Royal baby named George Alexander Louis
Britain's new prince has been named George Alexander Louis, ending speculation over what moniker Prince William and his wife, Kate, would pick for their first child.
Kensington Palace said the royals were "delighted to announce" their son's name, adding that the two-day-old baby and third-in-line to the throne would be known as "His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge."
Noble names are steeped in history, which explains why thousands of bets rolled in to British bookmakers for the name George, the name of six previous British kings. The moniker evokes the steadfastness of the Queen's father, George VI, who rallied the nation during World War II.
Meaning farmer or earth worker, George was the 12th most popular name for boys born in England and Wales in 2011. St George, a 4th-century Christian martyr, is the patron saint of England.
The name Louis could be a tribute to Lord Louis Mountbatten, the Duke of Edinburgh's uncle and the last British Viceroy of India before independence in 1947. William's father, Prince Charles, was close with Mountbatten, who was assassinated by the Irish Republican Army in 1979.
The announcement from Prince William and Kate - just two days after the baby's birth - was quick, by royal standards.
Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh took a month before settling on the name Charles for the Prince of Wales. Princess Diana and Prince Charles took a week before settling on William's four names.
For now, the littlest royal is expected to stay out of the spotlight after making his first "public appearance" in the arms of his parents outside of London's St Mary's Hospital.
After leaving the hospital, William and Kate introduced their son Wednesday to great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, who was keen to see the baby before she starts her annual summer vacation in Scotland later this week.
Then the young family headed to see Kate's parents in their village near London.
Now that Kate and William have chosen a name, they are expected to soon choose a photographer for the baby's first official portrait.
ROYAL TOUR DOWNUNDER?
Buzzy Bees and a baby prince could return to Government House lawn in New Zealand as soon as next year.
The birth of Prince George this week has set the rumour mill afloat about a royal visit to our shores sometime soon.
Celebrity gossip mag Us Weekly reported this month the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would visit Australia and New Zealand with their firstborn in spring 2014, similar to a trip 30 years ago.
Before his first birthday, Prince William was taken by Prince Charles and Princess Diana on their royal tour Down Under in 1983. Photos of the young heir with his gift of the iconic Kiwi Buzzy Bee toy made the front page of newspapers around the world.
Nothing was made official after the Us Weekly rumours, but Prime Minister John Key has extended invitations to William and Kate to visit the country on numerous occasions.
"I've told them I would love to have them here but I don't know when that will happen."
Key said yesterday it would be "a great pleasure" to welcome the third in line to the throne with his parents.
A Department of Internal Affairs spokesperson said a royal tour was a possibility, but there was no time frame on when such a visit could be officially confirmed.