Name of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s daughter, fourth in line to throne, pays tribute to the Queen, Princess Diana and Prince Charles
Traditional, with royal precedence and a nod to both families; the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have played it safe by naming their newborn daughter Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.
With the news, announced two days after her birth, the betting industry was preparing to pay out an estimated £1m to punters across the country.
The fourth in line to the throne, born at 8.34am on Saturday and weighing 8lb 3oz, will be officially known as Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Kensington Palace said in a statement.
Few would have bet against Diana being there. With his mother’s sapphire and diamond engagement ring prominent on Kate’s wedding finger in the first photographs of his daughter, William seldom passes up an appropriate opportunity to keep alive memories of the mother he lost in a car crash when he was 15.
Charlotte, the feminised form of Charles – which will undoubtedly be shortened by headline writers to Lottie or Charlie – is clearly a tribute to the baby’s grandfather, the Prince of Wales.
Elizabeth, chosen in tribute to the Queen in the year she overtakes Victoria as Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, will delight the 89-year-old, who has yet to meet her fifth great-grandchild.
The names are also popular with the Middleton family. The duchess’s own middle name is Elizabeth, and her sister Pippa’s is Charlotte.
The choice of Diana touched those who were close to her. Rosa Monckton, a friend of the late Princess of Wales, tweeted: “Diana’s spirit lives on in her sons, and now her name lives on in her granddaughter.”
Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother, and also a Charles, tweeted: “Perfect names. My 2-year-old Charlotte Diana will be thrilled at cousinly name-sharing.”
Charlotte may have fallen in popularity over the last decade – according to the Office for National Statistics it was ranked 21st in 2013 – but some colourful royals have borne the name.
Most prominent was Queen Charlotte, born in 1744 and the long-suffering wife of Mad King George – George III – with whom she had 15 children, with 13 surviving. A snuff addict with a passion for jewellery and a fondness for dogs, she in fact had the first name Sophie. A keen botanist, she founded Kew Gardens and was a great patron of the arts.
Their first daughter, also Charlotte, was born in 1766 and later became the Princess Royal. Clumsy, shy and lacking in confidence, she was eventually married off to a German duke and became the Queen of Württemberg.
George IV also named his only child Charlotte in 1796. She was said to have been a “perfect little creature”, but given to tantrums as a child. She died in childbirth aged 21.
On Monday, gun salutes of 41 volleys were fired from the Tower of London and Hyde Park to mark the birth, while at Westminster Abbey, bellringers rang their full peal – made of 5,000 changes and known as the Cambridge Surprise Royal – for more than three hours.
Bookmakers Ladbrokes, which had Charlotte as 3/1 favourite, said: “Charlotte was the hot tip over the weekend and royal watchers up and down the land are quids in. We may have lost a fortune but we’re paying out with a smile and wish the Duke and Duchess all the best
“Those with the foresight to pick it when the pregnancy was first announced will have cashed in to the tune of 25/1.”
William Hill said it could have been worse, as Charlotte was second favourite at 3/1 with Alice in top spot. The bookmaker said: “Charlotte was a late gamble but we have dodged a bullet as Alice, Victoria and Elizabeth would have been an awful lot worse.”
This article was written by Caroline Davies, for theguardian.com on Monday 4th May 2015 18.07 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010