Kate Middleton is getting some well-deserved time off from the busy big-city life as the royal family is gathering at Balmoral for their annual family vacation. In just days, it will be the 1-year-anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing. Despite there not being a public event to mark it, the royals will surely spend some time remembering the monarch who reigned for 70 years.
Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis will join the family for their annual vacation as they prepare for the new school year. Prince William and Kate are doing their best to raise their children to become working royals – at least Prince George will be, as he will one day become king.
Royal names have always been of significant interest to the public, as they often have nods to the past. The same goes for George, Charlotte, and Louis. However, when they were born, Kate was under a lot of pressure when choosing her children’s names.
There are few things more exciting in life than picking baby names. Not only is it exciting, but it can also be very challenging as the baby will have it for the rest of their lives.
Questions like, “Will other people like it?” or “Is the name good enough?” could occur, but it always works out in the end. When thinking about it, when have you ever met a person who “doesn’t look like” the name they have?
The names of the royal children
Choosing a name can often take a very long time and put pressure on the parents, who may have concerns about whether people will judge the name. That is something that the royal parents struggle with every time a new royal baby is born.
To start with, what might make things easier is that the royals, like in their everyday life, have somewhat of a protocol to consider when naming their babies. First, they technically don’t have a surname, even though they might get one at school.
For example, when George, Charlotte, and Louis’ parents, William and Kate, were the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the three children went by George Cambridge, Charlotte Cambridge, and Louis Cambridge at school. The same went for William and Harry when their father, Charles, was the Prince of Wales, and they went by William Wales and Harry Wales.
As Queen Elizabeth II passed away – and William and Kate became the Prince and Princess of Wales – George, Charlotte, and Louis officially have “of Wales” as their surname.
Meanwhile, the royals can also go by Mountbatten-Windsor, like Harry and Meghan’s children, Archie and Lilibet. According to the Independent, which listed the royal protocol for newborns, Mountbatten-Windsor is “the name used by members of the royal family when a surname is needed.”
For female royals, such as Princess Eugenie, it’s common for them to take their father’s surname. Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank in 2018, and their children are named August and Ernest Brooksbank.
Secondly, the royal children at the top of the line of succession typically have three or more names. For example, Charles is named Charles Philip Arthur George, William is named William Arthur Philip Louis, and the late queen was named Elizabeth Alexandra Mary.
Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis
The same goes for William and Kate’s three children: George Alexander Louis, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, and Louis Arthur Charles.
“The further down the line of succession, the more likely you are to have a more unique or untraditional name,” Carolyn Harris, author of Raising Royalty: 1,000 Years of Royal Parenting, said.
Thirdly, the monarch always gets to know what the name will be before it is announced. However, Queen Elizabeth – and, in the future, King Charles – didn’t have to approve the name the parents chose.
Royal expert Kate Williams told the Independent it’s more of an “informal conversation.” However, if the Queen disapproves, the likelihood that the name will change is considerable.
“Of course, they have such respect for the Queen that if she says, ‘I really don’t like that name,’ they’d definitely take that into account,” Williams said.
Even though the Queen never decided on what name the new royal baby would have, she was in charge of bestowing a title to the child if she chose to, according to the Independent. All her royal grandchildren were given titles. The one exception is Princess Anne’s children – Peter Phillips and Zara Phillips Tindall – because she requested that they not have any.
As mentioned, the children closest to the top of the line of succession have three names, which are always a “nod to history” as they commemorate past relatives.
William & Kate chose George’s name with the help of family dog
As reported by Vogue, before Prince Louis was named, Alice, Victoria, and Mary were topped as the most likely names for a newborn royal girl. At the same time, Albert and Arthur were the most possible names for a boy, according to UK bookmaker Ladbrokes.
Prince George Alexander Louis’ three names did just that: give a nod to royal history. The Queen’s father reigned as King George VI, Alexander is believed to be a tribute to the Queen (whose second name was Alexandra), and Louis is one of Wlliam’s four names. Moreover, Louis is also seen as a tribute to Prince Philip’s uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten.
Prince George is Prince William and Kate Middleton’s firstborn child and the future king. Since it was their first child, picking a name was probably very tough. However, the royal couple decided to do it in somewhat of an un-royal fashion.
William and Kate struggled to choose the name for their firstborn son. However, they came up with a solution in the picking process. According to the Times, the Prince and Princess of Wales brought in their dog, Lupo, who helped them choose from the list of possible contenders.
After putting all the possible names on scraps of paper and spreading them on their floor, they let Lupo in and watched which piece of writing he went up to. The English cocker spaniel picked George, and the case was closed.
Sadly, Lupo passed away in 2020.
