Royal Baby: He has a Name! In Fact, He has a Few!By: Bennett Rieser - July 24, 2013
The news is out of Kensington Palace that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have officially named their son George Alexander Louis. His formal title will be His Royal Highness, Prince George, of Cambridge.
Little Prince George was visited at Kensington Palace by his great-grandmother the Queen and Prince Harry; presumably, the adults were discussing his name. His first outing was a visit to his maternal grandparents Carole and Michael Middleton.
The notorious English betting scene had ‘George’ listed among the highly favored names for the new royal at 5-1 odds. While ‘James’ (2-1) was of course the main running favorite, other examples of names offered by bookies across England included ‘George’ (5-1), ‘Henry’ (5-1), ‘Phillip’ (10-1), and Arthur’ (16-1). Due to the fantastically famous English sense of humor, long shot names included ‘Ethelred’ (200-1) and Elvis (1000-1).
I can understand seeing Elvis, since he was arguably the ‘King’ of rock and roll, but Ethelred? National Geographic notes ‘Ethelred’ is a classic Anglo-Saxon name held by no less than seven kings, most recently held by an unfortunate infant king named Ethelred the Unready who apparently lost bowel control in the midst of a baptismal pool. Hundreds of thousands of Great British Pounds have been exchanged since the news broke, with whomever had bet on ‘Ethelred’ paying up big time.
In the English culture, an heir’s name is highly significant. A monarch’s name often became a cultural anachronism used to describe the era in which he or she ruled, such as Queen Victoria and her iconic Victorian era.
The frenzy over the new baby royal’s name extended way beyond gambling as mothers in the U.K. found themselves abstaining from choosing their own children’s names in anticipation of the big announcement. Perhaps now in the wake of the global media frenzy following the birth of the newest member of the English Royal Family, at least some individual moms in Britain can finally feel comfortable naming their children… after a royal baby.