The oddsmakers were right! London betting houses had George as a favorite for the name of the future king from the beginning, and the royal parents came through.
The name George was completely predictable -- which is completely appropriate. You want your ceremonial monarchy to be predictable. At its best, the monarchy represents heritage, continuity, and the nation's unique spirit. And you can hardly do better than George to represent England.
St. George is England's patron saint. He's portrayed slaying his legendary dragon on a coin the Royal Mint is issuing to mark the blessed event. It's also the kingly name of Queen Elizabeth's father and grandfather, and so underscores the continuity of the throne. Prince George sounds as regally British as any name could.
For more thoughts on the name's likely influence (or lack thereof) on U.S. name trends, please check out this piece I just wrote for Slate, which had the working title "Can Prince George Fight the Baby-Naming Tide?"
And for the pop-culture take on the name choice, head over to NameCandy.com.
... George Alexander Louis. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (That's Will and Kate if you are on familiar terms) have released the name of their new baby -- third in line to the throne. The baby will be known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge, according to a BBC report.
George was at 5/1 odds in the recent polls of British bookmakers, not far behind James, the favorite at 2/1.
If you saw the film The King's Speech, you know of course, that George was the chosen name of Queen Elizabeth's father, portrayed by Colin Firth in the film. He was the sixth King George of England; he was born Albert and took his father's name when he unexpectedly ascended the throne after his older brother Edward VIII abdicated to marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson.
Beyond that relatively recent history of royal Georges in England, George is perhaps the most traditional choice for a royal baby. St. George is after all the patron saint of England.
As for the rest of the royal baby name, Alexander is said to have been Kate's choice, while Louis is William's fourth middle name.
George is a popular name in England, currently ranking #12. However, in the U.S. George is relatively flat, at #166, despite the influence of George Washington and George Clooney. Do you think little Prince George can turn the tide and send George back up the popularity charts in the U.S.?
If you've ever heard a favorite song of your youth pop up on an "oldies" station, you know the facts of fashion life: the past doesn't sit still. That holds as true for antique-styled names as it does for grunge rock.
Ten years ago, you could count on the top "antique revival" names drawing U-shaped curves on the NameVoyager, which tracks name popularity since the 1880s. That means that their previous peaks had been in the 19th Century. Grace and Emma are excellent examples:
Parents are still mining the fashions of the 19th-century, but the times are starting to change. Many of the hottest new antique revivals had their heydays in the first quarter of the 20th Century. These new antiques still sound decidedly old-fashioned, but their style is shifting away from the Victorian sweetness of Emma and Grace. Names like Lola, Ruby and Leo are decidedly sassy. Everett, Adeline and Evelyn have a jaunty formality, like a straw boater hat.
The following names with previous peaks from 1900-1925 have risen sharply in the past decade, and now rank among the top 400 names for boys or girls:
Here's the curve they trace, more of a tilde than a U:
[graphs created with the Expert Edition NameVoyager]
What’s next? Some names from the early 20th Century with up-and-comer potential:
Then stay tuned for another 10-20 years, until the generation of Lois, Gene and Betty comes back around.