Within minutes of Prince William and Kate Middleton announcing the name for their little son — Prince Louis Arthur Charles of Cambridge — there was one question on everyone’s mind: How do you pronounce it?
Is it the Americanized pronunciation, LU-iss? Or the French, LU-ee?
The answer is the latter pronunciation, LU-ee, with the silent “s” at the end.
The name Louis is synonymous with royalty, though not usually the British royal family. It’s most commonly associated with the now-defunct French royal family, who had 17 kings (16 before the French Revolution, and one after) named Louis, as well as a slew of other royals who were never the monarch. This included the famously executed King Louis XVI, who married Marie Antoinette, and King Louis XIV, who built the Palace of Versailles.
- Watch the full episode of Raising a Royal streaming now on PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.
Louis was not a frontrunner for the little prince’s name — that title belongs to Arthur, and as of yesterday, Albert — though it wasn’t entirely a dark horse, either. Louis is a middle name for both William and Prince George, as well as Queen Elizabeth’s youngest son Prince Edward.
The name Louis is also a nod to Prince Philip, whose grandfather was Prince Louis Alexander of Battenberg. The name holds great meaning to William’s own father, Prince Charles, whose beloved great-uncle and mentor, Earl Louis Mountbatten, was assassinated by the IRA in 1979.