From Pella to Windsor…

The United Kingdom has witnessed ‘a great joy’ this week with the birth of Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge on Monday. Assuming Prince Charles doesn’t take George as his regnal name or that George of Cambridge doesn’t go in the opposite direction and pick another name when he ascends to the throne he will one day become King George VII.
I don’t know the precise reasons why George’s parents, William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, or Will and Kate in the vernacular, chose the above mentioned names for their firstborn, although I think I can guess in respect of George and Louis: George for William’s great grandfather, George VI, and Louis for Lord Mountbatten who was beloved of William’s father, Charles.
But what about Alexander? It doesn’t appear in Prince Charles’ name, or in his father, Philip’s. Neither does it appear as part of Michael Middleton’s name. So, given that Prince William is clearly attentive to his roots, why Alexander?
Well, the fact is, I have no idea. I am sure the internet could suggest reasons to me, but rather than look them up, I am going to imagine that one day, while he was studying at St Andrew’s, William found himself in the classics section and picked up a book on Alexander and, impressed by the king’s feats, decided ‘one day, if I should have a child, I will bless him with that greatest of names.’
Well, one can dream.
By way of an addendum, while I doubt William had Alexander the Great in mind, I do rather like the fact that – albeit three generations apart – we now have a Philip and Alexander in the Royal Family. Philip has had a long and happy life (may it continue for him); here’s to George Alexander Louis enjoying the same.

  • Read about the meaning of our new prince’s names, and those of his family in this article at the Oxford University Press blog.
Categories: Echoes of Alexander | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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