Now that William and Catherine have welcomed their son into the world, the question on many royal watcher's minds is what will his name be. Over the last several months there has been a great deal of speculation on names for Baby Cambridge. Now that we've eliminated the female names, it narrows down the list to ones for boys. Some of the names people are placing bets on include James, Michael, George, and Philip. Baby Boy Cambridge is destined to be a future monarch, therefore he requires a regal sounding name to go with that pedigree. Some of these names have been discounted mainly because the royal family currently has a family member with that name and/or it is a Middleton name. But when it comes to repeating names, let's not forget that the royal family has had more than one member of the family share a name at the same time.
Personally, while I have preferences, I will not discount any names. Regardless of their choice, any name William and Kate choose is likely to start a trend. In fact, there are reportedly new mothers holding off on naming their own newborn until they find out the royal name. Whatever William and Kate choose, someone will be unhappy with it. As a matter of fact, I guarantee it will not meet with universal approval. Let's take a look at some of the name contenders and why or why not they might be chosen:
People have discounted this name because it is the name of Kate's brother. You can practically feel the sneering at the very idea that Kate and William might be tribute to a Middleton. How un-regal is THAT? Another reason for discounting the name is because two current family members hold it as a first name: James Ogilvy, son of Princess Alexandra and James, Viscount Severn, son of Prince Edward. Not to mention all of the kings who bore the name too. Forget that though, it is seen as a Middleton name.
Michael falls under the same category as James , being seen as a Middleton name because of Kate's father (insert more sneering here). Some feel it is not royal enough - despite a current member of the royal family holding it - Prince Michael of Kent. Choosing this name would be good because it would be unique. No British king has used Michael as a regnal name.
Currently the name of the baby's great-grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, it would be a nice tribute to the 92 year old consort of the Queen. As well, like Michael, no British king has used Philip as a regnal name.
I'll admit it. I've never liked this name and I hope that they don't choose it for their son. While it does have a Cambridge association, it is too old-fashioned sounding. As with any name, should William and Catherine choose George, it could start a revival, however some things should be left in the past, and the name George is one of them. I believe at present there is one member of the family with the name George, The Earl of St. Andrews - son of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent. In the past several members of the royal family have shared the name George. Upon the abdication of King Edward VIII in 1936, Prince Albert, Duke of York, chosen the name King George VI, despite having a younger brother with the same name, Prince George, Duke of Kent, as well as a nephew, George, Viscount Lascelles, son of his sister Princess Mary.
Three members of the royal family currently have Edward as a first name. Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, his grandson, Edward, Baron Downpatrick and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. Eight kings have used it as a regnal name. However, I think this name is a long shot.
On the list but unlikely because it has a tragic history within the royal and Spencer families. One of the Queen's uncles, Prince John died as a teenager. Her great-grandmother, Queen Alexandra's youngest son, John, died shortly after he was born. And Baby Cambridge's grandmother, the late Diana Princess of Wales, had an older brother, also named John, who died within hours of his birth.
Currently used by Princess Margaret's son, David Linley, as well as being one of Prince Harry's middle names, David might be a long shot given its complex history within the royal family. David was the name King Edward VIII was known by to his friends and family. Because of the abdication crisis, using David as a first name for a future monarch might make that unlikely.
This name brings up associations with Queen Victoria's beloved consort, Prince Albert. She was insistent on her male descendants bearing the name Albert. However, although King Edward VII and King George VI's birth names were Albert, neither chose it as a regnal name. Prince Harry has it amongst his given names.
It is entirely possible that William and Catherine could choose to pay tribute to Prince Charles but I think they would reserve it for a middle name as opposed to a first name. Like George it sounds old fashioned to me. Other family members known by Charles include David Linley's son and Baby Cambridge's maternal great-uncle is Charles Spencer. Like David and Albert, Prince Harry has Charles amongst his given names too.
The name of the Baby Cambridge's paternal uncle as well as eight previous kings, should William and Catherine name their son Henry, he might eventually ascend the throne as King Henry IX. The first British King to be ninth under any name.
Like Michael and Philip, Alexander would be another unique name choice for a future British king. It isn't a particularly common name amongst the royal family, but it does have a royal history. Princess Beatrice named her first son Prince Alexander of Battenberg, Queen Mary had a brother, Prince Alexander of Teck, Prince George, Duke of Kent had it amongst his given names as does Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester and it was also the name of Princess Patricia of Connaught's son, Alexander Ramsay of Mar. A current member of the royal family to hold the name Alexander is Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester's son the Earl of Ulster.
William and Catherine seem like couple who will choose something regal and traditional yet modern at the same time. Out of all of the names, my bets are on James and Philip, but I also like the sound of Prince Alexander of Cambridge too.
© Marilyn Braun 2013
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