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Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana: What's In A Name?

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have named their royal baby Charlotte Elizabeth Diana in a most fitting tribute to the most important people in their lives.

As the most powerful newborn baby in the world, Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton's daughter will be officially known as Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge.

Sources close to Kensington Palace tell the Daily Mail that the royal couple simply like the name but that it is a "happy coincidence" that their daughter is named after her grandfather, Prince Charles of Wales, her grandmother Princess Diana, and her great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Charles, who has been open about his longing for a granddaughter, will be most pleased to find out that William and Kate named their daughter after him. Charlotte is the feminine form of Charles, a French name which means "free man." William and his younger brother Prince Harry are very public about their affection for their father, whom they have defended strongly from the criticism openly thrown at him. Naming his daughter after Charles is proof that the love for his father grows no less.

The choice of Elizabeth is also not surprising, as William and Kate deem it a fitting tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, who will soon become Britain's longest-running monarch as she overtakes Queen Victoria this year. Elizabeth is also the duchess' middle name, which she got from her mother, Carole Elizabeth Middleton, and Pippa Middleton's middle name is Charlotte, so both sides of the family are honored in the baby's name.

Diana, of course, is not unexpected but still considered a delightful addition to the baby's name. Despite the royal family's attempts at glossing over Princess Diana's part in the monarch's history, her son obviously does not want to let his mother's legacy fade away. William is known for keeping his mother's memory alive, especially in all the most important moments of his life, such as when he used Diana's sapphire and diamond engagement ring when he proposed to Kate.

"Diana's spirit lives on in her sons, and now her name lives on in her granddaughter," says Rosa Monckton, closest friend to Diana.

Admittedly, the infant princess is not a new Princess Diana. Monckton says it would have been "a mill stone around her neck" if her first name was Diana. Christopher Warwick, a royal writer, says naming the baby Diana was inevitable but it's not surprising that her first name is Charlotte.

"By using both Charlotte and Diana, Prince William is paying tribute to both his parents," says historian Dr. Judith Rowbotham of the University of Plymouth. "And you have got a tribute to his much-loved grandmother Elizabeth, and indeed great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth (The Queen Mother). It is a nicely balanced compliment."


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