Everyone seems to be fascinated with the royal family. We find them intriguing, including the names they give to their newborn babies. There are many traditions for naming babies. But for Prince William and Prince Harry, the decision went to their late mother, Princess Diana, despite what Prince Charles thought.
All Their Traditional Names
It is a difficult task for any parent to choose a name for their baby. It has to be perfect because they will have that name for the rest of their life (unless they decide to change it when they’re an adult). For the royal family, it is even more difficult because there are strict rules they must abide by.
For example, all heirs to the throne are named after a royal family member. The baby must also have multiple names. Many of the royals have two or three middle names. Names must be approved first by whoever currently holds the throne, which, in today’s case, would be Queen Elizabeth II. Before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could decide on the name Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor of Sussex (born in May 2019), they had to run the decision by Her Majesty.
Finally, royals must always honor a royal family member who made a good impression and had a positive reputation amongst British society. For example, Queen Elizabeth II probably wouldn’t approve of a royal naming their child after Mary, Queen of Scots, who plotted to kill Queen Elizabeth I. In addition, Edward VIII had ties to Nazi Germany during World War II, which most likely doesn’t give him the best reputation today.
Welcoming New Royal Members
When Prince Charles married the late Princess Diana in a lavish wedding in 1981, people began speculating when they would start a family of their own. After all, someone has to be in line for the royal throne. People remarked that Diana needed to produce “an heir and a spare.”
On November 5, 1981, a little over three months after their wedding, the royal family announced Diana’s pregnancy. On June 21, 1982, the couple welcomed their first son—the heir to the throne—and he was officially named Prince William Arthur Philip Louis. A little over two years later, Charles and Diana welcomed another son, Prince Henry (Harry), Charles Albert David.
William and Harry might seem like they have ordinary names, and that’s mostly because Diana preferred for them to have a “normal” upbringing. She didn’t want them to grow up as celebrities. She wanted them to be children—first and foremost, regardless of their royal titles.
Choosing Their Names
In a 1992 interview with her biographer, Andrew Morton, Princess Diana commented that she selected the names for her sons. When asked, “Who chose Harry’s name?”, she replied, “I did.” She added, “I chose William and Harry, but Charles did the rest. He wanted Albert and Arthur, and I said no. Too old!”
After all, Diana probably realized it was the 1980s. Her sons should have modern royal names. In the end, Charles’ name suggestions were incorporated into their sons’ middle names.
A Fun Mom
Princess Diana was unlike any other royal family member, which is why many people loved her. She was revolutionary and often went against the royal tradition. She was adamant about providing her sons with wider experiences than typically seen for royal children.
For example, she took them to Walt Disney World and on vacations across the world. She let them eat fast food at McDonald’s. She allowed them to play video games. She selected their clothes, planned their outings, and even took them to school herself. She was a fun mother who was always proud of her sons. We can only imagine how proud she would be of them today as they are husbands and fathers to their own children.
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