“Very sadly, our dear dog, Lupo, passed away. He has been at the heart of our family for the past nine years, and we will miss him so much,” William and Kate shared on social media.
Not long after the Wales family says goodbye to Lupo, they welcomed a new cocker spaniel puppy, Orla, into their lives. Prince William and Princess Kate decided to adopt Orla from James Middleton, Kate’s brother, and have been a beloved family member ever since. George, Charlotte, and Louis have a best friend on four legs who will see the children grow up for many years.
Princess Charlotte – Diana became her middle name
When Princess Charlotte was born, William and Kate didn’t use the same name-picking strategy as George. However, choosing the right name was as tough as the first time. It reportedly took William and Kate two days to decide what to call their beloved daughter, spending an entire morning discussing the final choice with their families.
In the end, she was named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. Charlotte is a homage to Charles, as Charlotte is the female version of his name. Moreover, it is also Kate’s sister, Pippa’s middle name. Elizabeth is, of course, a tribute to the late queen. However, it has a greater significance in the family, as it was also Kate Middleton’s great-grandmother’s name,
The name Diana doesn’t need an explanation. Of course, it’s a tribute to the young girl’s late grandmother and William’s mother, Princess Diana, who tragically passed in 1997.
“It reminds us of how much Diana still means to William and the memory of his mother. The Queen perhaps feels that Diana hasn’t been acknowledged enough, and this is a wonderful way of doing so,” Ingrid Seward, editor of Majesty Magazine, told Vanity Fair in 2015.
William has paid tribute to his mother in several other ways, including his mother’s diamond/sapphire engagement ring, which he presented to Kate.
Diana’s close friend Simone Simmons said that the late princess would be “over the moon” because Charlotte got to carry her name. William had promised his mother that when he was king, Diana “would have her HRH restored,” and “this is his way of doing it,” she added.
While some argued that Charlotte would be named Diana as a first name, it would have been quite a heavy burden. The fact that she now has it as her third name is for the best, Richard Kay, a royal expert and close friend of Diana, stated.
“Had it been the first name, I think it would have been terrible for the child,” he told Vanity Fair. “There would have been constant comparisons with Diana, and William wouldn’t have wanted that. This way, it’s a tribute to his mother and a way of ensuring Diana is always remembered.”
Queen Elizabeth stepped in to change Prince Louis’ name
As mentioned, Queen Elizabeth never decided on a name for her grandchildren or great-grandchildren. However, when Prince Louis was born, she decided to act.
In 1917, King George V set a new guideline regarding which royals were allowed to have a title. The decision was that all of the monarch’s children automatically became Prince or Princess, as well as grandchildren born male.
Great-grandchildren weren’t included on the list, which made things quite interesting when George was born. However, Queen Elizabeth stepped in and gave George, as a future king, a Prince title. Moreover, it was extended to Charlotte and Louis – even though they were further down in the line of succession and likely never to become king or queen – so they were awarded their Prince and Princess titles.
As reported by the Mirror, if Queen Elizabeth hadn’t made the change, Louis would likely have been Master Louis Cambridge or Master Louis Windsor instead.
Louis, one of William’s middle names, was chosen as a tribute to King Charles’ mentor, Lord Louis Mountbatten, who was killed in 1979 after an IRA bomb exploded on his fishing boat in Ireland.
Louis’ second name, Arthur, is a family tradition, and his father, William, and grandfather, Charles, have it as their middle name. Moreover, it was the name of Queen Victoria’s third son.
His third name, Charles, is a tribute to his grandfather, the king.
Kate Middleton felt “big pressure” when choosing names for her children
While the Prince and Princess of Wales did a great job choosing their children’s names, it wasn’t all that easy on their minds, especially not for Kate.
The Princess of Wales made the candid revelation during a hospital visit when she spoke about the “big pressure” she and Prince William felt when picking names for their three children.
Last year, during a visit to Royal Surrey County Hospital’s Maternity Unit, Kate made some sweet comments about her three children to new parents. But Kate also revealed how she struggled with the ‘big pressure’ she felt when picking her children’s names.
Speaking to People, new mum Amy revealed what Kate had told her and other mothers in the building.
“She just really talked about her own children, including how they chose their names. She said they were their favorite names and that, obviously, the world was waiting for them to name their children — and that felt like quite a big pressure!”
Beforehand, Kate had her “heart set” on the name Alexander, according to royal expert Katie Nicholl. However, the couple hadn’t decided on it.
“Courtiers insisted the pair had not found out the sex of their unborn baby, and friends close to the couple claim William wanted a surprise,” she said.
“Although Kate apparently suspected it was a boy and had set her heart on the name Alexander, they had not yet decided what to call their firstborn,” Nicholl continued, adding that Kate referred to George as “our little grape” during the pregnancy.
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