Wednesday, July 24, 2013

drum roll: THE NAME IS ...



All three names are family names, very traditional names.   George is not the first Cambridge prince with the name George.  

Prince Adolphus, 10th child of George III, was Duke of Cambridge.  He married Augusta of Hesse-Cassel.  Their eldest child, Prince George of Cambridge (1819-1904), a first cousin, was the second and last Duke of Cambridge of that creation.  He married in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act, which meant that his sons could not inherit his titles or bear his name.

Prince George's youngest sister, Mary Adelaide, married the Duke of Teck.  Their daughter, Mary, married George V - the grandparents of Queen Elizabeth II, whose father, Prince Albert, Duke of York, reigned as George VI, even though he was always known privately as Bertie.

The Cambridges were, of course, paternal first cousins to Queen Victoria.  Another paternal first cousin, was Prince George of Cumberland, who succeeded his father, Prince Ernest Augustus, as Duke of Cumberland, but also as King Georg V of Hannover. [William IV died in June 1837.  The British throne was inherited by his niece, Victoria, but the Kingdom of Hannover passed to his brother, the Duke of Cumberland, due to Salic law.]

George was the first name of the first four kings of the Hanover dynasty.  The third king should have been Frederick, but he died before his father, George II, who when George II died, he was succeeded by Frederick's eldest son, George, who reigned as George III.  His eldest son was George IV.

Queen Victoria decided to go with other names for her sons. The eldest was Albert Edward (for her husband and her father).  The youngest son, Leopold was given George as one of his middle names.

The future Edward VII and his wife Alexandra named their second George.  The eldest son, Prince Albert Victor, was named for his paternal grandparents.  He died in January 1892, only weeks before his marriage to Princess Mary of Teck (daughter of Mary Adelaide of Cambridge).   Prince George moved into second place in the line of succession.  In 1894, he married his brother's fiancee.  

They saved George as a first name for their fifth child and fourth son, Prince George Edward Alexander Edmund (1902-1942), although the two eldest sons, Edward (known as David) and Albert have George as one of their middle names.  This Prince George was created Duke of Kent in 1934.  His eldest grandson, the Earl of St. Andrews, is also named George.

Queen Victoria was named for her godfather Emperor Alexander I of all the Russias.  She was baptized as Alexandrina Victoria, called Drina for several years, but reigned as Victoria.   There are three Scots kings with the name of Alexander,  but the name returned to the Royal family when Princess Alexandra of Denmark married the future Edward VII in 1863.

Two of their three daughters, Louise and Victoria have Alexandra as one of their middle names.  The youngest son was named Alexander John. He lived for only a few hours in 1871.

Princess Louise named her eldest daughter, Alexandra, who married Prince Arthur of Connaught.    Alexandra is the first name of Princess Alexandra (1936), only daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Kent.  It is also a middle name for several descendants of George V, including Queen Elizabeth.

The name Alexander also comes from Prince Philip's family.  Prince Alexander of Hesse and By Rhine (1823-1888) was married morganatically to Julie von Hauke, who was created Princess of Battenberg,   Alexander's nephew,  Grand Duke Ludwig IV of Hesse and by Rhine, married Queen Victoria's second daughter, Princess Alice.

Alexander and Julie's eldest son, Prince Louis of Battenberg (1854-1921) married Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine. Louis and Victoria's father were first cousins.    Prince Louis served in the Royal Navy, became a naturalized British citizen, and was created Marquess of Milford Haven in 1917.

Louis and Victoria had four children:  Alice (married Prince Andrew of Greece), Louise (married as his second wife, King Gustav VI of Sweden),  George (married Countess Nada Torby) and Louis (married Edwina Ashley.)   The present Marquess of Milford Haven is George's grandson.   Louis was created Earl Mountbatten of Burma, and was assassinated in 1979 by the IRA.

Although Lord Mountbatten had a close relationship with Prince Charles,  he did not raise Prince Philip.  Philip's guardian was Louis' older brother, George who died in 1938.  Lord Louis Mountbatten, as he was then styled, did not become a force in Philip's life until Philip joined the Royal Navy.

Princess Alice and Prince Andrew were the parents of four daughters and a son, Prince Philip.  The third of the four daughters, Princess Cecilie married Hereditary Grand Duke Georg Donatus of Hesse and By Rhine, who was the elder son of Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse and By Rhine, younger brother of Princess Victoria, Marchioness of Milford Haven.

Cecilie and Georg Donatus were the parents of three children:  Alexander, Ludwig, and Johanna Marina. In November 1937,  they were all killed in a plane crash en route to London for the wedding of Georg Donatus's younger brother, Prince Ludwig, to the Hon. Margaret Geddes. 

