July 24, 2013
The birth of His Royal Highness The Prince of Cambridge, born on July 22nd, has left the world on pins and needles waiting for the announcement of the baby’s name. It is believed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will choose a traditional name for their son, and high on the list of possibilities is a favorite here at Mount Vernon: George.
Six monarchs named George have ruled England; the first taking the throne in 1714. Perhaps best known in the annals of American History is George III, the King of Great Britain at the time of the American Revolution who was steadfast in his opposition to American Independence.
Though the Constitution is clear that titles of nobility cannot be bestowed on an American citizen holding office by either the United States government or any foreign government (Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8) without the consent of Congress, it did not clearly define a title for the leader of the country. John Adams put forth “His highness, the President of the United States of America, and Protector of the Rights of the Same” as a title, while a joint Congressional Committee ultimately decided upon “His High Mightiness, the President of the United States and Protector of their Liberties.” Many felt these titles were far too monarchical for the new nation founded on democratic principles, and at the urging of James Madison and the House of Representatives, Washington took the title “Mr. President.”
The Constitutional ban on titles of nobility did not stop Americans from properly honoring the father of their country, however. The Marquis de Lafayette, Washington’s own step-son and John Quincy Adams are among the men who chose to honor Washington by naming their sons “George Washington” after this great man.
If indeed HRH The Prince of Cambridge is named George, it is doubtful the inspiration of the name will stem from George Washington, but we can always hope. Until the announcement is made, we will be sitting on tenterhooks with the rest of world, and secretly hoping for a boy named George.
By George an Update!
Huzzah! Today, Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced the name of their son: George Alexander Louis. Welcome to the world George.
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