What’s in a name? A lot, if you happen to be a member of Britain’s royal family.
As the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on Monday announced the arrival of their son and third child, speculation turned to a possible name.
The baby boy was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in London at 11 a.m. local time, Kensington Palace said in a statement.
But as with the royal couple’s older children, Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 2, it is likely to be a few days until a name is announced.
Among the bookmaker’s favorites for the boy, who will be fifth in line to the throne, are Arthur, Albert and James.
Tradition plays a huge role when choosing a royal name. Albert could be a nod to both Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, and Queen Elizabeth II’s father, King George VI, who was called Albert until his accession to the throne.
“We haven’t had so many called Arthur, but it does hark back to the mythical first king of Britain,” said royal commentator Kate Williams.
Given Prince William and Catherine’s previous choices, royal commentators are predicting the couple will stick with a traditional name for their third child.
“George and Charlotte are very traditional, historic, English names,” said Williams. “Although this is slightly different in that their first child, Prince George, is likely to be the monarch, and this child will likely not. So they can be a little bit different with the name.”
The latest edition to the royal family is fifth in line to the throne – after his grandfather Prince Charles, father William and two siblings – bumping William’s brother Prince Harry further down the order.
A change in the law in 2011, after William and Kate were married, gave women the same rights of accession to the throne as men.
Whichever name the Duke and Duchess choose, it will first need to be cleared with Queen Elizabeth II, though ultimately the final decision rests with the parents.
“The Queen has the power to say what their title is – she’ll decree that they are the Prince of Cambridge,” explained Williams.
“But in the case of names, it is more of an informal conversation. Of course they have such respect for the Queen that if she says ‘I really don’t like that name,’ they’d definitely take that into account,” Williams added.
One thing is certain, their chosen name is likely to shoot to the top of British baby name lists – as it did with George and Charlotte.
And with the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle set to take place on May 19, Williams had one final prediction: “I wouldn’t be surprised if Harry and Meghan are popular baby names in the coming year.”