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Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana: why William and Kate made their name choices for the royal baby

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have honoured royal history and Prince William’s mother with their choice of names for their baby daughter.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge honoured both royal tradition and the most loved women in their lives by naming their baby daughter Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

As well as the anticipated tributes to Diana, Princess of Wales and the Queen, the choice of name includes a wealth of connections to the Middleton family, striking a perfect balance between the two sides of Princess Charlotte’s family.

By choosing Diana as a middle name, the Duke ensured his mother’s memory will live on in the next generation of the Royal family, making his daughter a living tribute to the mother he lost when he was just 15.

A Kensington Palace spokesman said that the names “spoke for themselves”. The fourth in line to the throne will be officially known as HRH Princess Charlotte of Cambridge.

• Latest developments as Princess Charlotte is named
• Everything we know about Princess Charlotte so far

Bookmakers face a payout of up to £1 million after Charlotte became one of the most heavily-backed names, raising suspicions that someone close to the Duke and Duchess had known the name and leaked it.
royal-baby-charlot_3290676bQueen Charlotte, Queen Elizabeth II and Diana, Princess of Wales

The Duke and Duchess are spending a third night at Kensington Palace, having announced the name before the Queen has had a chance to meet the great-grandchild who shares a name with her.

The Queen left Sandringham this afternoon, and with the Duke of Edinburgh having an engagement at St James’s Palace in his diary on Tuesday, the Queen and the Duke are expected to be introduced to Princess Charlotte at Buckingham Palace tomorrow before the Cambridges head to their Norfolk home, Anmer Hall, for the rest of the month.

By choosing the name Charlotte, the Duke and Duchess are continuing a long tradition in both the Royal family and the Middleton family.

Meaning “petite”, it is, in French, the feminine form of Charles, a fitting tribute to the Prince of Wales, who made no secret of his desire for a granddaughter.

The name’s royal pedigree includes Queen Charlotte, the wife of George III, who bore him 15 children and helped found Kew Gardens. Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital, which is named after her, is part of the same NHS Trust as St Mary’s Hospital Paddington, where Princess Charlotte was born on Saturday in the private Lindo Wing.

Her granddaughter Princess Charlotte of Wales, who married on May 2, the day the new Princess Charlotte was born, died in childbirth in 1817 at the age of just 21. She was the only child of George, Prince of Wales, who would go on to become King George IV.

Charlotte also happens to be the middle name of the Duchess’s sister, Pippa Middleton, and goes back in her family to her paternal great-great-great-grandmother Charlotte Ablett, born in 1825 and therefore possibly named for Princess Charlotte.

But it is the choice of Diana as one of the Princess’s middle names that is most personal to either of the parents.

The death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997 meant the Duke’s closest female blood relatives were the Princess Royal and the Queen, and he has longed for a daughter throughout his adult life.

The Duke’s mother was the first and only British Princess Diana, and there are no known Dianas in the Duchess’s family. The name derives from the Latin Diviana or Divus, meaning Divine. In Roman mythology Diana was the virgin goddess of the moon, hunting and chastity.

The choice of Elizabeth is an expected tribute to the Queen in the year she will become Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, as well as being the name of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, who was close to Prince William before her death in 2002.

But it also has strong connections to the Middleton family: it is the middle name of both the Duchess of Cambridge and her mother Carole, having been passed down from Carole Middleton’s grandmother, Elizabeth Temple. The name Elizabeth means “oath of God”.

Among those expressing their delight with the choice of name was the Duke’s uncle, Earl Spencer, who said in a tweet: “Perfect names. My two-year-old Charlotte Diana will be thrilled at cousinly name-sharing.”


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