We can’t imagine him as anyone but Prince George now, but the Princess of Wales originally had her heart set on a different name for her eldest child and heir to the British throne. The Mirror reports that, after finding out they were expecting their first child together in late 2012, Prince William and Kate decided to keep the gender a surprise, and that they had a rather unusual (but absolutely adorable) method of settling on George.
“Courtiers insisted the pair had not found out the sex of their unborn baby, and friends close to the couple claim William wanted a surprise,” royal expert Katie Nicholl told the outlet. “Although Kate apparently suspected it was a boy and had set her heart on the name Alexander, they had not yet decided what to call their firstborn.” (Though Alexander ultimately didn’t make the cut as the first name, it still appears in George’s name—but more on that in a second.)
To decide, William and Kate turned to maybe the most adorable method we’ve ever heard of to choose the moniker: they employed the services of their dog, Lupo (who died in 2020). For this unusual method of selecting a child’s name—but one that, since it involves a dog, we support unquestionably—The Times reports that William and Kate wrote down all of the names they liked on pieces of paper, put them on the floor of their home, and let Lupo decide which one was the winner based off of what piece of paper he went to.
George, Alexander, and Louis—all three of George’s names—were all on the floor. Lupo gravitated towards George, and “the rest is history,” The Mirror reports. George Alexander Louis was the decision.
George is a nod to King George VI, the father of the late Queen Elizabeth (and George’s great-grandfather). Alexander actually pays tribute to Her late Majesty, whose full name was Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. Louis is not just the name of George’s little brother but also a middle name of William’s; it pays homage to Louis Mountbatten, a father figure to King Charles who was violently assassinated in 1979, three years before William’s birth.