The birth of a child is always a time of excitement, renewal and looking forward to the future. No more is this true than in the case of a royal baby.
As with his elder brother and sister, Prince Louis of Cambridge emerged into the sunlight outside the private Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, where his father and uncle were also born, to the glare of the world’s media with photographers and camera crews having been camped outside for the previous few weeks to catch a glimpse of the new prince.
His names Louis Arthur Charles are firmly in the royal tradition and show the close ties between Prince William and his father.
One of the Duke of Cambridge’s own names is Louis after the Duke of Edinburgh’s uncle Earl Mountbatten of Burma who was killed in 1979.
The Prince of Wales, who grew up without grandfathers, referred to Lord Mountbatten as his honorary grandfather so the name will surely please him. Arthur is also a name shared by the Duke of Cambridge and his father and Charles is, obviously the Prince of Wales’s own name.
Although a third child, the new prince’s birth has been quite a significant event historically.
This is the first time since the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 came into effect which meant that boys and girls have equal rights to the succession.
This means that Prince Louis is fifth in line to the throne and Princess Charlotte retains her place as fourth in line unlike the Princess Royal and Lady Louise Windsor whose younger brothers still rank above them as the act only applies to children born after 2013.
Of course, with an elder brother in Prince George, the chances of either of the younger Cambridge children inheriting the throne currently occupied by their great-grandmother are remote. The last time a third-born child inherited the throne was Queen Victoria’s uncle, William IV, in 1830.
The birth has also brought some speculation that the Duke of York may remarry his former wife, Sarah, Duchess of York. This is because the act also means that only the first six members of the Royal Family in the line of succession will require the monarch’s consent to marry as opposed to all members of the family as previously.
The birth means that the Duke of York is now seventh in line to the throne (he was second at the time of his birth) and could marry without the Queen’s permission. Although they remain the best of friends, I think it’s probably unlikely.
It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Prince Louis and his siblings. The Prince of Wales is said to favour a smaller monarchy in the future with fewer members of the Royal Family carrying out engagements. As the younger brother of the future king, we will have to wait and see how the new prince fits into this.
More immediately, I think it’s unlikely that we will see Prince Louis at the wedding of his uncle, Prince Harry next month, although it’s just possible he might be brought out onto the balcony after this year’s Trooping the Colour celebrating the Queen’s official birthday in June.
- James Taylor is a royal commentator from Derbyshire.