Royal couple welcome a new Prince

Royal Baby fever – what might the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge decide to call their young Prince?

After much speculation over the gender of the latest Royal baby, the Duke and Duchess have become the proud parents of a son, a Prince.

Back in November 1948, the young Princess Elizabeth delivered her son, and heir. Apparently it was some time before he was named – Charles – a historical name, last bore by King Charles II whose own father (Charles I) was executed at Whitehall in 1649. Charles II had a large number of illegitimate children, but died without an heir – with the throne passing to his brother, James II and VII.

Princess Elizabeth’s choice may have been one that represented a new, fresh, start for the post-war monarchy.

Daily Graphic - Son born to the Princess

Prince William’s own name had not seen use since for a King since William IV, who died in 1837 without a surviving legitimate heir, and so his throne went to his niece, Princess Victoria of Kent.

So who will our Prince be?

By the time the Prince ascends the throne, we may have already had a Charles III (or as suspected, George VII), and a William V.

Will the new Prince become Edward IX? Henry IX? George VIII? Or will he tread the path of his earlier ancestry?

  • Prince Richard? – embracing the current popularity and interest seen for Richard III?
  • Prince Albert? – an affectionate reference to Queen Victoria’s consort?
  • Prince Leopold? – Victoria’s youngest son?
  • Prince Arthur? – a name steeped in myths, but also used in both Princes William and Charles’ names.

Further back – Saxon, Scottish, and French Kings

  • Prince Duncan? – Scottish King Duncan II died in 1094.
  • Prince Athelstan? – there has only been one King Athelstan, and he died in 939.
  • Prince Cnut? – King Cnut died in 1035
  • Prince David? – King David II was the last, dying in 1371.
  • Prince Edmund? – King Edmund II (Ironside) was the last, dying in 1016, reigning for just 7 months. This name would perhaps be blighted too, by Prince Edmund, the Blackadder – a popularly unpopular TV character.

    Actor Rowan Atkinson as the weasley Prince Edmund, the Black Adder.
    Actor Rowan Atkinson as the weasley Prince Edmund, the Black Adder.
  • Prince Robert? – the last King Robert was Robert III who died in 1406
  • Prince Louis? – whilst Louis features in William name, the last King Louis was the French King Louis, who spent a period ruling over about half of England, but he conceded the throne in 1217.
  • Prince John? – there has only been one King John.

I’m guessing that we’ll see a Prince Frederick or ‘Freddie’, or perhaps Prince Arthur.

We’ve already seen signs that Prince William likes to tread new ground, so we might even get a brand new name. According to James Brighton at BabyNames.co.uk, the top 5 boys names in the UK in 2013 are (in order): Noah, Oscar, Oliver, Isaac, and Jacob.

We’ll have to wait and see….

Baby Fever!

With the Royal Baby mania sweeping the media, I dusted off my own baby book, and took myself back to a time when things were a little simpler.

Okay, so whilst there’s a lot of royal baby fever sweeping the media, I’ve dusted off the baby book that my mother kept in my first few years. I’ve also got my sister’s book too. Do you have something similar to these?

Two books containing the first years of a baby's achievements

The blue one is my baby book – printed by Wm. Collins Sons & Co Ltd of London & Glasgow. It’s illustrated throughout (see example at foot of this post).

Inside are a collection of notes written mainly by my mother, but include some of my own writing later on where i’m listing and describing my birthday presents (apparently my sixth birthday presents included “marbles, a r2d2, a smurfland, cars”).

It’s funny reading this back. I’m the second baby, but it’s clear that every entry was written here with a great sense of pride at my achievements. Even my first haircut gets a mention – with a lock of my extremely blond hair, carefully tucked away in a little airtight bag that’s taped to a page.

Apparently it took me 5 weeks to smile and 12 weeks to laugh. By the time I was 5 months old, i’d mastered that old ‘got big toe in mouth’ trick – a great ice breaker!

At 6 months i’d mastered my first word ‘dad’. Sorry Mum, but you had your turn within the next 6 months alongside ‘bow-wow’ and ‘no’.

Both books are fascinating, all carefully noting baby’s progress – weight, words, birthday presents, crawling/standing, and scattered with photographs and names of gift givers (and their gifts).

Independently from these books, the other day I was looking through a photograph album that my aunt had lent to my mother (so that i could look through it, and scan what i wanted), and I found the earliest photo i’ve ever seen of myself – just 4 days old.

For William and Catherine, their baby will be well documented. Probably one of the most documented babies yet. They probably won’t need to keep their own record, but I bet they do.

I know for one thing, that if and when it’s my turn, I’ll be keeping a book too, and perhaps in another 35 years, you’ll read the next generation’s blog post about it here too!

Have you ever stumbled across a baby book in your family? How did/do your family record their new arrivals?

baby illustration

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Her Majesty the Queen has given Prince William and Catherine Middleton the title of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their wedding day.

Her Majesty the Queen has given Prince William and Catherine Middleton the titles Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The announcement ends months of speculation as to whether the title would be chosen as the couple’s new title after today’s royal wedding.

The announcement follows just two days after the Queen visited Cambridge to open a new plant science laboratory and to visit St John’s College.

The previous Duke of Cambridge

Prince George, Duke of Cambridge
Collodion of Prince George, 1855, by Roger Fenton

The giving of titles on wedding days is a long tradition in the royal family.

The last Duke of Cambridge was Prince George, 2nd Duke of Cambridge. He was the son of Prince Adolphus the 7th son of King George III. He was born at Cambridge House in Hanover, Germany on 26th March 1819.

Prince George inherited the title of Duke of Cambridge upon the death of his father in 1850. However, Prince George had no legitimate heirs, despite having married and raised children. George married in 1847 to Sarah Fairbrother – an actress – the daughter of a servant in Westminster. Their marriage was done privately which therefore contravened the 1772 Royal Marriages Act.

This meant that the marriage did not exist in British Law and therefore his bride would not be granted the title of Duchess of Cambridge or ‘Her Royal Highness’, and she would not be recognised by Queen Victoria.

This in turn meant that their children were illegitimate and therefore not deemed as heirs to the dukedom titles or to the throne. The title consequently became extinct upon Prince George’s death in 1904.

The new Duke and Duchess titles start from Prince William’s marriage to Catherine Middleton on 29th April 2011.