Royal baby: Newborn’s name likely to set trend for next generation of babies
- Credit: PA
The name the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge give their first-born will most likely set a trend for the next generation of babies.
Royal infants mostly have safe, historical names which are passed down through the monarchy, with bookmaker William Hill reporting George as the favourite for a boy and, after a flurry of bets, Alexandra - one of the Queen's middle names - as the favourite for a girl, while Charlotte is also thought to be a contender.
Elizabeth, in tribute to the Queen, and Diana, to pay homage to William's late mother, are also expected to make an appearance if the baby is a girl, while Charles, in honour of the Prince of Wales, or Philip, for the Duke of Edinburgh, are possibilities if it is a boy.
The Cambridges are also likely to take inspiration from Kate's side of the family, perhaps honouring her father Michael or mother Carole.
Francis is a recurring name in Kate's family tree. It is both her father and her grandfather's middle name and Frances was her great-great-great grandmother's first name. It was also William's mother's middle name.
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The Queen will undoubtedly be informed of the chosen names prior to their announcement, but is unlikely to wield a veto.
Royal writer Christopher Warwick said: 'The Queen is so down to earth that she's not likely to jump up and down and say this boy has got to be called Charles and George.
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'This isn't going to be 'Granny, do you approve?' but more 'These are the names we've chosen - do you like them?'.
'It's much more of a personal thing these days.'
It is unlikely, however, that William and Kate would pick a name out of keeping with royal tradition, and they will be mindful of choosing a name that befits a future king or queen.
The name of William and Kate's baby could come to symbolise an entire era, as in Georgian, Victorian and Elizabethan.
Royal babies' names are not usually revealed straight away and the public are often left guessing for several days as speculation mounts.
When William arrived in 1982, his parents waited seven days before deciding upon and announcing his name. Diana was thought to have preferred names such as Sebastian and Oliver, while Charles was reportedly holding out for Albert.
Charles's own name, however, remained a mystery for an entire month and was only declared ahead of his christening in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace in December 1948.
In a more modern approach, William and Kate could buck the trend and unveil their chosen name immediately.
If the baby is a boy, he will be styled a Prince and, thanks to a new letters patent issued by the Queen, if the baby is a girl, a Princess.
When William was born he was Prince William of Wales and his children will use Cambridge in the same way, becoming HRH Prince (forename) of Cambridge or HRH Princess (forename) of Cambridge.