Newnanites in England for royal birth

by W. Winston Skinner

Joe and Martha Lee Child planned a vacation to England and ended up being in Great Britain during the excitement before, during and after the birth of Prince George, third in line to the throne.

The first child of Prince William and his wife, the former Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge, was born in a London hospital on Monday. On Wednesday, the boy’s name — George Alexander Louis — was officially announced.

“We just happened to arrive in London the day of the birth,” Martha Lee Child said.

“We have picked up papers each morning and night, and we went to Buckingham to hopefully see the birth placard,” she added. “It is exciting.”

Mrs. Child said the stop in London “is the wind down of our British Isles camping tour.”

Kensington Palace on Wednesday said royals are "delighted to announce" their son's name, adding that the 2-day-old baby will be known as "His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge."

Associated Press noted 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, AP reported.

Queen Elizabeth II 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 on Tuesday.

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.

Souvenirs marking the royal birth abound — and are expected to expand in number in the days to come. Tea towels, mugs and other inexpensive items will be joined by bone china collectibles.

“London Boy T-shirts are a must,” Martha Lee Child said.



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