Alright, it’s royal baby chat–last post on the subject, but if it’s not your thing, see you tomorrow!
So, I had a wee bet with the fabulous Molly O’Keefe over the baby’s gender–which I lost. But then I immediately challenged her to double or nothing on the name and WON. If you break down the options, George was by far the most logical choice. First, there are a handful of regnal names that been borne by kings who were viewed as successes: William, George, Henry, Charles. And not every king by those names was a good one, but each features a king remembered kindly for his dynamic personality or his accomplishments. They’ve put their personal stamp on English history, and calling the prince after one of them is a nod to tradition as well a hope for a successful reign to follow. Unfortunately, the only one of those names not currently in use by a senior royal is George. Given that the queen was extremely fond of her father, George VI, it makes perfect sense that naming the baby George ticked all the boxes.
The middle names I would never have guessed. Alexander is believed to be a tribute to the queen whose second name is Alexandra after her grandmother, Edward VII’s queen. A lovely and unexpected choice, I think, and a wonderful acknowledgment of a very popular monarch–as well as a beloved granny.
Louis I would have put NO money on. It is William’s fourth name, chosen to honor Louis Mountbatten, a much-loved and much-missed relative of the Prince of Wales. It may have been selected to honour Charles’ choice for his own son; it might have been because William still maintains close ties to the Mountbatten side of the family. It is also a name with Spencer connections–the current earl’s heir is Louis.
And I never would have suspected they’d stop at three! The royal men have sported four names in the past two generations–after Edward VIII’s astonishing SEVEN–but it seems perfectly in keeping with William and Kate’s modern style to keep things traditional but simple. In any event, his names are thoughtful and meaningful which is what we all expected they’d be. If you’re curious, he is properly referred to as HRH Prince George of Cambridge–at least until his grandfather succeeds.
Now, the names I was SURE they wouldn’t choose? James, for starters. I didn’t think they’d choose a name currently in use by a close family member, and it would be oddly preferential to choose to use her brother’s name. It would also make for some awkwardness with Scotland in light of the whole James III question. Michael–Kate’s father’s name–also seemed like an obvious no, and the suggestion that they were going to name him Spencer? Really not. Their acknowledgments of Diana have always been subtle and appropriate. The hymns they chose for the wedding, the passing along of her engagement ring, even the choice of a polka dot dress to show the prince off for the first time–all of those seem like very sensitive ways to remember her quietly, and no way on earth they were ever going to consider a King Spencer, regardless of what the TV pundits were saying.
The queen has veto power (unofficial, of course) over the names of the heirs, and I suspect they waited until they had a chance to tell her of their choices and get the nod from her before they announced it. I can’t imagine she was anything less than pleased.