Royal Baby Name: It’s Louis Arthur Charles!

William and Kate's surprising choice

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Much to everyone’s amazement, from British naming experts to the betting public, Louis Arthur Charles is the name of the new British prince, Queen Elizabeth’s sixth great-grandchild and fifth in line to the throne.

After four days of nail-biting anticipation and speculation, the name of His Royal Highness Prince Louis (pronounced Lou-ee) of Cambridge was announced on Twitter by Kensington Palace. Louis was the distant tenth choice of prognosticators, who had put their money on Arthur, Albert, James or Alexander. The fact that Louis was already a middle name of older brother Prince George made it seem an even more unlikely choice.

Louis is a French name of German origin, meaning ‘famous in battle’, more associated with French royalty than British: there have been 17 King Louis of France. But although the name does not have a strong British royal pedigree, it does have a meaningful family association. Lord Louis Mountbatten, who was killed in 1979 when the IRA placed a bomb in his fishing boat, was the beloved great uncle and mentor of Prince Charles, whose death affected him deeply.

A Top 100 name in England, at #71, Louis is Number 289 in the US. It was far more popular in this country at the turn of the 20th century, when it was a Top 20 favorite for boys, remaining in the Top 100 for 80 straight years, finally falling out in 1960. It regained some currency when Sandra Bullock chose it for her son in 2010, inspired by jazzman Louis Armstrong. Another modern inspiration has been Louis Tomlinson of the British group One Direction.

Prince Louis shares his middle name Arthur with his father and grandfather. Arthur was a strong public favorite, conjuring up images of chivalrous King Arthur and Camelot—one of the great royal legends. (And seemingly a name that Prince Charles had favored for his sons, but was rejected by Princess Diana as ‘too old’.)

The baby’s second middle name Charles was obviously another tribute to William’s father, the Prince of Wales. A time-honored royal name meaning ‘man’ or ‘warrior’, Charles was also an influence on Princess Charlotte’s name.

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26 Responses to “Royal Baby Name: It’s Louis Arthur Charles!”

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missmini Says:

April 27th, 2018 at 9:15 am

I’m not gonna lie, I’m very disappointed in this name. Louis and Charles have already been used and honored, and this just feels like they threw the name together. I’m all for family names but what about Philip? What about Kate’s family? Just my opinion.

Congratulations on a beautiful, healthy baby Kate and Wills 💖

ecpt Says:

April 27th, 2018 at 9:17 am

I completely agree with missmini.

IslandMoon Says:

April 27th, 2018 at 9:53 am

I’m also quite disappointed, but given his name was announced significantly later than both his brother and sister, I’m guessing that they really struggled to find a name. And reusing names within a set of siblings is not unheard of in the British royal family.

niteowl13 Says:

April 27th, 2018 at 10:03 am

Wow! I thought Louis could be a possibility at first. I thought it would be nice to honour Louis Mountbatten, but it is one of George’s middles. It is odd to use it as this baby’s first name. It would have been a good name for Harry to use.
Maybe they were going to use Louise for a girl, and it was a boy, so they just took the E off!

The poor Royals have such a limited baby name pool.

It’s funny that this baby was born on St. George’s Day and William Shakespeare’s birthday, so he should have been a George or a William.

SofiaSweden Says:

April 27th, 2018 at 10:33 am

I for one find it very lovely and meaningful, and i think Kate’s family will survive not having a child named after them. Especially when you consider Charlotte is Pippas middle name. And i can’t understand why people are so hung up over Louis, as it is one of George’s middle name, i mean, people talked about Alexander as a possible first name and that’s George’s middle as well.

They choose a name that they found great and that they are happy with, and that’s more important that what the public thinks in my opinion.

Etymology Says:

April 27th, 2018 at 11:22 am

I’m really happy with their choice, I was a bit surprised and thought it was a bit of a shame that they’ve reused one of George’s names but there is historical precedence for that happening in the royal family.

Given their previous choices I thought they would and should opt for a regency era name to fit with George and Charlotte. I thought Frederik/Frederick would have been a great choice but Louis is fantastic and the middle names fit wonderfully.

I had also liked James but then there already are James’ – both Catherine’s brother and James, Viscount Severn son of Prince Edward.

