Royal Baby Name: It’s George Alexander Louis!
The royal baby has three names rather than the traditional four as borne by his father and grandfather. And his middle names, Alexander and Louis, while royal, are a surprise as they’re not the names of his father, grandfather, or great-grandfather.
The British public has been rooting for George all along– it has been the consistent top name choice at the betting parlors.
George is the name of more kings of England over the past three centuries than any other name. A Greek name meaning “farmer,” George was the name used as king by Queen Elizabeth’s father, called King George VI but whose given name was Albert. George VII is expected to be the name used by Prince Charles should he ascend the throne. In addition, Saint George is the patron saint of England, known for his legendary defeat of a dragon.
The choice of George fits in with the couple’s practice of doing things a little bit as they’ve always been done and at the same time making them their own. The baby was born at the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital, as was Prince William, but his father was the only one in the delivery room and the royal couple spent four hours alone with their new son before announcing his birth to the world.
George is a Top 100 name in England but less popular in the US, where it’s more closely associated with George Bush, Senior and Junior, than with glamorous George Clooney or playful Curious George. It’s not unlikely that Queen Elizabeth had some influence on the George choice; her father, a reluctant king, acted with great nobility during World War II, refusing to leave the city of London as it was being blitzed. Since George VI was born Albert, this young prince may well take another name when he is crowned, rather than being George VII (or VIII).
Alexander is an imperial name popular throughout the Western World, also of Greek origin and meaning “defending men.” There has never been a British King Alexander (though there were several in Scotland), but there are royal connections via the youngest son of Edward VII and the husband of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Princess Alice.
Louis, the name of Prince Charles’ mentor Louis Mountbatten, is a German and French name meaning “renowned warrior.” It was used most famously by French royalty: no less than 18 kings have taken the name. It is also one of Prince William’s middle names.
And now, since British royalty are famous for using nicknames for their children (Bertie, Lilibet, Wills, Harry), we can wait and see what little George will be called in the family.
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on July 24th, 2013 at 12:54 pm
I should have gone with my gut instinct that it was a boy to be named George. I just started to warm to George this year, and now I’m sold. Congratulations to the nameberry winner!
on July 24th, 2013 at 12:59 pm
I had a £5 bet on it being a girl called Caroline. So no luck for me. I love the name choice though!
Also, George and Caroline make a great sibset…
on July 24th, 2013 at 1:03 pm
I hope their choice helps catapult George to the top in the U.S. It’s time for this classic to be revived as well as other classics such as Robert, Frederick, Louis, Edward, and Richard.
on July 24th, 2013 at 1:14 pm
Relieved they didn’t use Arthur… it would have been great to have a little Prince Arthur, but it’s a family name for me and I didn’t want people to think I took it from the royals!
I just saw that the Louis they named him after was assassinated in 1979 and that he was very close to Charles. It’s nice they chose personal names as well as a traditional one.
Aww little Georgie! He is absolutely adorable, and I wish them the best of luck!
on July 24th, 2013 at 1:16 pm
I really loved this name. It was more uncommon and classic. now it will be common and classic. I’m a little bummed, but It’s still a great name.
Congrats to the British Royalty Folk! xD
on July 24th, 2013 at 1:17 pm
I have mixed feelings. George wasn’t my favourite because a) it was the name everyone was expecting them to use and b) there have been plenty of King Georges, even Charles plans to take the name George when he becomes King. I just wish they’d have been a little bit more unpredictable with the choice. I would’ve liked a little Arthur, King Arthur 🙂
Still its a fine name, I love Alexander in the middle and the looked so happy when they showed him off yesterday.
Good Luck to them 🙂
on July 24th, 2013 at 1:23 pm
Only 2 middles? I knew it would be George, but I bet nobody guessed this!
on July 24th, 2013 at 1:30 pm
They really named him after my family.
