|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, portrait by Allan Ramsay, 1761-62
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
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, by John Singleton Copley, 1785
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.
Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Pixabay