In regards to honouring other people, princess Charlotte wasn’t necessarily a nod to Prince Charles they never said that, it was simply stated by the media. It was always widely known that Charlotte was a favourite name of Kate’s, and it could also be to honour her sister whose middle name it is. When princess Charlotte was born I was really happy they chose Charlotte because she is our first Princess Charlotte since the much beloved only daughter of George IV, who died shortly after giving birth to a stillborn son. So it was such a fitting British Royal name to choose, just as Louis is a perfect royal regency name fit for our prince

NameLover 11 Says:

April 27th, 2018 at 12:26 pm

I’m so happy they finally announced the name, however I am a bit disappointed. I like the name Louis, in fact I really like it, but I’m not a fan of reusing other children’s middle names as first names for future children. Honestly, I thought they would go with something like James Arthur William, Arthur James William or James Charles Arthur. I really wanted them to use Arthur as a first name.

All is well that ends well! Congrats William and Catherine on a healthy little prince!

clairels Says:

April 27th, 2018 at 1:15 pm

So who won the Nameberry contest? Or at least came closest?

IslandMoon Says:

April 27th, 2018 at 3:28 pm

@clairels I’ve just done a quick check of the comments on the competition, and nobody guessed Louis as a name for him in any spot. MargotBear guessed his name would be Arthur Charles Philip, and as far as I can see she is the only person to have guessed Arthur Charles in that order, so by my estimation she is the closest.

wandsworth Says:

April 27th, 2018 at 5:15 pm

If this is their last child, I do like the way his name connects to George’s and Charlotte’s. George will never use Louis, and Louis will never use Charles, so what’s the big deal?

davisellu Says:

April 27th, 2018 at 6:38 pm

While Louis is a cute name with royal connections, I think they could have done better– Arthur was my favorite and I agree that it would have been so nice to have honor Prince Philip or used Michael, James, Francis, etc. from the Middletons.

LuMary Says:

April 27th, 2018 at 6:41 pm

Love the name, but here’s why I’m surprised:

– They used Louis as a middle name for George. When a family member suggested they would use Alexander, I replied they’d never do that because Prince George is George Alexander Louis. Who knew?

– For a similar reason, when the same family member thought they might use Charles, I wrongly insisted they wouldn’t because Charlotte covered that.

– The Duchess’ father hasn’t been honored seemingly. I thought they might use Francis as a middle name as a nod to him. ‘Charlotte’ honors Charles and her second name, Elizabeth, honors the Queen, and is both Carole Middleton’s and Kate’s middle name. ‘Diana’, of course, is for Prince William’s mother. So that leaves Michael Middleton, as far as parents’ names go.

But, it’s a great name!

lesliemarion Says:

April 27th, 2018 at 7:07 pm

I had gotten excited about Albert and Arthur and was as surprised as everyone else at Louis.

Lewis I love, but Louis, I don’t. Especially said Louie like Huey Duey and Louie or however those names are spelled.

I think of salad dressing too and St. Louis, though that pronunciation I like better. It lacks the gravitas of George.

And yeah, Charles and Charlotte, too close.

And taking one child’s middle for another’s first is a drag.

So while I’m quite fond of these people I don’t know, I think they could have done better. What would be really cool is if they actually got to name their children the names they love rather than this little incestuous bed of names.

LuMary Says:

April 27th, 2018 at 7:08 pm

As a sidebar, wouldn’t ‘Archie’ make a nice nickname alternative for “Richard’? ( I guessed Richard Arthur Francis – RAF -, tongue-in-cheek.). ‘Archie’s’ already popular in England, but I could see ‘Richard’ as a formal version for ‘Archie’ over ‘Archibald,’ if “Rick(y), Rich(ie), Dick(y), and Hitch are what’s keeping people from it. If you can get Harry from Henry, and Dob from Robert, why not Archie from Richard?

Ruanne Says:

April 27th, 2018 at 7:22 pm

Louis is a surprising choice, but I think I like it. It’s a little unexpected, and the royals have so little leeway for doing the unexpected, it’s good they have this. It’s actually a very lively, energetic, but sweet name.

tp b Says:

April 27th, 2018 at 8:56 pm

I’m w/ @lesliemarion: “Lewis I love, but Louis” pronounced as loo-ee, is very unpleasant. “It lacks the gravitas of George.”