George is my Dad’s middle name. Alexander is my sons middle name and Louis (well OK REALLY Louie) is my DH name! HAHAHA
So considerate of them!
on July 24th, 2013 at 1:32 pm
I love this choice, and it honors at least a few of the royals in the immediate family: Alexandra being one of the Queen’s middle names, Louis being one of William’s middle names, and George being one of Charles’ middle names.
on July 24th, 2013 at 1:38 pm
I have to say I’m a little bummed that Frederick and/or Arthur aren’t in there anywhere!
on July 24th, 2013 at 1:39 pm
Really lovely name for a really lovely wee lad! I love George and I don’t think it’s a disappointment at all. And by the way, there haven’t been any Kings of England (of any name) for over 300 years. You mean Kings of the United Kingdom. There’s quite a difference!
on July 24th, 2013 at 1:42 pm
I thought it would be either Frederick, George or Arthur. So glad they went with all family/meaningful names. Anyway such a lovely name, I think they did extremely well!
on July 24th, 2013 at 1:42 pm
So who won the contest? Please let us know!
on July 24th, 2013 at 1:43 pm
And what do you make of the fact baby only has 2 middle names? Please analyze!
on July 24th, 2013 at 1:47 pm
Yay! My official guess was for a girl (I think it would have been so amazing for them to have daughter to become queen, especially after all the work and hardships Diana went through).
However, I was talking to my best friend last night about names. She thought Arthur, I thought (no, actually I swore up and down) that baby was going to be a George. So glad I am proven right! I love how they kept it traditional yet still added a little bit of their Will/Kate flair to it.
They are changing the throne one tiny step at a time. LOVE IT!
on July 24th, 2013 at 1:51 pm
George! I’m a little surprised, as that was the name that everyone was expecting them to use. So I thought that might make them shy away from it.
My husband isn’t happy, as he named our British-American son “George” 2 years ago. Being a British expat I like that we picked such a royal name.
It will be interesting to see if this impacts the name’s popularity in the US – I think it fell a place last year, which I liked, as Rose and Henry’s names are both rising. I keep spotting Henrys everywhere – maybe some of them will end up with little brothers named George, like our family.
on July 24th, 2013 at 2:01 pm
I picked a top 5 for boys names George, Alexander and Louis were all in their. I love their choice and wish Will and Kate all the best.
on July 24th, 2013 at 2:03 pm
So, who else thinks the US will see a surge of baby boys named George in years to come?
on July 24th, 2013 at 2:41 pm
Yes, I think there certainly will be a huge surge of baby Georges. Exactly why I’m so disappointed by their choice.. Our 20 month old is George. Over here in Australia it is one of those classics you don’t hear a lot of for little ones. All about to change I think.
on July 24th, 2013 at 3:00 pm
I am not surprised. There really didn’t seem to be much choice. Only three different names have been used by British kings, William, Edward and George. I think it will take a while before Edward is used again on account of Edward VIII, his scandals and politics. Most of the names of English monarchs have associations with monarchs who have effectively ended their use, such as John (Robin Hood and the Magna Carta villain), Richard III (see Shakespeare), Henry VIII (serial killer), Charles I (beheaded), James II (deposed). Beacause the English and British monarchy has been so concerned with tradition, this leaves us with George, William and maybe the obscure Stephen.
I do however like the name given the constraints. Plus, I have ancestors with the given names George Alexander and Alexander Louis, so it has a familiar ring to me.
on July 24th, 2013 at 3:06 pm
One thing that helped me like George this year is a sermon I heard that made reference to a Greek word in the New Testament, georgos. I knew George had a Greek origin, and meant farmer, which wasn’t terribly exciting. The radio pastor explained, though, that the name George is derived from georgos, and discussed the word in terms of the cultivation of spiritual fruit in the Christian’s life. After hearing that explanation, George ascended meteorically in my mind.
on July 24th, 2013 at 3:48 pm
I am glad they picked something not absolutely horrible… I don’t know how popular George is here in the US but now it will probably skyrocket in popularity. I love his middle names though!
on July 24th, 2013 at 3:57 pm
Love it! I was rooting for George.
on July 24th, 2013 at 3:57 pm
George is currently ranked 166th in the US.
on July 24th, 2013 at 3:58 pm
@aksimpso: Edward, John, Richard, Henry, Charles and James have all been used by the royal family (some by very prominent members) since the reign of those kings. They have mostly transcended their negative connotations over the years. I don’t think they’re all taboo and I certainly don’t think the RF are restricted to just George and William!
on July 24th, 2013 at 4:32 pm
I dislike this name. I think there will be some surge of Georges, but here in the USA many of us still think George Bush or Zimmerman.
