Prince George is big news in Prince George (Virginia, Maryland and Canada, that is)
Upon hearing the news on Wednesday that Prince George is the name of the newborn son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George couldn’t have been more excited.
Whether it was Prince George, a city in northern Canada, or Prince George County in Virginia, or Prince George’s County in Maryland, all of them plan to celebrate their latest connection to royalty in their own particular way.
“We’re certainly thrilled as a city to share his name,’’ Mayor Shari Green of the Canadian city told TODAY.com. “It is a very traditional name, and now we’re moving forward with it in the modern era.”
The largest city in northern British Columbia, Prince George plans on celebrating the baby’s name by inviting the royal couple and their son to visit in 2015, when the city will be celebrating its 100th anniversary.
The city, which was named in honor of King George III, has had royalty visit before. Queen Elizabeth II, the royal baby’s great-grandmother, traveled to Prince George in 1990 to take part in the opening of the University of Northern British Columbia. Prince William and Duchess Kate also made Prince George one of their first stops after their wedding in April of 2011.
“It would be great to see them come back with their son for a visit,’’ Green said. “We also will be hosting the Canada Winter Games (in 2015) with more than 3,600 athletes, so it would be an exciting time for them to stop by.”
The city of Prince George also has set up a baby crib in its City Hall, where local citizens can donate toys, clothes and other items that will go to needy parents and children in the area.
“We recognize the royals have a history of volunteering and committing to charitable causes, so that is another way we want to celebrate the connection,’’ Green said.
Prince George County in Virginia, which encompasses a population of just over 35,000, posted a message on its Facebook page Wednesday saying, “Prince George County gives a royal salute to baby Prince George of England!”
Prince George County is named after Prince George of Denmark, the husband of Queen Anne of Great Britain, and was formed in 1703. The county celebrated its 310th anniversary on July 1, and plans on sending the baby a gift.
“We have a pretty strong link to British rule,’’ county administrator Percy C. Ashcraft told TODAY.com. “It’s exciting to see another heir to the throne named George. We are going to put our heads together on a gift to send to the parents and the baby. We want to send something that’s appropriate, tasteful and commemorates the name of Prince George, Virginia.”
One state away in Prince George’s County, Md., officials are considering sending a gift as well. Like the county in Virginia, the one in Maryland is also named after Prince George of Denmark. Home to more than 800,000 people, it was formed in 1696 and is located directly to the north, south and east of Washington, D.C.
“It’s very cool to be sharing the name with the new prince,’’ Prince George’s County director of communications Barry Hudson told TODAY.com. “We might send a gift, but because we’re so close to the nation’s capital, he might visit us before he visits other places.”
Prince George’s County is also addressing the technical ramifications of sharing the same name as the young prince, whose birth has captivated people across the world.
“We have to worry about how this is going to impact us on Google search with all the reporting on it,’’ Hudson said. “We’ve been talking to our IT team about how we maintain our status in search engine optimization.”
The county in Maryland also may have an advantage in recruiting the actual Prince George to make a visit one day.
“The president is always coming through here because Andrews Air Force Base, where Air Force One is kept, is in our county,’’ Hudson said. “Maybe we can offer the prince a ride on Air Force One.”