For months, bookmakers in Britain, where gambling is legal, have been taking bets on the details of the royal progeny, including sex and date of birth. The boy’s name was the last element to be revealed.
All three of the baby's names were among those favored by betting services. Paddy Power, a popular bookmaker, put the odds of the royal baby being named George at 7 to 4 – higher than any other name. Alexander and Louis were also among the top contenders, with odds of 9 to 1 and 12 to 1, respectively.
According to a statement released by Kensington Palace earlier today, the boy – who is now third in line to inherit the British throne – will be known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge.
Prince George was born Monday, July 22, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, west London. The world caught its first glimpse of him the day after, when his parents Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, took him home to Kensington Palace.
The announcement of the name came relatively quickly, according to The New York Times. Normally, the naming of newborn royals takes several days, if not weeks. The royal couple chose the name themselves, said royal officials.
Only hours before the name was announced, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Harry, the baby’s great grandmother and uncle, visited Kensington Palace to meet the boy for the first time, reports the Canadian Broadcasting Company. Prince George’s great grandfather, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was not able to attend the visit, as he is recovering from surgery.
The name George has a long royal heritage, having been the name of 27 monarchs throughout world history, including six British kings. The last king of Britain to be called George was the baby’s great great grandfather, George VI, who ruled from 1936 until 1952.
The boy's other names, Alexander and Louis, also have royal heritage.
The name Alexander has been used by kings for thousands of years, beginning with the Hittites. The most famous was Alexander the Great, from Macedonia. Though Britain has never been ruled by an Alexander, there have been three King Alexanders to rule Scotland, all during medieval times.
Louis, though not a popular name for kings in Britain, has a long history of royal usage on the continent. France, Hungary, and Spain – among many others – have all had a ruler named Louis. Arguably the most famous was Louis XIV of France, also known as Louis the Great, who outlived three of his heirs. The new prince has a closer connection to the name than that though: His father Prince William's full name is William Arthur Philip Louis.