Actually I think of Seinfeld most of all with this choice. At first all I could see was George Louis which was George’s middle name on Seinfeld. Then it suddenly clicked he was played by Jason Alexander. George Alexander Louis! I wonder if they are Seinfeld fans.
The baby is cute though. Who knows if there will still be monarchy in sixty years?
on July 24th, 2013 at 4:52 pm
Thank-you EmilyVA! I was wondering about the Seinfeld connection myself. Glad to know I wasn’t the only one.
But I have to say, a baby boy named George was EXACTLY what I wanted. And I do like the flow of George Alexander Louis.
on July 24th, 2013 at 5:04 pm
I’m really sad about the first name choice, love his middles but George has such bad connotations for me lol hopefully when he’s King he will go by something different.
Do you think when Kate was growing up she always wanted a son named George? I also think that it’s funny because in downtown abbey Marys son, heir to downtown is also called George.
Anyway I’m very happy for them, I love Kate and William 🙂
on July 24th, 2013 at 5:20 pm
Ah, I kinda knew it! I had just been talking to my Mom this morning about the possible names. I was sure George and Alexander would be in it. My Mom was like, well, Alexander isn’t really British. They won’t choose it. Guess, I proved her wrong. 😉
All the best to George Alexander Louis!
on July 24th, 2013 at 5:31 pm
George… Well, let’s see… I think of either a child killer or an idiot president we suffered for 8 long years or a cartoon monkey. Not the best association for some Americans. However, I love Alexander and Louis is okay.
So, now that this is over, can we move on??
on July 24th, 2013 at 5:33 pm
Oh, to EmilyVA- I didn’t even think about Seinfeld lol I can hear him now “This will be… THE SUMMER OF GEORGE!” lol
on July 24th, 2013 at 5:42 pm
Although they chose rather distinct middle names, the GAL (George Alexander Louis) initials just don’t do it for me. I like that they change things up a bit when it came to the number of middle names and that it wasn’t a full name list of dead relatives.
on July 24th, 2013 at 8:18 pm
I’m a littled bummed they went for the predictable. I would have loved to see a little Arthur, but then again, I would’ve hated to see Arthur rocket up the charts…
on July 24th, 2013 at 8:40 pm
I’m a bit disappointed they chose a very predictable name. It’s a lovely name, but I was secretly hoping for something other than George. However, I’m thrilled they didn’t choose Arthur or Frederick because those are two of my favourite boys names! At least George hasn’t really been on my radar. So, from a purely selfish position, I think they’ve chosen a great name, although something a little less predictable would have been nicer.
on July 24th, 2013 at 8:53 pm
I’ve got mixed feelings on them using George. My mom’s name is Georgina and using the name George is how I want to honor her, should my first child be a boy. Since it’s such an uncommon name in the US, I’m sure the royal couple naming their son George will likely shoot the name to popularity. But I’m also heartbroken that, if/when my first child (should he be a boy) is born, people will assume he’s named because of them. I now hope my first child is a girl, so I can honor my mom with the girl name I have chosen.
on July 24th, 2013 at 9:05 pm
I think it’s such a handsome choice! Maybe they will call him Geo. Or maybe he will go by Alexander or some variant.
on July 24th, 2013 at 10:12 pm
Here’s to hoping this will give George a boost in the US.
on July 24th, 2013 at 10:15 pm
Well,a future “Prince Ryder”doesn’t have the same ring to it,now does it?.
on July 24th, 2013 at 11:46 pm
I like it. George is a great name that we’ve considered using if we have a boy (I’m expecting) so I guess that’s off the list now 🙂 It’s definitely a safe choice but this couple tends to make safe choices — probably bc that’s what’s expected of them. But hardly think using three names instead of four is anyone’s idea of unconventional or unique. If Harry ever gets married I’ll be more interested to see what he and his wife choose since they’ll have more latitude to be creative. Still solid choices.
on July 25th, 2013 at 12:26 am
I wanted them to use Arthur because it would drive home how ludicrously irrelevant the British monarchy has become. 😛 Ah, well!
on July 25th, 2013 at 1:22 am
Belated congratulations to the royal couple! Little prince is a cutie and the name itself is great. Honestly, I was hoping for baby Edward but I am fine with George and know what…If prince George is going to be all serious and mature like his father and their second son(and they are not done having children) red-headed heartthrob like Harry, let the latter be Edward 😉
on July 25th, 2013 at 1:59 am
Although I love the choice, I think it’s just a bit vain of them to choose George as the first name. I mean “King George?” Really? It may just be me, but I think it’s a tad arrogant in my opinion.
