What's in a name? The royal baby's top five most likely names

With the royal baby’s birth on Monday, the mystery over his sex has been resolved. But bets are still being taken over what the boy’s name will be. Paddy Power, a leading betting service, gives George the best odds at 7 to 4, closely followed by James and Alexander with 4 to 1 and 9 to 1, respectively. As the world stands by for the announcement, here’s a look at the history of the top five most likely names.

1.George

Tourists ride a camel past a sand sculpture created by sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Cambridge, the son of Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, at a beach in Puri, India, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. (AP)

George is a regal name indeed, with 27 monarchs throughout the world – from Georgia to Tonga – having used the name. In Britain, there have been six King Georges. Most recently, George VI, the royal baby’s great great grandfather, reigned from 1932 to 1952. The first King George was also Britain’s first Hanoverian king. The royal baby, however, is from the House of Windsor.

James

A smoke ring is seen as the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery fire a 41 Royal Gun Salute in Green Park, to mark the birth of a baby boy of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in London, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. (Sang Tan/AP)

The name James also carries royal baggage, having been the name of several kings of both England and Scotland. Most famous of the Jameses were those from the House of Stuart, who ruled England and Ireland as James I and II, while simultaneously ruling Scotland as James VI and VII. The Stuart kings were unpopular in England, as they were Roman Catholic and suspected of cavorting with the French. James II was the last Catholic monarch of Britain – he was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688-1689. 

William and Kate, however, have a more personal attachment to the name: Kate’s younger brother’s name is James. This has probably led to the increased betting on the name.

Alexander

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery fire a 41 Royal Gun Salute at Green Park in London to mark the birth of a baby boy to Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. (Sang Tan/AP)

Alexander is a name whose lineage is epic in scope. It has been the name of kings since ancient times, beginning with the Hittites and most famously in Macedonia, with King Alexander the Great. Though it has also been a royal name in more modern times, Britain has never had a King Alexander. Scotland, however, has been ruled by three Alexanders, all during the Middle Ages. 

Arthur

British newspapers are seen in a news agents shop in Notting Hill in London, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to a baby boy, who is third in line to the British throne, on Monday afternoon. (Neil Hall/Reuters)

Arthur is a name of legendary stock. The popularity of the name stems from the story of King Arthur, the mythical hero whose story has been told and retold since the early Middle Ages by the likes of Mark Twain, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and T.H. White. Could this baby boy be the 'Once and Future King?' If so, then where’s Merlin? 

Paddy Power puts the odds of a royal baby Arthur at 12 to 1. 

Louis

People watch the Changing of the Guard as a notice proclaiming the birth of a baby boy of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is put on display for the public view at Buckingham Palace in London, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. (Sang Tan/AP)

In Britain, the name Louis may not seem so special. After all, no King Louis has ever ruled the British Isles. But on the continent, Louis is a classic. France, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, and Monaco have all been ruled by a Louis at some point. Perhaps the most famous of them was Louis XIV, also known as Louis the Great and the Sun King, under whose long reign the French monarchy grew to the pinnacle of its strength. Will Britain finally have its first King Louis? Odds stand at 12 to 1.