News / Europe

Royal Baby's Name Follows Centuries of Tradition

Henry Ridgwell
Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate, the duke and duchess of Cambridge, have named their son George Alexander Louis. He will be known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge. There was a lot of pressure on the couple to get the name right, but his childhood should be markedly different from the royal babies of previous generations.

After thee days of waiting for a name, it was the bookies’ favorite, "George," that won out.

Royal historian Anna Whitelock from Royal Holloway University said the name George Alexander Louis traced its roots back through the royal bloodline.

“They’re names that have a royal pedigree. Certainly in the case of George, we’ve had six King Georges. Quite a motley crew; the first four were really more fond of women, mistresses and playing cards,” she said.

Queen Elizabeth II, whose father was George VI, visited her great-grandson Wednesday.

Royal observer Richard Fitzwilliams said entire periods in British history were often identified by the name of the monarch.

“The name is actually very important because there’s an extent to which you are actually defined in history by the name you choose. Therefore there are limits. No-one’s going to choose, for example, the name of a king who was a disaster,” he said.

Anna Whitelock said the more recent King Georges have been better role models.

“George V was the founder of the House of Windsor.  He very much led the country through World War I and visited the troops on the front line. And of course the Queen’s father, George VI, really led the nation through World War II, and a very popular king,” she said.

But Whitelock said the future king may not be known as George VII.

“Prince Charles might indeed take the name George. That’s certainly an option. George is one of his middle names. And monarchs in the past haven’t always taken the name that they’ve been known as throughout their life,” she said.

William has repeatedly said he wants to give Prince George as normal an upbringing as possible at Kensington Palace.

But it will of course be a childhood immersed in privilege and luxury, and that starts with furnishing the nursery.

A short walk from the Cambridges' home at Kensington Palace, Dragons of Walton Street furnished nurseries for Princes William and Harry in the 1980s. It produces hand-painted beds and chests, and highly ornate gold and lace-edged cribs, with prices to match.

Owner Lucinda Croft said the current fashion was for muted pastel colors - a dramatic change from the 1980s.

“They tended to be like the clown palette, bright, bright colors. So it’s really changed over these 30 years what’s happening in nurseries. But obviously the ingredients are the same. You still need a cot [crib], a chest of drawers, a changer [changing table] and a nursing chair ideally,” said Lucinda.

The royal couple has not hired a nanny. So the everyday routine that every parent knows of feeding and changing - and the lack of sleep - is something William, Kate and baby George will just be discovering.

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Comment Sorting
by: breda shannon from: ireland
July 26, 2013 2:40 PM
I love the name very traditional read more

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