As the plane prepared for descent, it flew into a chimney and crashed in Ostend.  Everyone on board was killed.  Cecilie was eight-months-pregnant and gave birth to a stillborn child during the crash.

Prince Ludwig and Margaret were married quietly the next day with Lord Louis stepping in as best man for the late Hereditary Grand Duke.   The newly married Prince and Princess Ludwig returned to Darmstadt, where they adopted Johanna Marina, who had been left behind at Darmstadt.  Tragically, she died on June 14, 1939 from meningitis.   Prince Ludwig and Princess Margaret were very close to their British cousins.  In 1964, Prince Ludwig was named as one of Prince Edward's godfathers.  One of Edward's four names is Louis.

Prince William has certainly honored his family's history by naming his son, George Alexander Louis. 


Michelle said...

kind of bummed that a future king only got three names. glad to see Louis in there, George isn't my favorite baby name but totally fitting in this situation, but Alexander? i know it's been used in the British royal family - i was actually hoping they might give him that as a first name - but why? depending on what name Charles goes by as king, this will be King George VII or VIII.

any thoughts about the name alexander & its royal roots? do you think Charles really will go by George VII rather than Charles III or is that another media fantasy?

Michelle said...

i must say though, i'm really shocked that there wasn't more of a family connection as far as names. nothing to honor kate's family at all, and Louis is probably to do with Mountbatten (who is why William also has that as a middle name) which is rather removed from this child. surprised no Charles, Philip, Michael, James, Henry, or anything like that in the line-up.

any thoughts on Godparents?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Queen Elizabeth as three names. Charles will be Charles III, total fabrication about George. Alexander is the male equivalent of Alexandra, which is one of Elizabeth's names. Princess Alexandra is one of William's godmothers. Louis is a family name, also one of Edward's names (his for Ludwig of Hesse, one of his godparents.)

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

William does not have his father's name as one of his names

Michelle said...

well i knew the Queen had 3, as do the York girls, but figured she was named when there was no thought of her becoming monarch. it's true that William doesn't have one of his father's names, but he DOES have his grandfather's name, and William has a strong royal history.

glad to know about Charles, i thought the media were making it up because they never had a solid source. for those who don't care to think on their own, it can be convincing - he does have it as one of his given names, and the name Charles doesn't have the best history for kings, but it didn't make much sense to me. so this baby will, all things as expected, become King George VII.

i did figure Alexander could be related to "AlexandRA" but didn't know if it was more to it than that.

gotta love how "royal sources" (take that with a grain of salt, as always) say the name have no significance & are simply names the couple like. sorry, but a royal baby is not named "George" by coincidence. :-P

will the Christening be made public in terms of video, etc., or just formal pictures released?

Edelweiss Transplanted said...

Excellent post. It is a nice coincidence that Prince Philip's Hessian relatives, whose lives were so tragically cut short, are also being honored in the baby's name.

Loveies said...

Marlene, if I wanted to send congratulations to the new parents would I send it here?

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Clarence House
London SW1A 1BA

I figured you would know!

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

They moved their office to Kensington palace. W8

Christine Mackenzie said...

I'm a little disappointed that Philip wasn't included and I'm feeling slightly uncomfortable with the word from KP that these names weren't chosen for historical/family reasons, but simply that the couple liked them. Which is fine, except that I feel William's need to plow his own furrow is staring to become a rejection of tradition. Perhaps I am reading too much into it?! However, I do like all the names and predicted George so, I'm allowing myself to feel a little smug!

Christine Mackenzie said...

Richard Kay is pedalling the 'Chalres will be George VII' in today's Daily Mail: "So will Baby Cambridge be King George VII? Not necessarily. Prince Charles liked to tell his staff that he would take the name George when he came to the throne. ‘It had a two-fold purpose,’ recalls a courtier. ‘It would be a nod to his grandfather and mother and eradicate all the bad publicity attached to the name Charles. Of course, this would leave William’s son as King George VIII.’" To be honest, I have heard this so often over the years that I had started to accept it as fact. Could you enlighten us Marlene as to why it won't be the case?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Christine, Clarence House is on record for stating that Charles won't be taking the name George as his regnal name. Moreover, this comes from the Daily Fail. Utter tosh

Michelle said...

do you have any thoughts on the statement that the palace has made that the names are chosen purely because Will & Kate like them? to me this is a ridiculous thing to say. a future monarch will not have been named simply because the name sounds nice, without any regard for historical considerations. moreover, to say that the name George was chosen randomly beggars belief.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

The only statement from the palace regarding the name

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to announce that they have named their son George Alexander Louis.

The baby will be known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge.

Michelle said...

right, but people from there have been quoted as saying those things. so if those things were said, what would your opinion be?