Sharing a family name: The good and bad

Story highlights

  • Passing on a name from generation to generation is a popular royal family tradition
  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have named their son George Alexander Louis
  • Prince George is the seventh in his family to bear the name
  • Some experts say to expect more baby Georges in the U.S. next year
His name has been passed down for eight generations. It's steeped in tradition and family pride. Oh -- but he's not the royal baby. He's William John Kane VIII, a database specialist from Portland, Oregon.
Kane is used to laughs and incredulous looks when he mentions his name. But the random guy at a bar who sang his name to the tune of "I'm Henery the Eighth, I Am" stands out among the bad jokes.
"It was funny for the first half-hour, and then the more he drank the louder he got," said Kane, 38.
Despite the hecklers, Kane says he is proud of his name and the tradition it bears.
"I feel a modicum of responsibility, the pressure of carrying on this torch that has been passed to me, and passing it onto another generation," he said.
Tradition also played a large role in how Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, named their son, Prince George Alexander Louis. The royal baby shares a name with some impressive ancestors -- there have been six King Georges, the most recent the current queen's father.
The British royal family tends to pick traditional names, usually referencing monarchs of the past. It's expected of royalty, but what's the point of passing down a name when you're an average Joe?
George or Alexander?
William John Kane VII and his son, William John VIII
Parents are often tempted to name their child after a family member or a childhood friend because of the positive connotation