The Fascinating Stories Behind the Royal Family's Carefully Chosen Names

Royal family names are part of history — which may be why we're still waiting on the name for royal baby no. 3! Take a look at the monikers the royals have chosen in years past, and why

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Royal Baby

The newest addition to the royal family has a name full of meaning. Louis is not only one of his father's middle names, it's also the name of great-grandpa Prince Philip's great-uncle Louis Mountbatten, who was a father figure for little Louis's grandpa Prince Charles. Arthur is a middle name for both Charles and William — and the name is clearly becoming something of a tradition in the family! And Charles? An obvious honor for the baby's grandfather.

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Catherine Duchess of Cambridge gives birth to her third child, Lindo Wing, St Mary's Hospital, London, UK - 23 Apr 2018
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Little Charlotte's name is chock full of meaning: Charlotte could be seen as nod to grandpa Charles, as well as to Kate's sister Pippa Middleton, whose middle name is Charlotte. The symbolism behind her two middle names is obvious: Elizabeth, for her great-grandmother, and Diana, for her late grandmother.

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George seemed to be the obvious choice for William and Kate Middleton's first-born, as it honored Queen Elizabeth's father's regnal name, King George VI. Louis is a nod to William himself: It's one of his middle names. Alexander could be a nod to the Queen, as Alexandra is one of her middle names.

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Fun fact — Prince Harry's real name is Henry, though he's been called Harry since birth. Henry is a named that's popped up several times in royal history — Henry VIII, anyone? – though it hadn't been used for a monarch since the years of the infamous King. Charles and Albert were expected names: The former for Harry's father, and the latter for King George VI. David is the surprising choice: It was the birth name of the abdicated king, Edward VIII.

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The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Visit Sweden And Norway - Day 3
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Like Charles, William is another classic "King name" that had been out of rotation for quite a few decades: The last one was Queen Victoria's predecessor, King William IV, who died in 1837. He got Arthur as a middle name, just like Charles, so this was seen as a nod to William's father. Philip, of course, was used because of his grandfather. Louis is a name that often pops up as a middle name for members of the royal family, as it's one of Prince Edward's middle names and Prince George's.

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Diving - Commonwealth Games Day 9
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Elizabeth and Philip were such fans of the name Edward that they decided to use it again with their next child, only this time, as a first name. (Somewhat surprising is the fact that it was the regnal name of King Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne in 1936 and lived in exile in France for the rest of his life.) Though it's not certain if it was in honor of him, Antony was the name of Princess Margaret's husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones. Louis could be in honor of Philip's uncle, Louis Mountbatten. Richard is simply classic royal names with a lot of history — think Richard the Lionheart.

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16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 - Day One
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Andrew was something of a surprising choice, as it hadn't appeared much in the royal family tree previously. However, Elizabeth and Philip followed up that name with Albert, which has plenty of royal connections: Not only was it the birth name of Queen Elizabeth's father, who went onto adopt the regnal name (or reign name) George, it was also the name of Queen Victoria's beloved husband, Prince Albert. Christian is a very common name within the Danish royal family (male Danish monarchs switch between the names Frederik and Christian from generation to generation), and Edward, of course, is the name of eight British kings.

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Cheltenham Festival Day 1 - Champion Day
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Anne, of course, is a classic British name, though it's been less popular over the years in the royal family tree. Just as they did with Charles, Elizabeth and Philip honored themselves in Anne's name, adding in Elizabeth as her first middle name. Both Alice and Louise are relatively common royal names, and were the names of two of Queen Victoria's daughters.

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The Prince Of Wales And The Duchess Of Cornwall Attend Service To Mark The 77th Anniversary Of The Battle Of Britain
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Prince Charles was born as the second in line to the throne, becoming the heir before his fifth birthday. His name choice is a fitting one: In British history, there has been a King Charles twice before. The last one reigned in the 1600s, so the name was due for a reappearance. Philip is in honor of Charles's father, Prince Philip, while Arthur is simply a classic choice. (King Arthur!) George, because of his grandpa, King George VI.

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Members Of The Royal Family Visit The RHS Chelsea Flower Show
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When she was born, no one expected Queen Elizabeth to one day be queen — her father was the second son of the king, not the firstborn. But after King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in 1936, that all changed. Luckily, Elizabeth already had a very regal name, one that was well-associated with another British monarch, Elizabeth I. Alexandra had royal connections, too: Queen Alexandra was the wife of Edward VII, Elizabeth's great-grandfather. Mary was the name of her grandmother, Queen Mary.

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