Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Royal baby is Prince George

George it is.  Future Queen Consort, Kate Middleton, has named her son George Alexander Louis.  The future king has a regal name - of course he doesn't have to use it to rule.  But it's a good, solid Windsor name.  The name of the founder of the house, the name of his son who took over from the king who abdicated and saved the monarchy in the process.  And the name of the dashing Duke of Kent who died a hero in World War Two. 

George VI, the last king to bear the name, became king at a crucial time for the English monarchy but left the throne secure.  His great, great grandson now shares his name.

Kate also becomes the first English queen consort to name her first born son George.  George VI's mother was born in Kensington Palace but he wasn't a first born and George wasn't his first name.  But the other first born Georges all had German mothers.  The name itself wasn't a royal name until the 18th century - used very briefly by the York dynasty in the late 15th century, it disappeared quickly then after George, Duke of Clarence betrayed his brother, Edward IV, once too often.

George, Duke of Clarence in The White Queen.  Not the most popular royal role model.

But six largely successful kings of that name have redeemed it.  Alexander has great royal pedigree in Scotland where three kings have had the name.  And Louis is a popular one with the current royal family, honouring Lord Mountbatten who was killed in 1979 and whose influence on new grandfather, Prince Charles, is well known.

In fact, Charles' influence can be seen in all the names chosen by Kate and William.  Charles idolised his own grandfather, George VI, and it's been widely reported he wants to reign as George VII when he becomes king.  Queen consorts of the past mostly gave their first born sons the name of their paternal grandfathers.  Kate may not have called her son Charles but if he is a King George then this little Prince of Cambridge may well be sharing a name with grandad - the name by which they choose to rule.

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