So what advice would the Georgian royals have given to William and Kate?
The nine sons of George III
George III and Queen Charlotte had fifteen children. The eldest was born “at twenty-four minutes past seven” on 12 August 1762 after a hard labour. Lord Huntingdon, the Groom of the Stole, pre-empted the Queen’s Vice-Chamberlain and announced to the King that the Queen had given birth to a baby girl.
from Memoirs of her most
excellent majesty Sophia-Charlotte
Queen of Great Britain
by John Watkins (1819)
George III’s other sons were named Frederick, William Henry, Edward Augustus, Ernest Augustus, Augustus Frederick, Adolphus Frederick, Octavius and Alfred. Clearly George III was very fond of the name Augustus.
The five daughters of George III
George III’s first daughter, born on 29 September 1766, was similarly given family names. She
was christened Charlotte Augusta Matilda – the names of her mother, her paternal grandmother and her aunt, George III’s youngest sister. But Princess Charlotte did not get to use her names; she was always referred to by her title, Princess Royal.
George III’s other daughters were named Augusta Sophia, Elizabeth, Mary, Sophia and Amelia. Note the recurrence of Augusta – the second name of the Princess Royal and the first of her next youngest sister.
George III’s advice for William and Kate
from Memoirs of Queen Charlotte
by WC Oulton (1819)
For a girl, Catherine Charlotte Diana Augusta – for the child’s mother, father and grandmother and because George really liked the name Augusta.
The birth of Princess Charlotte Augusta
from La Belle Assemblée (1816)
The new baby was not given her hated mother’s name, but was christened Charlotte Augusta, the names of her two grandmothers.
George IV’s advice to William and Kate
|George, Prince of Wales|
from Memoirs of her late
royal highness Charlotte Augusta
by Robert Huish (1818)
For a girl: Elizabeth Mary – for the child’s great grandmother and George’s favourite sister. He would not use the child’s mother’s name because he hated his own wife and would not use her grandmother’s name because it would remind him of his own failed marriage.
The birth of Queen Victoria
After the death of Princess Charlotte, the race was on to provide an heir to the throne. In 1819, the Dukes of Cumberland and Cambridge both had sons whom they named George, but the child of the Duke of Kent stood before them in line for the throne. On 24 May 1819, a daughter was born to the Duke of Kent and his wife, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.
by Dalton after F Winterhalter
from The Girlhood of Queen Victoria (1912)
When the christening service began, nobody knew what the baby was to be named. The Regent stated that the baby was to be called Alexandrina; the Duke of Kent proposed Elizabeth. The Regent dismissed that suggestion and finally agreed to the baby receiving her mother’s name, though he insisted that it had to follow the name of Tsar. So the baby was named Alexandrina Victoria and as a small girl, she was often called Drina.
The Duchess of Kent’s mother wrote to her daughter that she hoped she was happy with a girl. “The English like Queens,” she wrote. The Duke of Kent was delighted and proudly showed her off, telling people to “look at her well, for she will be Queen of England.” And he was right.
The Duke of Kent’s advice to William and Kate
|Edward, Duke of Kent|
from A Biographical Memoir of Frederick,
Duke of York and Albany
by John Watkins (1827)
For a girl: Catherine Diana Elizabeth – for the child’s mother and grandmother and great grandmother, the Queen.
What names do you think the Georgians would have chosen?
My choice? William Charles Augustus for a boy and Charlotte Catherine Diana for a girl.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's first baby was a boy and has been named George Alexander Louis. George IV would have approved. The christening is to be held on Wednesday 23 October at 3pm in the Chapel Royal in St James' Palace.
|St James' Palace|
from Leigh's New Picture of London (1827)
Hibbert, Christopher, George III (1998, Viking, Great Britain)
Hibbert, Christopher, George IV (1972, Longmans, 1973, Allen Lane, London)
Hibbert, Christopher, Queen Victoria (HarperCollins, 2000, London)
Huish, Robert, Memoirs of her late royal highness Charlotte Augusta (1818)
Oulton, Walley Chamberlain, Authentic and Impartial Memoirs of Her Late Majesty Charlotte, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland (1819, London)
Victoria, Queen, The Girlhood of Queen Victoria, A Selection from Her Majesty's Diaries between the years 1832 and 1840, edited Viscount Esher 2 Volumes (1912)
Watkins, John, A Biographical Memoir of Frederick, Duke of York and Albany (1827, London)