather, George is close to the hearts of today's generation of royals.


The last King George - the Queen's father, George VI - actually had Albert as a first name and he was known to his family as Bertie.


But he chose George - his fourth name - when he acceded to the throne in 1936 in honour of his father George V and to create the impression of stability after the scandal caused by the abdication of his brother Edward VIII.


The first King George was German-born and became the first Hanoverian king of Great Britain when he acceded to the throne in 1714.


The royal baby follows a tradition for royal babies to have a number of middle names - the Prince of Wales has four names, as does William.


Originating in antiquity and popularised by the legendary exploits of Alexander the Great, the child's second name is rumoured to have been favoured by Kate.


It was used by three Medieval kings of Scotland - Alexander I reigned from 1107 to 1124, Alexander II from 1214 to 1249 and Alexander III followed him from 1249 to 1286.


The child's third name, Louis, is likely to be seen as a nod to Lord Louis Mountbatten, the uncle of Prince Philip and the last British Viceroy of India before independence in 1947.


Known by the Royal Family as "Uncle Dickie", he was a mentor to William's father, the Prince of Wales.


Lord Mountbatten was assassinated by the IRA in August 1979 when his boat was blown up on a fishing trip off the coast of County Sligo, Republic of Ireland.


The baby boy will now be styled HRH Prince George of Cambridge. Should he require a surname, such as on marriage, it will be Mountbatten-Windsor.


He is only the second Prince of Cambridge to be called George - the first was born in 1819, a grandson of George III and the only son of Prince Adolphus Frederick, the 1st Duke of Cambridge.


One day, the current Prince George of Cambridge is also likely to become the Prince of Wales, a title usually given to the male heir to the throne, but which is not automatic.

Press Association

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