Royal Baby Name: George Alexander Louis Is Kate And William’s Choice | Countusin Said
on July 25th, 2013 at 2:33 am
[…] Nameberry further explains: […]
on July 25th, 2013 at 2:53 am
boring, but fitting for a royal.
hope this all blows over so we can stop talking about the same 5 names everyone knows everything about.
on July 25th, 2013 at 4:15 am
I love the name! To be honest, Will and Kate didn’t have so much to choose from. WIll have an uncle named Edward, and Edward have a son called James (and Kate also have a brother called James), and Wills brother’s real name is Henry. I guess the only one left in the “first name group” were George, Frederick or Albert.
on July 25th, 2013 at 7:17 am
Aw I really wanted Prince Edmond ,George is to common in the royal family could be good for a sibling though George and Edmond.Wonder when the next royal baby will appear.
on July 25th, 2013 at 7:58 am
I’m a little disappointed to be quite honest. I was hoping for something with flare, something with a little kick of uniqueness. I know that’s hard to expect from royalty, due to the importance of tradition, but a little part of me was wholeheartedly praying for Spencer to be in his name. I can’t believe they went for something so average, though I do love George and it would be great to have our first King Alexander! I still wish a news report would come out saying – UPDATE: Royal Baby Name Changed! – and then the new name would be Spencer Charles William Louis, I would theoretically die if this actually happened.
I don’t want to pressure the new couple into reproducing again, but I’m anxious to hear who will accompany George, hopefully it will be an Elizabeth “Libby”!
Royal Baby Name: George Alexander Louis Is Kate And William’s Choice | MY VIETNAM Said
on July 25th, 2013 at 8:07 am
[…] Nameberry further explains: […]
on July 25th, 2013 at 8:08 am
I love the name. Here’s an interesting fun fact of the Price George
on July 25th, 2013 at 9:33 am
Thank you, LuMary! Although I personally don’t particularly care for the name George, this explaination is definitely cool-
“One thing that helped me like George this year is a sermon I heard that made reference to a Greek word in the New Testament, georgos. I knew George had a Greek origin, and meant farmer, which wasn’t terribly exciting. The radio pastor explained, though, that the name George is derived from georgos, and discussed the word in terms of the cultivation of spiritual fruit in the Christian’s life.”
@laurakatex – Downton Abbey SPOILER ALERT! Please be mindful that us American’s haven’t seen Season 4 yet. Although, I must admit, it is extremely cool to know that both “heirs'” names are George.
In my heart of hearts tho, I would have loved to hear that a little Prince Arthur was born. I’m surprised at my reaction, as Arthur isn’t a personal favorite of mine either… but the more I think of it, the more I feel it would have been the sweetest pick for the little guy.
on July 25th, 2013 at 10:18 am
RedRobin, why is naming their son George arrogant? It is what the William’s Grandfather went by and Prince Charles also plans to go by King George if he is ever made King. At least unlike King George VI whose first name is Albert and Prince Charles. The new Prince is going to actually be called George. Who knows he may get to go by King Alexander in due time.
on July 25th, 2013 at 12:46 pm
Hmm, so I wonder if his family nickname will be Georgie, Alex, Xander, Lou, or Louie? Or something I’m not thinking of, lol. Prince Xander sounds awesome though.
I know she JUST had this one, but I also wonder how long it will be that they wait between babies. I’ve been told that they have to have an heir and a spare. Is that a rule or just something I’ve been told?
on July 25th, 2013 at 1:54 pm
@charlieandperry1: I think you need to check your facts and I invite you to check mine. The names John, Richard, Henry, James and Charles have never again been given to a child of a monarch or a child of the direct heir. The only exception is James I whose first son was Henry. John and Henry have shown up from time to time but only as the name of a later son. The name Richard hasn’t occurred as a name of any child of a monarch or the direct heir since Richard III’s time. There has not been a single James since the Stuarts. The current Prince of Wales is the only Charles since that same time and he has expressed his intention, I believe, to take George as a regenal name. Elizabeth did name a son Edward, but it was the third son.
