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New royal baby named Louis in tribute to IRA victim Mountbatten

By Rebecca Black

They kept us all waiting for four days, but yesterday the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge finally revealed their newborn son has been named Louis Arthur Charles.

It's a touching nod to Lord Louis Mountbatten, Prince Charles's beloved great-uncle and mentor who was killed by the IRA nearly 40 years ago.

The couple's third child and second son was born at 11.01am on Monday at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London, weighing 8lb 7oz.

Kensington Palace said yesterday the baby would be known as His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge. He is fifth in line to the throne.

The name will be seen as a tribute to Lord Mountbatten, who was killed in August 1979.

The IRA detonated a bomb on his fishing boat at Mullaghmore in Co Sligo. His 14-year-old grandson Nicholas Knatchbull, boat boy Paul Maxwell (15) and the Dowager Lady Brabourne also died in the attack.

Louis is one of the middle names of Prince William and of the new prince's brother George.

French and German in origin, it means "renowned warrior".

According to the most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics, it is the 71st most popular name in England and Wales.

Historian Judith Rowbotham said the choice was a "little surprising" but remained a safe option, and would delight both the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh.

"It's not a traditional Windsor name but it's very much an acknowledgement of a wider heritage," Dr Rowbotham said.

"I can't think of a Louis in the immediate royal family with Louis as a first name.

"Louis is a little surprising on one level because it's not a strong Anglo-Saxon, British name, and that has been what the royal family has tended to go for."

Dr Rowbotham, a visiting research fellow at Plymouth University, said both Charles and Philip would be touched by the choice.

"It's very much an affectionate tribute to the Prince of Wales," she said.

"Louis Mountbatten is someone who Prince William himself never knew but at the same time he has remained a very important figure in terms of the impact he had on Prince Charles' life.

"Prince Philip was also deeply devoted to Lord Mountbatten.

"At one stroke, Louis pleases great-grandfather and grandfather, which is a good thing."

Bookmakers had Arthur as the favourite initially, with James and Philip also popular.

Alexander became a late frontrunner with the bookies after William remarked on the name at a church service, while Albert also entered the betting.

The middle name Charles is a tribute to the baby's grandfather.

On Thursday evening William suggested that the couple were still deciding on a name, telling reporters who asked about it: "I'm working on that."

He also took a break from caring for the prince to carry out royal duties on Wednesday when he joined Harry and Meghan Markle at an Anzac Day service in London.

The Duke told guests that Kate and the baby were "in good form, luckily".

He added: "Sleeping's going reasonably well so far, so he's behaving himself, which is good news."

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