Kensington Palace said royals are “delighted to announce” their son’s name, adding that the 2-day-old baby and third-in-line to the throne will be known as “His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge.”
The announcement at 6.20pm showed the couple have chosen to stick with very traditional royal names. There have already been six British monarchs called George. HRH Prince George of Cambridge, as he will be known, was named after Queen Ellizabeth’s father, George VI, meaning he will one day become King George VII.
The historian and royal biographer Robert Lacey said the name was “obviously a tribute to the Queen’s father and will, I imagine, give Her Majesty great pleasure”.
The baby’s middle names also have strong royal connections: the Queen’s middle name is Alexandra, and Louis is one of the Duke of Cambridge’s middle names, after his father’s mentor, Earl Mountbatten, who was murdered by the IRA in 1979.
Louis is the French and English form of the German name Ludwig, which means famous warrior or famous in battle.
The announcement comes a day after the duchess left hospital and two days after she gave birth, and hours after the Queen met her great-grandson for the first time.
The baby will in time become King George VII, following a tradition dating back to German-born George I, the first Hanoverian king of Great Britain who acceded to the throne in 1714.
The last was the Queen’s father George VI who died in 1952 but was known to his family as Bertie, reports the Telegraph.
The naming has happened quickly by historical royal standards. Prince George’s father was not named for a week, and it took a month for the name of the baby’s paternal grandfather, Prince Charles, to be announced.
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 to be told the choice of name, which originally meant “farmer” or “earth-worker”.
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 the Duchess’s father, Michael, her brother, James, or grandfather, Peter, but none of the Prince’s three names has an obvious Middleton connection.
A Kensington Palace spokesman said: “This is now a private and quiet time for them to get to know their son.” Details of the meeting with the Queen, therefore, are unlikely to be made public, writes the Guardian.
Speculation over the royal couple’s choice of name has run wild in the time since the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy was announced, with Brits betting on front-runners with and without strong historical precedents. According to Nameberry, favorites earlier this summer included George, Philip and Arthur for boys, and Alexandra, Charlotte and Elizabeth for girls.
As the Huff Post reports, on Wednesday, George was in the lead at betting agency Ladbrokes, followed by James, Alexander, Arthur, Louis, Henry and Philip. Jokesters placing bets on “Psy” and “North” faced equal odds of 5,000 to 1.