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Princess Charlotte chosen by royals

Published 04/05/2015

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with the newborn princess, whose birth is to be marked by royal gun salutes
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with the newborn princess, whose birth is to be marked by royal gun salutes

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have named their daughter Princess Charlotte - a decision which will be seen as a touching tribute to the Prince of Wales.

William and Kate have also recognised the Queen - Elizabeth II - and the Duke's mother Diana, Princess of Wales, as their daughter's full name is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

Naming their baby Charlotte, which is the feminine form of Charles, is a gesture sure to have pleased the heir to the throne, who made no secret of the fact he wanted his second grandchild to be a girl.

William's uncle Earl Spencer tweeted his approval of the names chosen by the Cambridges soon after their announcement.

His said: "Perfect names. My 2-year old Charlotte Diana will be thrilled at cousinly name-sharing. Is at an age where thinks world revolves around her!"

The Duke and Duchess have given their daughter a traditional name which has strong royal connections as a number of princesses and a Queen have been called Charlotte.

The Princess, who was born on Saturday May 2 at 8.34am, weighing 8lbs 3oz, is fourth in line to the throne and the Queen's fifth great-grandchild.

Kensington Palace said in a short statement: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to announce that they have named their daughter Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

"The baby will be known as Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge."

The betting industry is estimated to have paid out £1 million to punters who guessed the name correctly, according to Ladbrokes.

It had been heavily backed and was a favourite during the week before the name Alice reclaimed the top spot.

Ladbrokes spokeswoman Jessica Bridge said: "Charlotte was the hot tip over the weekend and royal watchers up and down the land are quids in.

"We may have lost a fortune but we're paying out with a smile and wish the Duke and Duchess all the best."

Bookies William Hill said they were breathing a sigh of relief that William and Kate picked Charlotte, and not their favourite Alice.

Spokesman Rupert Adams said Charlotte finished as their 3/1 second favourite, with 5,096 punters correctly guessing the name and in total they would pay out just over £100,000 in the name market.

One lucky royal fan - a woman from Barnes - has won £1,400 after placing £400 on the correct name at odds of 5/2 on Saturday evening.

The baby princess will join a host of famous women with the same name from the 19th-century writer Charlotte Bronte and the Welsh singer Charlotte Church to the actress Charlotte Rampling.

The name is also likely to become popular with parents across the country.

At the moment, it is languishing outside the top ten most popular girls names for last year, as compiled by the website www.babycentre.co.uk.

Top is Sophia, followed by Emily and then Lily. Charlotte is only 17th in the list.

Royal writer Christopher Warwick said there was an "inevitability" that Diana would be one of the baby's names.

He said: "Somebody said that given a girl Diana as a first name would have been too much of a responsibility and I would agree with that.

"I don't think we would have wanted a Princess Diana but I am not remotely surprised that Diana is one of the child's names - I would have been surprised had it not been."

He added that Charlotte recalled the hugely popular daughter of the Prince Regent - "the Princess Diana of her day" who caused an outpouring of grief when she died in childbirth in 1817.

Another historical figure with the same name was Queen Charlotte, the wife of George III known as the "mad king", who was a keen botanist and founded the world-renowned Kew Gardens.

The moniker has also featured in Kate's family as her sister Pippa Middleton has it as her middle name.

Royal historian Hugo Vickers said the choice of Charlotte seemed to be based on taste rather than history, as the name had not been used by the royal family for a long time.

He said: "I don't think she is burdened by any history associated with it and, to be honest, I think they just chose the name because they liked it, which is what they do and what we respect about them."

During the day, royal gun salutes were fired in the capital to mark the birth and at Westminster Abbey the bells were rang in celebration.

As Big Ben began to chime the hour of two, 41 volleys rang out across Hyde Park fired by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

Simultaneously at the Tower of London there was a 62-gun salute fired by the Honourable Artillery Company, with an extra 21 volleys for the City of London.

Just before the King's Troop began, the Royal Artillery Band played the Stevie Wonder hit Isn't She Lovely, a song he wrote to celebrate the birth of his daughter, Aisha.

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