Prince George Alexander Louis: On the Royal Baby Name

Jul 24th 2013

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?"

>>Read more in Slate

And for the pop-culture take on the name choice, head over to

>>Read more at NameCandy


July 24, 2013 5:28 PM

George was also the first name of Prince George of Kent, younger brother of Queen Elizabeth II's father.  He was a dashing, romantic figure, the most handsome and intelligent of George V's sons, who married Princess Marina of Greece.  They had three children:  Edward, Alexandra, and Michael.  The youngest was only six weeks old when he was killed in a plane crash during World War II. 

July 24, 2013 5:55 PM

I enjoyed your Slate article. I know someone who has had George in mind for her second child, when 'he' comes along. When she heard that the royal baby was a boy and might very well be named George, she declared that she would still name her son George. But now that that has come to be, I'm wondering if she'll do so if she has a boy in a year or two. I do think George will rise in popularity in the US (already I have a more positive image of the name than my previous George Bush association), and I'd love to see the female forms of the name gain in popularity in the USA too, expecially Georgina and Georgianna. In England/Wales they're both in the top 1000, along with Georgia -- the most popular girls' version -- and Georgie. (Georgia - #60; Georgina - 157; Georgie - 205; Georgianna - 858)

July 24, 2013 11:35 PM

While I was rooting for Arthur, I am thrilled they chose George and it makes me significantly more likely to use George myself. Not because I'm looking to namesake the royal baby, but because George is a family member that we've long wanted to honor. We'd wondered whether the name was too stodgy/old-man to meet our requirements for a middle name (which are that it should be a more conservative, blending-in type choice for our child to fall back on if they should feel less like an Exotic Traditional name). George has previously felt too frumpy/fusty like our first name choices, but I think the royal baby will make it SEEM like a more popular name even if it doesn't actually change its popularity trajectory at all. That's great for us!

July 25, 2013 1:45 AM

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.


Err, yes, but he's a prince of the United Kingdom, not just England. At a time when Scotland is preparing to vote on independence, these matters are important to us Brits!



July 25, 2013 9:58 AM

One news report I saw stated Alexander also referred to three King Alexanders of Scotland, and linked that to the Scottish vote. Being hopelessly lacking in terms of Scottish history (I'm Australian), I have no idea how accurate this might be, but I thought it was interesting in light of this discussion about the very English George. 

July 27, 2013 11:33 PM

I've been surprised by how much flak George has gotten. I've perceived it as quite posh in the US for a while now, up and coming and possibly the next Henry. 20 years ago, Henry was an old-man name that was only starting to be picked up by adventurous celebrities and some in the wealthy set. But look how it took off and became popular! I have felt for several years that George was poised for a similar fate. I've met several young Georges in recent years, all in wealthy, stylish families. 


I personally love the name and have since my teens. I strongly considered using it, but we had another boys' name we liked better for our first son. Our next child, who is 4 1/2, likely would've been a George had she been a boy, but for our next child, who was born in June, it was already off my radar because I perceived it as being too posh. 


I think it's just right for the royal baby, though. Traditional, a family heritage,humble (it means "farmer"), and just posh enough. Add that St. George is the patron saint of England (he will be head of the Church of England one day), and it's a winning name!


(Though I was very much rooting for James!)