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Palace: Royal baby named George Alexander Louis

  • Britain's Prince William, right, and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, hold the Prince of Cambridge, Tuesday July 23, 2013, as they pose for photographers outside St. Mary's Hospital exclusive Lindo Wing in London where the Duchess gave birth on Monday July 22. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

LONDON — The little prince has a name: George Alexander Louis.

The announcement Wednesday that Prince William and his wife, Kate, had selected a moniker steeped in British history came as royal officials suggested the new parents are seeking quiet time away from the flashbulbs and frenzy that accompanied the birth of their first child.

While the news put to rest intense curiosity over what name the couple would choose, the timing and interest around it show how the 2-day-old future heir is already on his way to a lifetime of fanfare and public glare.

Royal Baby Is Born

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Kensington Palace on Wednesday said William and Kate were "delighted to announce" their son's name, adding that baby will be known as "His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge."

The name George — borne by six previous kings — befits the boy now third in line to the British throne and was a favorite among British bookmakers. It was the name chosen for his reign by Queen Elizabeth II's father, George VI, who rallied the nation during World War II.

Alexander is a name shared by three medieval Scottish kings, and the name Louis could be a tribute to Lord Louis Mountbatten, uncle to the queen's husband, Philip, and the last British Viceroy of India before that nation gained its independence in 1947. William's father, Prince Charles, was close to Mountbatten, who was assassinated by the Irish Republican Army in 1979.

The announcement of the name, just two days after the baby's birth, was quick by royal standards. Elizabeth and Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, took a month before settling on the name Charles for the Prince of Wales. Charles and his then-wife, Princess Diana, took a week before settling on William's four names.

While it is normally the case that a king rules under his given name, precedent shows that the prince is not hidebound by George. The first name of George VI was actually Albert, but he picked his fourth name to use as sovereign in honor of his father, George V.

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