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, 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….

What happens when expectant parents are overcome by Jubilee fever?

What happens when expectant parents are overcome with Jubilee fever?

Amidst all the celebrations seen recently with Queen Elizabeth II’s golden and diamond jubilees, I wonder whether expectant parents have felt inspired to mark the occasion? Go back to Queen Victoria’s jubilees and I can find two examples in my family tree.

Queen Victoria wearing her small diamond crown in 1882.
Queen Victoria’s jubilees inspired expectant parents. Photo: Alexander Bassano.

George Juble Bishop was born in Wicken, Cambridgeshire as the last of the 18 children of James Simpson Bishop and his wife Ann (née Bowers) in 1887. This was of course the year of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee – which kicked off on 21st June. George was baptised the month beforehand.

His mother died when he was 2yrs, and his father when he was 14yrs (in 1901). He appears on the 1901 census living in nearby Cottenham with his older sister Mary Ann Bishop who has since married John Rayment. When he reached 35 in 1922, he is found leaving the UK and emigrating to Australia, where he can be found living in Flinders, Victoria, Australia as recent as 1963, by which time he is in his late 70s.

Arthur Jubilee Barber was born in the year of Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee – 1897 – to Reuben Barber and his wife Elizabeth (née Dewsbury) of Witchford, Cambridgeshire.

Arthur was widely known as ‘Juby’ and on the 1911 census, he even appears as ‘Jubilee Barber’ aged 13. It seems that he died in 1959 up in Staffordshire, but this is not for certain – as i seek further evidence to support this.

The name itself seems to have been unisex, with a Jubilee Barber marrying Thomas Hockaday in Melcombe Regis, Dorset in 1850. Perhaps this Jubilee was named after the celebrations relating to King George III’s jubilees.

When a Princess became the Queen

On 6th February 1952, King George VI died, and Queen Elizabeth II began her reign. Elizabeth’s reign is the second longest, beaten by her Great Great Grandmother, Queen Victoria.

The Daily Express front page on Thursday February 7th, 1952.
The Daily Express front page on Thursday February 7th, 1952.

“The King, who retired to rest last night in his usual health, passed peacefully away in his sleep early this morning”.

Those were the words from Sandringham at 10:45am on 6th February 1952 – the day that Princess Elizabeth became Queen.

Princess Elizabeth and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, were staying in the Treetops Hotel in Kenya – unaware that the King had died during the night at Sandringham. At 2.54pm (11.54am London time), the Duke was told of the King’s death and he delivered the news to is wife.

Delayed by thunderstorms, the new Queen and her husband flew back to London.

Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on 2nd June 1953, also becoming ‘Head of the Commonwealth’ – a title held previously and only by her father. Now at 86 years old, she marks her 60th year as Queen with a 1,000 boat strong floatilla on the River Thames through London, whilst numerous community events are staged up and down the country.

Queen Victoria still the longest reigning monarch

Queen Victoria by George Hayter
Queen Victoria by George Hayter (1860)

Queen Victoria still holds on to the longest reign – reaching just over 63 years (1837-1901) – with Queen Elizabeth II now just three years behind by celebrating her Diamond Jubilee in 2012. King George III ranks as third with a reign that lasted just over 59 years (1760-1820).

Click the image below for a video of the elderly widowed Queen Victoria arriving at a garden party in her honour.

Video of Queen Victoria at a Garden Party
Click image for a video of Queen Victoria arriving at a Garden Party.

Victoria celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 1887, and her Diamond Jubilee in 1897. Victoria died in 1901, with the throne passing to the current monarch’s grandfather, King George V.

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.

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