Britain Welcomes a New Prince

The British royal family is getting two new Royal Highnesses in 2018, and the first of them made his arrival this week - a second son for Prince William and his wife Catherine. The other Royal Highness joining the ranks of the House of Windsor will be Meghan Markle once she marries the newborn prince's uncle, Prince Harry, in just a few weeks.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their son, Prince Louis.

On Monday 23 April, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to her third child, a son. The little prince was born at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London, and his father, the Duke of Cambridge, was present at the birth. Four days after his birth, Kensington Palace announced the infant's name and title - His Royal Highness Prince Louis Arthur Charles of Cambridge. As is tradition following the birth of a member of the royal family, Louis received 21-gun salutes fired off from Hyde Park and the Tower of London. 

Prince Louis is fifth in line to the British throne, and his birth made history as it marked the first time that a British prince did not supersede an elder sister in the line of succession. This stems from the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, where inheritance of the British crown abides by the principle of absolute primogeniture to allow firstborn children to take precedence in the line of succession regardless of their gender. This new law applies to any legitimate dynast in line for the British throne who is born after October 2011. In the case of newborn Prince Louis, he does not replace his elder sister, Princess Charlotte, in the line of succession. Under the previous order, Louis would have replaced Charlotte as fourth in line and she would have been fifth. This was the case with their grand-aunt, Princess Anne, the sister of their grandfather, Prince Charles. Anne is the second-born child of Queen Elizabeth II, but the births of her younger brothers, Prince Andrew in 1960 and Prince Edward in 1964, meant that she was pushed down behind them in the line of succession even though she was already fourteen years old by the time of Edward's birth. 

Prince Louis of Battenberg, grandfather of
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
The announcement of Louis's name generated a considerable amount of surprise from the public, as public polls had strongly favored either Arthur, James or Albert. Louis is not a common name for the British royals, although it does have significant family connections. The little prince Louis is the namesake of his great-great-great-grandfather, Prince Louis of Battenberg, who was the maternal grandfather of little Louis's great-grandfather, Prince Philip. Louis of Battenberg was a German prince who married a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and rose through the ranks of the British Royal Navy to become First Sea Lord. However, the onset of World War I and a rise in anti-German tensions throughout Britain made Louis's position within the navy highly unpopular, and he reluctantly stepped down from his prestigious role. Further insult was added to injury in July 1917, when Louis's cousin, King George V, undertook a complete wipe-out of the British royal family's German connections. In addition to changing the name of his own dynasty from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor, King George also asked his German relatives who were living in Britain to give up any Germanic titles of their own. Prince Louis of Battenberg thus renounced the Battenberg title for himself and his children, and translated their name into the more English-sounding Mountbatten. King George compensated Louis with the noble title Marquess (Marquis) of Milford-Haven, but the loss of his princely rank stung Louis for some time. 

Lord Louis Mountbatten with his grandnephew, Prince Charles
The name Louis also honors the newborn Prince Louis of Cambridge's great-great-grand-uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten, who was the youngest son of the aforementioned Prince Louis of Battenberg and uncle to Prince Philip. Incensed when his father was hounded out of office as First Sea Lord as well as having to give up their princely rank, the young Louis Mountbatten vowed to avenge his family's humiliation. He did so in spectacular fashion, becoming First Sea Lord himself many years later as well as the last Viceroy of India before it gained independence from the British Empire. Lord Mountbatten was assassinated by the IRA in 1979, an event which devastated his grandnephew, Prince Charles, who had looked to Louis as something of a surrogate father. In addition to his own name being one of his newborn grandson's middle names, Prince Charles will no doubt be pleased to have this grandchild's first name pay tribute to his beloved late uncle.