I may not the best person to name the new little prince, but, if William and Kate want my humble opinion, I have some experience at suitable naming. I believe in names that emphasize heritage, a strong connection with history, and that honor special forebears of the little rosy bundle.
[George I reportedly never learned English, but spoke his native German even as King of England. Beggers can’t be chosers, eh?!]
The Hanoverian line is a recent one in the historic measure of things in Great Britain (1714 through 1901), yet one of my early choices for the princeling’s long string of names is “George”, or “Georg”, using the German spelling of the first George in UK history. His best claim to fame, in my mind, is his encouragement of George Frederic Handel (Georg Friedrich Händel), a favorite Baroque composer of mine, too! (Oh, and my middle name is “George”!) The first four Georges were Hanoverians. Though George III is a villain to Americans, he actually wasn’t a bad king, despite health issues and losing the American colonies. He also reigned the longest of any English king to date. The last Hanoverian was Queen Victoria, who holds the record for longest reigning queen. Longevity’s a genetic legacy of that line. The present Queen’s father was a good George, too, George VI, who with his Queen Elizabeth, gave heart to the English during WWII by remaining in London during the blitz, suffering along with their subjects. That alone makes “George” a great name to carry on!
[King James I: This English king spoke with a Scottish accent, but he unified two kingdoms into one.]
I mention it second, but “James” is my favorite for little “Jimmy-to-be”. James goes back to the Stuart dynasty, when James IV of Scotland became James I of the United Kingdom. As someone of Scottish heritage, I understand the loss of Scottish sovereignty through the blending of the two kingdoms into the one might be a touchy choice in some homes. I like the name, as one might guess since three of my cats had or have “James” as a middle name…! Ha! The King James Bible is a legacy of James I, and still is in use today, thanks to the beauty of its language and accuracy of translation for the times and available resource texts. An updated version is available that takes into account later Biblical scholarship where more precise translations of original texts is possible because of later Biblical research. It might be clearer to modern readers, but lacks the majesty of the original.
[Louis Mountbatten was a victim of an IRA assassination. It was a terrible loss.]
“Louis” is another of my choices for the name string of this little guy. I wasn’t surprised it made the list, if at 12 to 1 in the betting crowd, since little Prince Nemo’s grandfather’s great-uncle, mentor, and best friend was the last Viceroy of India and governor-general of the independent Union of India, Louis Mountbatten (AKA Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, KG GCB OM GCSI GCIE GCVO DSO PC FRS, according to his Wikipedia entry. Whew!) Also, I named a cat Louis, if for a different Louis. Don’t forget I have no horse in this race, so I can take terrible liberties! I mean no disrespect, however, to a man whose service to country was exceptional. His name would do the new prince honor.
[Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, is the one on the right…!]
Anyone who’s settled on No. 2 to the Queen of England deserves a little immortality through continuation of his name. I’d like “Phillip” to be included in the name chain the little bundle of royal joy is attached to. Arguably, Prince Phillip has been the perfect husband for Queen Elizabeth II, and earns his way through good works and support for the Mrs., erm, Queen. A man of his generation would more typically disappear in shame in this role, but he seems to thrive. May he last as long as his Queen. I can’t think of either without the other! “He fathered the heir to the throne.” I suppose that’s reason enough to include him in the honors, though I suspect that’s more incidental to a loving relationship than some plan for glory on his part. Way to go, Phil!
[Clearly, this isn’t Charles, Prince of Wales, but there aren’t any copyright-free photos or pictures of him in his prime. I substitute a photo of clouds because I think of him as a bit of a visionary, with his head in the clouds. I do!]
“Charles” is a good, strong name for the little Prince of Cambridge. Charles is his grandfather, the man whose mother and Queen allegedly said of the new prince’s father William when she first saw him as a baby, “Thank goodness he hasn’t his father’s ears.” Yep, even the Queen of England shows poor Charles no respect! It’s time to recognize he, like his father, stands in the Queen’s shadow, and likely will for the next decade, possibly longer. The Queen’s mother, the Queen Mother, lived to be, what, 101? Yes, longevity and relatively good health in this line suggests Charles has a bit longer wait to begin his reign. William might become king in my lifetime, but I’m not betting on it! The new prince won’t reign in my lifetime unless great tragedy wipes out his great-grandmother, grandfather, and father. Like by a zombie attack on London. Low probability, that. (The WordPress “proofread” function suggests I explain why I feel a zombie attack on London is not likely to happen…!)
That’s a handful. I think three to four given names is the more modern approach to naming royal babies, so I won’t continue this silly exercise. I might suggest “Andrew” since it’s a good enough for my cat and one of the present Queen’s children, but haven’t I been cheeky enough?! (My Andy just stopped by for a head rub prior to stepping over to lounge on his cat lounger. Just noting that coincidence for no reason.)
To the best of my ability to prove it, all the illustrations in this post are within the public domain, copyright free, found on Wikipedia. The one of the clouds is unencumbered, I know, because it’s one I took of the Nebraska sky outside my back door.