Meet His Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge! Kate Middleton and Prince William revealed their baby name via a statement through Kensington Palace on Wednesday, only two days after Middleton gave birth.
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The statement read: “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.”
According to Pamela Redmond Satran, a co-founder of the baby-name website Nameberry, in the past three centuries more kings have been named George than any other name. “It’s a regal choice and appropriate for the royal baby,” she said. "And of course the name Cambridge is fitting since his parents are the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge."
The name went over well among Yahoo! Shine readers, 16 percent of whom preferred George. And although royal experts told the Daily Mail on Wednesday that none of the chosen names are meant to be symbolic (rather, they're simply ones the royal couple likes), the significance seems obvious: The patron saint of England was also named George (and it was a bookie top pick) however, it has personal meaning, too. The couple may be paying respect to Queen Elizabeth's late father George VI. The paper also notes that George means "farmer" or "earth worker" and in 2011, it was the 12th most popular name in England. What's more, there has been only one other Prince of Cambridge and his name was also George.
For now, reports USA Today, the little one will be known as Prince George of Cambridge, but that may change once he grows up and becomes king. King Albert (called "Bertie" by his family) payed respect to his father George V by taking his name when he took the throne.
The baby’s middle names hold significance, too. According to various betting websites, if baby had been born a girl, Alexandra would've been the number one choice, so it makes sense that the male version—Alexander—was chosen,” said Nameberry co-founder Linda Rosenkrantz. "And the name Louis was likely chosen to commemorate Lord Louis Mountbatten, a close friend and mentor of Prince Charles who was assassinated by Irish terrorists in 1979." Baby George will also only have three names, just like Prince William and Prince Charles.
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On Tuesday, Kate Middleton and Prince William introduced the royal baby on the steps of St. Mary’s Hospital in London. William told reporters, "We are still working on a name, so we will have that as soon as we can" and "It is the first time we have seen him really, so we are having a proper chance to catch up."
And although it was a letdown for reporters and fans hungry for more royal baby news, according to CNN Royal Contributor Victoria Arbiter, it’s not surprising that the royal couple did things on their own terms. “There is no official protocol for announcing a royal baby’s name,” Arbiter told Yahoo! Shine. “Everyone has done it differently—Princess Diana and Prince Charles waited one week to release Prince William’s name, while Prince Harry was named immediately. And Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip waited about a month to name Charles."
“It makes sense that the couple revealed the name before the weekend. When William told reporters that he hoped the hospital and media could get back to their normal routines, the subtext was that he also wanted the fuss to die down,” she said. Arbiter had previously told MSN that she had a hunch about the baby's name. "George is a popular guess for a first name and also a popular name choice for monarchs: There have been six previous King Georges. Philip would be in honor of Prince Philip," she said.
Ever since the palace announced that the royal couple was expecting, the gambling world has exploded, with people placing bets on her due date, the baby’s gender, and even where the royal christening will take place. According to a story published Wednesday on CNN, between 20% and 30% of name bets were placed after Middleton went into labor on Monday.
Here are the monikers that didn’t make the cut:
Frederick: “This name was a front-runner and one of my personal favorites,” said Rosenkrantz. “Not only is Freddy a popular nickname in the U.K., the name Frederick is one of the top 100 names in the U.K. Frederick was also the eldest son of George II and the middle name of George V and George VI."
Arthur: The middle name of both Prince Charles and George VI. (Queen Elizabeth’s father), Arthur is a romantic name and comes in at No. 89 on the U.K.'s top 100 list. “It has a chic, upper class feeling to it,” she said. “People in America are even starting to use it.”
Philip: Giving the baby this name would've been an obvious nod to Prince Philip (William’s grandfather and Queen Elizabeth’s husband) and a way to honor him, especially in light of concerns about the 92-year-old’s health.
James: England has already had two kings named James; however, since Middleton’s brother is also named James, the name wasn’t likely to be chosen.
Francis: Although it wasn't a strong contender for a first name, it may have been in the mix, considering Princess Diana’s middle name was Frances. “However, it would have been spelled as the male version, Francis,” said Rosenkrantz.
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