Royal Baby Name Is Classic and Boring

kate middleton pregnant with prince william
Kate Middleton and Prince William's royal baby may be the most famous baby in the world. (Image credit: FeatureFlash |

The London bookmakers were spot on: The royal baby will be called George Alexander Louis.

Kate Middleton and Prince William's child will be given the formal title of His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge.

The little prince's name is unsurprising, according to a baby name expert, following the steadfast tradition of the British monarchy.

"George and Alexander were the two names with the shortest odds," Laura Wattenberg, baby name expert and creator of, told LiveScience. "It is precisely what everyone thought they would do." [Sophia's Secret: The 10 Most Popular Baby Names]

However, what Prince George's friends and future subjects will call him may not be the name his parents gave him.

Tradition key

All of the royal baby's names are nods to tradition and family heritage, with Queen Elizabeth's father and grandfather both going by the moniker King George. It's also a quintessential British appellation.

"George is the ultimate English name, thanks to St. George, the patron saint of England," Wattenberg said.

Queen Victoria's given name was Alexandrina, and her daughter was Alexandra, Queen of Denmark. And the name Louis has cropped up in several royal families, Wattenberg said.

It was unlikely the royals would go for anything other than the most traditional name, Wattenberg said. Tradition is key, because although Queen Elizabeth is technically the head of Parliament, the royal family no longer plays a key role in political intrigues or the day-to-day running of the country.

"Tradition is what they're all about — it's what keeps them going, and it's important to honor that in this situation," Wattenberg said. "There's a branding of the monarchy that they had to maintain." [7 Crazy Ways the Royal Baby's Birth is Unique]

Copycats unlikely

Celebrity names often spur a rash of copycats, Wattenberg said. The fame factor is important for rare baby names, such as Jaden, which rose in the ranks after actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith gave that name to their son.

But though the little Prince George of Cambridge may be the most famous baby in the world, his name probably won't be sweeping the United States, anyway.

With a commonplace name such as George, "it's hard to see the needle move because it's already so saturated in the populations," Wattenberg said.

"We've had two president Georges in recent years and it had absolutely no impact on the name," Wattenberg said. "Even if you don't think George Bush would have been a likely candidate to make it stylish, George Clooney didn't help it either. You have to wonder in this country how much another George can do."

Princely nickname?

And though the prince may be named George, there's no guarantee that he'll eventually become King George or even be called George in the popular press. Queen Victoria took up her middle name when she ascended to the throne, and Prince Harry's given name is actually Henry.

Even little George's namesake, Queen Elizabeth's father, King George VI, was actually named Albert. He took up the more classically English name around the time of World War II, worried that the name Albert sounded too German.

"The name they rule under isn't always the name they were given," Wattenberg said.

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Tia Ghose
Managing Editor

Tia is the managing editor and was previously a senior writer for Live Science. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, and other outlets. She holds a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington, a graduate certificate in science writing from UC Santa Cruz and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Tia was part of a team at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that published the Empty Cradles series on preterm births, which won multiple awards, including the 2012 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.