It’s hard to imagine a world without iconic royal brother duo Prince William and Prince Harry, but these two gents were almost given two very different names.
Choosing baby names is no easy feat for any parent, but the pressure was on for Prince Charles and Princess Diana to pick traditional monikers that truly scream “heirs to the British throne” (no trendy baby names within this fam). While William Arthur Philip Louis and Henry Charles Albert David both have lovely royal rings to them in our humble opinion, Prince Charles had something else in mind for his two sons.
Biographer Andrew Morton conducted several recorded interviews with Prince Harry and Prince William’s late mother for his 1992 novel Diana: Her True Story, many of which were featured in the recent self-narrated National Geographic documentary Diana: In Her Own Words. In one specific meeting with the People’s Princess, she discussed the origins of her children’s first names, which were all of her own invention.
The interviewer asked who chose the couple’s youngest son’s name, to which Diana responded, “I did.” She added that, “I chose William and Harry, but Charles did the rest.” But, not without nixing Prince Charles’ two top picks—Albert and Arthur. “He wanted Albert and Arthur, and I said no. Too old!”
While it’s unclear which designation would have been bestowed upon which sibling, we’re thankful Diana put her foot down in this situation, and her sons inherited slightly more modern titles (as well as her stellar sense of style). The thought of a Prince Arthur ascending to the throne is giving us major Medieval vibes. Although, Albert would have been a sweet homage to Queen Elizabeth’s father, and newborn Prince Louis was also expected to claim this alias.
As a recent father of three, Prince William had to step into his parents’ shoes when selecting titles for his own children. All three full names seemingly honor William’s royal relatives in some nature: George Alexander Louis, perhaps after QE2’s father and grandfather, King George V and King George VI; Charlotte Elizabeth Diana for his mother and grandmother; and Louis Arthur Charles after his own father. At least Arthur made into a royal middle name!
Perhaps Prince Harry will honor his father’s wishes with a baby Albert or Arthur once he, too, enters fatherhood….which may happen sooner than we think (😉).