Too true. Works for numbered French kings — but in an English context, it just sounds laughable. A name better suited to the family pet.

And very much not a matching sibset. «Here are my kids, the future King George, my little Princess Charlotte, and… Fluffy»

LeiAriel Says:

April 27th, 2018 at 9:05 pm

I was disappointed as well. I was hoping for Philip, Michael or Arthur to be included in the name. Michael since it’s Catherine’s father’s name and Philip for Will’s grandfather. Charlotte is the feminine form of Charles. It does honor and give a nod to Charles whether they intended it to or not. Louis was already used in George’s name to honor any family members with that name. I’m glad they didn’t use Harry’s name. He is getting married and may have his own sons one day and wish to pass on his name somewhere in there.

minisia Says:

April 27th, 2018 at 9:11 pm

Much in the way of Ryan Gosling’s Esmeralda Amada & Amada Lee, something reallyyyy irks me about reusing names, like one sibling is above the other. I’d probably say it’s my number one naming peeve. Then there’s the issue of Prince Edward’s daughter Louise. Middle names aside, I do admit George, Charlotte & Louis make quite the cute sibset.

jessiemay Says:

April 28th, 2018 at 1:32 am

I’m definitely surprised, especially with Louis being recycled from George’s name, but I absolutely love it! Arthur was my top pick and I adore Louis too. My stepson is named Louis Valentino so I have a total soft spot for the name. Congrats to Kate and William on another beautiful, healthy baby with the most delicious cheeks ever!

Toronto87 Says:

April 28th, 2018 at 8:11 am

I was also disappointed by the name. On its own, I really like all three names and like Louis. But the name just feels recycled and therefore less special. But my biggest disappointment was that Kate’s family is so underrepresented in the names of their 3 children. I was really gearing for Michael to be included as one of the middle names. It seems like Kate is so close to both her parents, and I know my dad would have been sad if after 2 boys and 6 names altogether his was never one of them:(

George, Charlotte, and Louis I think is a great sibset though – they really balance each other out.

NameFun Says:

April 29th, 2018 at 3:29 pm

I was also disappointed they went with Louis, both because I was pulling for Arthur or Albert, and because they had already used it for George’s middle. They must really like the name, and wanted it to be used somewhere for at least one kid, but they liked George better than Louis as a first when George was born, then another son gave them the opportunity to put it in the prominent front space, so they did.

Araminty Says:

May 1st, 2018 at 12:20 am

I love Louis and think it makes a great sibling name for George and Charlotte. Both Louis and Louie are in the UK top 100 boy’s names, so adding the 2 spellings together it makes for a very popular name. In the end the parents have chosen very current, very popular and traditional names for all 3 children. They were hardly going to choose a name such as Philip for the first name which is right out of style at the moment.

Violet_Rose Says:

May 1st, 2018 at 9:57 am

Honestly to all of you saying your “disappointed” I can only roll my eyes: naming a baby is a very special and personal experience and even though they’re royale doesn’t make it anymore your say in the matter. Clearly they liked Louis, that is why they used it twice, cool! My parents did the exact same thing with me and my younger sister. They really loved two girl names but were afraid I’d be their last child so they gave me both of them, but when my younger sister was born three years later they gave my middle to her as her first. Does that bother me? Certainly not! If anything it makes me feel more connected to her! Both of us proudly bear our mother’s favorite names! Louis obviously is a favorite name to them with meaning, I say let them be!

indiefendi2 Says:

May 1st, 2018 at 2:58 pm

Honestly, I expected a little more creativity. They basically could’ve just named him William II if they were just going to use his middle names as his full name.

tp b Says:

May 2nd, 2018 at 12:17 am

@Araminty maybe it’s a UK thing. Are you from the UK?
Wondering if those who think the sibset “fits” are from the UK.

I’m dual AU + US, and don’t think it’s a match in style.
Reckon I’m just not channeling that zeitgeist.
Had to be there?

Care Says:

May 4th, 2018 at 10:47 pm

I would pronounce Louis and Lewis the same way so I saw it as a good choice.
Now you say it’s Lou-ee which sounds like a nn!
Why would a British family use a French pronunciation?
Do they pronounce George as the French would? I think not!
I wish they had just used Lewis!!

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