LONDON - Drum roll, please, and maybe some trumpets: The new little Prince of Cambridge will go by the names George Alexander Louis.
Prince William and Duchess Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on Wednesday announced the full name for their newborn, making him a future King George VII. Assuming his father and grandfather, Prince Charles, take their turns on the throne, he will someday become the 43rd English monarch.
For now, he will be known as Prince George of Cambridge.
He is named for his great-great-grandfather George VI, father of Queen Elizabeth II. Louis comes from Prince Philip's uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten, who also was close to grandfather Prince Charles.
Alexander could be either a reference to old kings of Scotland, or it's the male version of Alexandra, a top girl name contender, the name of a past queen consort who was one of the baby's many royal ancestors.
But the Daily Mail, citing royal sources, reported that none of the names are meant to be symbolic, they're just names the couple like. He did not get a fourth name, as has his father and grandfather.
George also is the name of the patron saint of England. Only one other name, Henry, has been used by more English monarchs than George.
Also, it's always possible the child, once he grows up and becomes king, will take a different throne name. In fact, that's what the queen's father did. His real name was Albert and he was called "Bertie" by the family (see The King's Speech). He only became king because his brother Edward VIII (called "David" by the family) abdicated in 1936, and he decided to honor their father, George V, by taking his name for the throne.
The couple and their prince departed Wednesday for Kate's parents' mansion in rural Bucklebury, about 50 miles outside London. But first thing Wednesday, the baby had a very important visitor: Great-granny the queen, who popped over from Buckingham Palace for a 30-minute look at her new heir.
He was born Monday afternoon and his parents took him home Tuesday evening, emerging from St Mary's Hospital in Paddington to a wildly excited throng of media and onlookers. At the time, William promised they were "still working on a name" but would have one soon.
Then they went home to Kensington Palace. William drove the couple of miles himself. The Daily Mail reported Kate's younger sister Pippa Middleton and her boyfriend, Nico Jackson, went to the Nottingham Cottage to meet the new baby. Prince Harry also visited.
Both sets of grandparents have already met the baby, on Tuesday at the hospital.
According to bookmakers, the top names Brits bet on included, George, James, Alexander and Philip.
The couple have 42 days to register the baby's birth and name in person at the local town hall, although royals may be able to do so via home visit to the palace.
Meanwhile, the Cambridges are in Bucklebury for the time being, and she and the baby might be there for a few weeks at least. There's also a chance they might go up to Scotland at some point to see the queen and Prince Philip on their annual vacation at her Balmoral estate, which starts Friday. And after two weeks paternity leave, William will return to his helicopter pilot job with the RAF in Wales.
By: Maria Puente/USA Today