The English and British monarchies have been especially conservative in naming the heirs to the throne. From John to James I, 9 heirs where named Edward, 1 Richard, 3 Henry and 1 Arthur. Even John of Gaunt, Richard Plantagenet and Edmund Tudor (fathers of kings but neither king or heir) stuck to Edward and Henry. The Stuarts generally stuck to James and Charles. And from George I to the present we have had 4 Georges ( 5 if we count William IV’s illegitimate son), 1 Frederick, 2 Alberts (neither of whom became King Albert), 1 Charles (who also will probably not be King Charles) and 1 William.
Now maybe Prince George will be a trend setter, but I think the tradition is what lends the family legitimacy.
on July 25th, 2013 at 2:53 pm
@aksimpso: I never said that they had been used only for ‘direct heirs’, only that they had been USED, which shows any negative associations are fading/have faded. And Charles has been given to an heir- Prince Charles, as you say yourself, so yes, it has been given to the child of a monarch, regardless of which name he wants to use if/when he becomes king. Just because these names haven’t recently been used for the heir it doesn’t make them unusable. It just shows that certain names mean more to the family than others.
on July 25th, 2013 at 3:28 pm
@charlieandperry1: I don’t think that the use of a name by someone in the extended family tells us much about what names will be chosen for someone who it is assumed will or may likely be the king or queen someday. The taboo comes not from a general association with the name but from its association with the title of King. The names of these kings have no general taboo. Most of these names have remained relatively popular throughout the English speaking world for centuries. Rather, the names have strong associations that make them unlikely to be used in a particular context in which people are particularly attuned to these associations.
I just think that looking at the naming patterns for the direct heir is the right comparison to make when trying to predict how a direct heir will name a direct heir.
The fact that Charles is not going to take the name is about as direct of evidence as you can get that the royals still care about the history and associations. And both Charles and William have shown by their choices for their firstborns, choosing safe names, that they care as well. You say these names are usuable, but you are just stating that as a fact there is no actual evidence yet. Let’s wait and see how the naming goes if William has more kids and more importantly how the future George VIII eventually chooses the name of his heir.
on July 25th, 2013 at 3:55 pm
@charlieandperry1: I have a retraction. Apparently, the claim that Charles will choose George has been denied by the prince. So, maybe, we will have a Charles III. I would actually like that. It would shake things up a bit, first new king not named George, Edward or William in 300 years.
on July 25th, 2013 at 4:37 pm
Iwillpraise wrote: “In my heart of hearts tho, I would have loved to hear that a little Prince Arthur was born. I’m surprised at my reaction, as Arthur isn’t a personal favorite of mine either… but the more I think of it, the more I feel it would have been the sweetest pick for the little guy.”
I actually thought Arthur would be cool, too, but James is my favorite. I was hoping for George, though, because I figured it would seal the deal in terms of my liking it. I just love when I warm to a classic. This happened with Martin a few years ago. Anyway, I don’t think Nameberry mentioned George Herman Ruth or General George McClellan in their recent ‘George’ blog.
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on July 25th, 2013 at 10:20 pm
Although i undedstand they are limited by tradition and I do actually love the name George.. I would have been much more excited by the combination of Louis Alexander George!
Agree with PP it would have been a lovely touch to include Spencer in there.. But reckon they’d would have had a hard time getting it past The Queen!
on July 26th, 2013 at 12:20 pm
I came up with a theory about why the new little prince only has three names instead of four. Just like we speculate that Alexander is what Kate would’ve liked to have called her baby had she had him under “normal” circumstances, I think that giving him three names instead of four is a compromise symbolic of her “commoner” origins. She only has one middle name. William has three. So, their child has two! Another nod toward the idea of him being a “half-blood prince”! Now that I’ve thought of it this way, I think it’s a nice balance between his parents names instead of a weird disappointment (which was my initial reaction). And, hey, Queen Elizabeth only has three names, and she’s still one rockin’ monarch!
on July 27th, 2013 at 2:26 pm
The day before the baby was born I told my dad that they would name the kid George. I can’t believe they didn’t pick something like Edward or even something more know outside the royal family.
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