by Maria Puente, USA TODAY
LONDON - Drum roll, please, and maybe some trumpets: The new little Prince of Cambridge will go by the names George Alexander Louis.
Prince William and Duchess Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, today announced the full name for their newborn, making him a future King George VII . Assuming his father and grandfather, Prince Charles, take their turns on the throne, he will someday become the 43rd English monarch.
He is named for his great great grandfather George VI, father of Queen Elizabeth II. Louis comes from Prince Philip's uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten.
The couple and their prince departed today for Kate's parents' mansion in rural Bucklebury, about 50 miles outside London. But first thing today, the baby had a very important visitor: Great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, who popped over from Buckingham Palace for a 30-minute look at her new heir.
He was born Monday afternoon and his parents took him home Tuesday evening, emerging from St Mary's Hospital in Paddington to a wildly excited throng of media and onlookers. At the time, William promised they were "still working on a name" but would have one soon.
Then they went home to Kensington Palace, with William driving the couple of miles himself. The Daily Mail reported Kate's younger sister Pippa Middleton and her boyfriend, Nico Jackson, went to the Nottingham Cottage to meet the new baby. Prince Harry is close by as well.
Both sets of grandparents have already met the baby, on Tuesday at the hospital.
The new parents likely consulted the queen on the baby's name, because naming a future king involves a little more consideration than just parental wishes or whatever is trendy in baby names.
Besides, the name has to look right after the word King. According to bookmakers, the top names Brits bet on included, George, James, Alexander and Philip.
The couple have 42 days to register the baby's birth and name in person at the local town hall, although royals may be able to do so via home visit to the palace.
by Kim Hjelmgaard Maria Puente, USA TODAY
LONDON - The Prince of Cambridge is off to his maternal grandparents' home in the English countryside today, after first being introduced to his great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II. But his name is still a work in progress.
The British media showed Prince William and Duchess Kate left with the baby for her parents' estate in rural Bucklebury, about 50 miles outside London. Again, William was driving the Range Rover and Kate was in the back with the baby in a car seat.
The new little prince spent his first night at his parents' small apartment-cottage at Kensington Palace, where Kate's siblings, Pippa and James Middleton, visited Tuesday evening, according to the Daily Mail and others. Both sets of grandparents visited him at the hospital Tuesday.
But his most important visitor so far was the queen, and she came to him, driven the short way over from Buckingham Palace this morning. She spent about 30 minutes with the new family.
For the time being, what we know about the new third-in-line to the throne, first child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, is that he will be HRH Prince (insert name here) of Cambridge. But that's it.
British reporters speculate there might be announcement before the queen departs for her annual vacation at her Balmoral estate in Scotland on Friday.
When Will and Kate left St. Mary's Hospital on Tuesday with their baby, Will said they would have a name "as soon as we can."
And grandfather Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, told the assembled media and well-wishers outside the hospital that they had no idea what the child's name was.
A source with knowledge of the matter told London's Evening Standard newspaper that the happy couple have "a number of names in mind, but they wanted to see his little face and get to know him first."
A number of names have emerged as likely contenders at bookmakers, including George and James, but it's not clear whether the royal couple will opt for a traditional-sounding name or break with protocol and go for something more unusual.
According to the BBC, it took a week for William's parents - Diana and Charles - to announce their newborn's name in 1982, while the Prince of Wales' name was not revealed for a whole month when he was born in 1948. However, Prince Harry's name was made public when he left the hospital in 1984.
Choosing a name (actually probably four names) that sounds right after the word "King" is more complicated than perusing a list of trendy baby names, and the queen is likely to be at least consulted in the matter of naming the future monarch.
Reporters stationed outside the gates of Kensington Place began tweeting early today when the queen's green Bentley was spotted entering the palace to visit her third great-grandchild, her first great-grandson.
It's not clear how long the family will stay at Carole and Michael Middleton's estate; William has two weeks paternity leave from his job as a helicopter pilot in the RAF in Wales. New speculation in the British media suggested the couple and baby might spend some time with the queen at Balmoral or at one of the smaller residences on the estate, including Prince Charles' house Birkhall.
Meanwhile, the baby's great-grandfather, Prince Philip, hasn't yet met him because he's still at the royal Sandringham estate in Norfolk where he has been recovering from abdominal surgery. He's expected to join the queen at Balmoral.