The Royal Baby: Not Just Any Tom, Dick Or Harry

A quick look at what the newest member of the royal family will be named and why

The royal baby is here and this is what we know so far. It’s a boy and he’s not only healthy and well, but utterly darling. He weighs eight pounds, seven ounces and he came into the world in something of a hurry – now all we’re waiting for is one important detail - his name.

His parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are yet to share their babe’s moniker, but we can be confident we won’t be welcoming a Prince Logan, Steve or Trevor in the coming days. No disrespect to any of those names of course, all three are perfectly likeable – just not suitably royal. So what does equate to a suitable royal name and why? We weren’t entirely sure ourselves so we did a little research. Here, a quick breakdown of what we learned.

Prince William carried his yet-to-be-named newborn son out of St Mary's Hospital. Image: Getty.

A quick glance over the Queen’s family tree and you’d be forgiven for thinking that Arthur, Albert and Charles were the only male names in existence, but there is a particular reason for this. The British royal family, like other royal families around the world, tend to reuse certain names in a nod to history and out of respect for relatives. The result is a lot of the same names cropping up again and again.

Take the baby boy’s grandfather Prince Charles’s full name for starters: Charles Philip Arthur George. ‘Philip’ is a nod to Charles’ father, the Duke of Edinburgh. George was the Queen’s father’s regnal name.

Like their father, Princes William and Harry each have four names. William’s other names are Arthur Philip Louis, again paying homage to his grandfather. Prince Harry was christened Henry Charles Albert David (that’s right – ‘Harry’ is just a nickname), with Charles being chosen for his father. Their mother, the late Diana, Princess of Wales is said to have picked the boys’ first names, leaving Charles to select the remaining traditional names.

Prince Charles and Diana, with William and Harry, pose for a candid family photo. Image: Getty.

In a refreshing break with tradition, Wills and Kate opted to give their first two children just three names each. Eldest son Prince George Alexander Louis, 4, is named for the Queen’s father, who reigned as King George VI. Alexander is said to be a tribute to the Queen herself, whose full name is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. Louis comes from his father’s name, William Arthur Philip Louis, and is seen as a nod to Lord Louis Mountbatten, uncle of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Their daughter Princess Charlotte, 2, bears the full name Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. Her first and third names being a clear tribute to both of William’s parents, Diana and Charles (Charlotte being the feminine form of Charles). Elizabeth is a proud nod to her grandmother the Queen.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge give a wave with their first two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, on a Royal Tour of Canada in 2016. Image: Getty.

In stark contrast with the newer royals’ pared back names, King Edward VIII, the Queen’s uncle, had a staggering seven names: Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David. The last four names were given for the patron saints of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, respectively. Granted, it was considered an extravagant name even at his christening in the late nineteenth century.

But if the Cambridge’s previous choices are any indication, baby number three’s name might be a surprise, or at the very least a slight departure from tradition. So which names are hot favourites for the fifth in line to the throne? Current tips among the bookmakers are Arthur, Albert, Philip, James and Henry. The idea of Prince Harry sharing a name with is newest nephew has us squealing.

The Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) and Prince Charles on his first birthday in 1949. Image: Getty.

Exactly when the newest royal baby’s name will be revealed is up to the parents. The delay from birth to name announcement has shortened considerably between generations, which is great news for us royal watchers. The Queen waited a month to share her son Charles’ name, while Prince Charles and Diana left it just a week before announcing William’s name. Prince Harry’s name was shared the very same day. The Cambridges released both Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s names two days after their births. With this in mind, we might just find out the little prince’s full name sooner rather than later.