July 24, 2013 at 1:54 PM ET
George Alexander Louis is the name of the new Royal Baby, a traditional choice as well as a departure from the expected.
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.
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.
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.
Celebrities ranging from Kristin Scott Thomas to Jane Kaczmarek to George Foreman all have sons named George.
Alexander is an imperial name popular throughout the Western World, also of Greek origin and meaning “defending men.”
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.