Kensington Palace confirmed today that Kate Middleton and Prince William have named their son Prince Louis Arthur Charles. He will be known as His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge. The news comes four days after his birth.
Naming a royal child is a complicated endeavor. Above all, the family prizes heritage and tradition: The monikers they use predominantly have ties to princes and princesses past (but only the good ones: There’s a reason you don’t see a lot of royal Richards nowadays).
Louis Arthur Charles is no exception. Every part of his name is an ode to the Windsor dynasty and the values they hope to represent.
“Louis” is the middle name of both Prince William and Prince Charles, making it a nod to both of them. Louis is also the name of Prince Philip’s uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten, who was killed in 1979 by the IRA. He was known to be a close confidante to both the prince and the Queen, and even played a role in their early relationship.
His second name, Arthur, is a name steeped in historical meaning. First, there’s the mythical King Arthur of Camelot, the leader who, legend has it, defended England against Saxon invaders thousands of years ago. It’s also Prince William’s middle name—although it should be said that Princess Diana wasn’t too fond of the moniker. “I chose the names William and Harry because the alternative was Arthur and Albert. No, thank you,” she once said to Andrew Morton in his book Diana.
Charles, of course, is the given name of the baby’s grandfather, Prince Charles of Wales, who will be the third Charles to take the throne. Charles II was the first monarch to rule England after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660. He was a well-liked king, earning the nickname of the “merry monarch.” (His predecessor, Charles I, did not fare so well: He was executed in 1649).
Prince Louis Arthur Charles is fifth in line to the British throne.