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The former Kate Middleton finally gave birth to the heir to the British throne. The little limey doesn’t have to worry about succession any time soon. For the first time in English history, there are three generations waiting in line for the crown, thanks to the excellent health and longevity of Queen Elizabeth II, who is still kickin’ at 87 and seems to have plenty of life left. Waiting in the wings, you have Prince Charles, who is 64 and the longest heir apparent ever, and his 31-year-old son, Prince William, today’s proud papa who has been styled the Duke of Cambridge since getting hitched to commoner Kate. That their child is a boy pushes off some controversies, such as disagreement over whether boys born later should take precedence over elder sisters, as had been the law forever. This leaves only one major question to be answered: What to name the blue-blooded little bugger?

British monarchs have been many things over the centuries (rich, brave, crazy, saintly, megalomaniacal, suave, brutish, intelligent, dumb, loyal, promiscuous – take your pick), but one thing they are not is original or inventive when it comes to naming their offspring destined to reign. There have been eight Edwards, eight Henrys and six King Georges. Queen Victoria’s son Albert Edward wanted to be crowned as-is but the novelty of a double-name was considered too progressive by his traditional mum so he dutifully settled for Edward VII. For kicks, Kate and Wills could reach way back to pluck a fun name from the past such as Aethelwulf (839-858 A.D.) or Hardicnut (1040-1042). But it’s more likely they will christen their baby after someone more conventional, such as a ruler who came after the Norman Conquest of 1066. Here are the 10 options, and how many of each there have been in the past millennium:

  • William (4 so far; the current prince would be #5)
  • Stephen (1)
  • Richard (3)
  • Harold (2; the last Harry got the boot in 1066, but this is a wild-card possibility given the newborn tyke’s popular uncle)
  • John (1)
  • Henry (8)
  • Edward (8)
  • James (2)
  • Charles (2 so far; the current prince would be #3)
  • George (6)

Brett M. Decker is Editor-in-Chief of Rare. Follow him on Twitter @Rare

by Brett M. Decker |