Skip to main content

Royal Babies


The Duchess and Duke of Cambridge with their children.
Image from Alberto De Castro via Flickr


Great news from Kensington Palace – another royal baby is on the way! 

According to the official report, the Duchess of Cambridge is about 12 weeks along, which means the baby should arrive next spring. Hopefully, it also means she’s just about through with her extreme morning sickness (there's an official name for it - Hyperemesis Gravidarum), a condition which also plagued her in the early months of her two previous pregnancies.

As William and Kate mull over possible names for their new little one, perhaps they should look to the past for inspiration. After all, they drew from the royal well of names for little George and Charlotte.

As my blog readers know, I like to find Regency parallels to current historical events. When it comes to names there’s quite a bit of overlap between the Duke of Cambridge’s growing family and the family of his distant ancestor, King George III.

A close-up of King George III as a young man in his coronation robes,
from a portrait by Allan Ramsay, 1761-62 (Wikimedia Commons)

You remember King George III – he’s widely credited with losing the American colonies. Illness-induced dementia during the last decade of his 40 years on the throne made him incapable of reigning, so his son ruled in his stead from 1811 to 1820 as Prince Regent (our Prinny) and those nine years became known as the Regency. (George III’s medical condition also inspired a hit play and subsequent movie, The Madness of King George.) 

Prinny was christened George, just like the current adorable little Prince George of Cambridge, and in 1821 Prinny was crowned as King George IV.

Now that’s a lot of Georges, especially when you consider Prinny’s predecessors, the King Georges I through III, not to mention King George V and King George VI (little George’s great-great-grandfather) of the 20th century. 

So the name George is definitely a family tradition. And royals tend to go with traditional names, unlike celebrities who revel in giving their babies unusual names, like Blue Ivy (daughter of Beyoncé and Jay-Z) and North (daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West). 

But Charlotte, the name of little George’s toddler sister, is another family name with a lot of history. It goes back again to King George III, who married Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in 1761. Just like William and Kate, King George and Queen Charlotte named their first daughter Charlotte.

Later on, Prinny named his ill-fated daughter and only child Charlotte, as well. 

Queen Charlotte with her two eldest sons, George and Frederick
painted by Johann Zoffany, 1765 (Wikimedia Commons)

If William and Kate do indeed look to the past again to name their new baby, they may want to consider one of the other names King George and his Queen selected for their 15 offspring. In addition to George, these royal boy names include Frederick, William, Edward, Ernest, Augustus, Adolphus, Octavius or Alfred.

And for girl names, there’s Augusta, Elizabeth, Sophia, Mary or Amelia - who, along with the aforementioned Charlotte, were all daughters of King George and Queen Charlotte.

The three youngest daughters of King George and Queen Charlotte,
the Princesses Mary, Sophia, and Amelia
Painted by John Singleton Copley, 1785 (Wikimedia Commons)


The Cambridges may decide that some of these names are already taken (like William, Elizabeth and Edward, the name of William's uncle) or have fallen too far out of use. (Augustus is kind of cool for a boy, in my opinion, but Octavius or Adolphus could prove to a bit of burden.) But some of the other names, especially Mary or Sophia, would easily fit into the modern age.

Whatever name William and Kate choose, it’s sure to set a fashion, with thousands of parents inspired to choose it for their own kids. Both the names George and Charlotte spiked in popularity after they were chosen for the little Prince and Princess of Cambridge. So, when the name of their new sibling is announced, whatever it is, it’ll be sure to appear on birth certificates everywhere. 

In the meantime, we'll just have to wait. 




Comments

  1. Maureen,

    Cute post! I can't believe they're on their third already! How time is flying, huh?

    As for names, I like tradition as much as the next person. But, maybe they should think of starting a new tradition of their own. Like, this is just a suggestion, but if the baby is a girl, they could name her Kathryn, and call her Kay, for short. I'm just sayin'..........

    Kay

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree - Princess Kay of Cambridge has a nice ring to it!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The end of the Holy Roman Empire, or what happens when the Empire doesn't strike back

This is the way the world ends Not with a bang  but a whimper T.S. Eliot wasn't actually describing the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire when he wrote those words in his poem, “The Hollow Men.” Nonetheless, his words are an extremely apt way to describe the end of the Holy Roman Empire, which ended quietly with a stroke of a pen exactly 212 years ago in August of 1806. That’s when the last emperor decided it was his duty to abdicate, letting the ancient dominion under his protection dissolve rather than allow Napoleon to usurp the role of Holy Roman Emperor and everything that came with it. Francis II, the last Holy Roman Emperor By that August the end of the empire had become inevitable. Napoleon’s victory over Russia and Austria at the Battle of Austerlitz in December of 1805 and his formation of the Confederation of the Rhine the following July (after he convinced 16 German princes to renounce their allegiance to the Holy Roman Empire and join him)

Macaroni Men and Yankee Doodles

The Spirit of '76  (original title Yankee Doodle ) by Archibald Willard, painted in the late 1800s November is a month that here in the United States is defined by food, culminating in a huge Thanksgiving Day feast. It's also the month we honor our military veterans. So I'm going to focus on both food and patriotism - especially an Italian pasta product that became synonymous with a controversial English fashion and developed uniquely American associations. "The Macaroni"- 1773 During the 18th century, it was all the rage for young men of the English nobility to take a trip through Europe to soak up its art and culture. It was called the Grand Tour. In Italy, these privileged lads discovered a pasta dish far removed from their usual British fare. It was called maccaroni , and they raved about it when they got back home. The travelers became known as the Macaroni Club, though there is no evidence an actual club ever existed. But it

The Cato Street Conspiracy

The Cato Street conspirators getting arrested Conspiracy and treason go hand in hand. Throughout history, conspirators have huddled in back rooms and dark corners in secret, concocting schemes that are both dangerous and illegal. So it’s no surprise that their plans often spiral out of control and end in disaster.  A good example of a conspiracy plot gone wrong happened during the Regency. It’s been dubbed the Cato Street Conspiracy because of where the conspirators were caught. This is a tale that, according to historian J.B. Priestley (author of The Prince of Pleasure and his Regency) “begins in absurdity and ends in horror.” The year was 1820. Though the Napoleonic Wars were over, Britain had paid a heavy price for its victory against the French. The costs of the war had strained the country’s economy. The working classes were hit hard by periods of famine, rising food prices due to the Corn Laws, and high unemployment, the latter driven by soldiers returning from th