The son of Prince William and his wife Kate has been named George Alexander Louis, raising the possibility that he might one day become King George VII.
Three people stand between the child, born July 22, and Britain’s throne: Queen Elizabeth II, who is 87; her eldest son Charles, the Prince of Wales, 64; and William, 31. William married Kate, who’s also 31, in April 2011.
“The baby will be known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge,” William and Kate’s office at Kensington Palace in London said in an e-mailed statement today. The royal couple are known formally as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The last king with the same name -- George VI -- reigned from 1936 to 1952. There’s no guarantee, though, that as monarch he would use his first name. George VI, his great-great-grandfather, was christened Albert Frederick Arthur George and used his fourth name when he came to the throne. He was known to his family as Bertie.
The first four British monarchs to be called George were of German origin. George I was the ruler of Hanover, and only 52nd in the line of succession when he assumed the British crown on the death of Queen Anne in 1714, but he was the most eligible Protestant in an age when there were concerns that descendants of James II, the Catholic Stuart monarch deposed in 1688, would attempt to seize the throne.
The four Hanoverian Georges reigned in succession until 1830, during a period of political stability in which Britain’s tradition of constitutional monarchy became firmly established. George III, on the throne from 1760 to 1820, was the longest-reigning king in British history.
George V, who reigned from 1910 to 1936, changed the family name to Windsor from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha amid anti-German feeling during World War I.
Bookmakers had made George the favorite name for the royal baby, ahead of James.