The bookies were right: He Who
Had Not Been Named is now Prince George; His Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge, to be exact.
On Wednesday, that regal name was bestowed on Britain’s 2-day-old royal baby by his parents, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton. Although
the thoroughly modern royal couple chose a thoroughly modern way to distribute the news — via Twitter — “Prince George” is as old-school as
it gets. No fewer than six British kings have borne the name “George”; in addition, its personal symbolism for William made it an obvious pick for
months in betting pools across the country. The last King George was George VI, William’s great- grandfather, whose valiant battle with a speech impediment when he inherited the throne after his
brother’s abdication was dramatized in the Oscar- winning film “The King’s Speech.”
It took Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, a good week to name William. So the wait for the newest heir’s name — Prince George, if you haven’t heard, was born Monday — was comparatively short. In Britain, the naming of heirs is
a serious matter, with the monikers of British kings and queens defining entire eras as well as periods of fashion, writing and architecture; think
Elizabethan literature and Victorian houses.
Not everyone appeared immediately thrilled with the name “George.” Its popularity in betting pools meant that gambling houses across Britain were
on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars. “We’ve been left with a royal flush,” said Rory Scott, a spokesman for bookmaker Paddy Power.
“We always get stung when favorites come good.” However, he added, George was the front-runner from day one for good reason. “It’s a modern name. It ticks lots of boxes,” he
said. “William and Kate wanted a modern name, but they have 1,000 years of history to respect. I
think the queen would probably approve of ‘George,’ (her fathers name) don’t you?”