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Royal princess: what’s the significance of her name?

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The name of the new royal princess is clearly a nod to both family and tradition.

After much anticipation from royalists across the globe, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced the name of their daughter on Monday, calling her Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

The three-day-old princess will be titled ‘Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge’ and is fourth in line to the throne after her grandfather, father and older brother George.

William and Kate have named their princess
• ‘Princess Charlotte’ favourite with punters
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Princess Charlotte is fourth in line to the throne.
Princess Charlotte is fourth in line to the throne.

Parents William and Kate were jubilant with the arrival of Charlotte at 8.34am local time on Saturday.

The couple clearly consulted at length with the royal family about what they would name their new princess.

The name Charlotte is a feminised form of the name Charles and a tribute to the baby girl’s grandfather, Charles, Prince of Wales.

Her first middle name is a nod to her 89-year-old great grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, who will overtake Queen Victoria as the longest-reigning monarch in British history in 2015. Victoria was queen for 63 years, seven months and two days.

The baby’s second middle name, Diana, is a tribute to William’s mother, who died in a tragic car crash in Paris when he was 15.

Baby name speculators were not surprised by this, as William frequently honours his mother’s memory – Kate’s engagement ring is Diana’s from her marriage to Charles.

The names also honour the Middleton family. Catherine’s middle name is Elizabeth and her sister Pippa’s is Charlotte.

There is a long history of royal Charlottes in Britain.

There was Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III, who reigned from 1760-1820, a mother of 15 children, and a great patron of the arts.

There have also been several other princess Charlottes throughout history. Notably, Queen Charlotte’s first daughter, born in 1766, also bore the name, and George IV named his only daughter Charlotte in 1796.

The baby's middle name is a nod to her great grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
The baby’s middle name is a nod to her great grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: Getty

Many have been betting on the royal baby’s name for weeks, and bookmakers paid out $1.5 million to bettors across the UK.

While Charlotte had been the favorite since the birth, other hopefuls included Alice, Victoria, Elizabeth, Diana and Olivia.

“You have to remember they are naming the future king or queen,” ABC’s royals contributor Victoria Arbiter told E! prior to Prince George’s birth in 2013.

“So you won’t want to see something silly … we will see something traditional … Will and Kate by nature, are just very traditional.”

Princess Charlotte is the first royal female who won’t be overtaken by her younger brothers in the succession line after a change to the law in 2013.

Prior to the ruling, sons were preferred as monarchs and women would be named queen only if there were no male heirs – if Queen Elizabeth II had a younger brother, the crown would have passed to him.

On Monday, Charlotte was honoured with gunfire salutes across London at Hyde Park and the Tower of London, while the bells rang at Westminster Abbey where her parents were married four years ago.

William, 32, and Kate, 33, welcomed their first child on July 22, 2013. The couple wed in April 2011 at Westminster Abbey in London, England.

– with The Christian Science Monitor

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