How about King Dwayne?


Some Frenchman in Henry V refers to the English king as "the king of half an island."  That was true then and may be yet again, but between the 15th Century and this one the position included; Emperor of India, Defender of the Faith (the new one) Ruler of the Cinque Ports, and of the Dominions Beyond the Seas, etc.

All right.  The job has been downsized. 

There is a lot of talk in the fluttery press here and there about the modern inclinations of Will and Kate.  There is a good deal of discussion of nannies and the possibility that the Duke of Cambridge will be in the diaper changing bidness.  Hmmm!  I doubt that will be true after the first one.

The monarchist fifth column here in the United States is in full voice.  Bless them!  Are people out in the commonwealth as excited as the royalists are in the US?

Since we are so concerned with the intimate doings of our former imperial masters, I think that the least we colonials can do is suggest a name for the child.  I will welcome suggestions.  My own thoughts run to Dwayne, Canute, Ted (for the bear),  pl

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65 Responses to How about King Dwayne?

  1. Abu Sinan says:

    I suggest “Billy Joe Jim Bob”. It would be grand to read about “Billy Joe Jim Bob the First” in the text books.

  2. Tja says:

    A ‘Knut’ would be awesome, but ‘Gervase’ I’m afraid would be taken as homage to Ricky.
    You’ve reminded me that Charles chose to name his second son Henry, that he might one day be called ‘Prince Hal’. And yet must appear so surprised and disappointed when Harry behaves as though he were.

  3. Walter Moore says:

    It is strange how attached Americans seem to be to their former crown.. and have been since the gilded age..
    Turns out even my wife is a Tory. I keep telling her my ancestors rebelled so I wouldn’t have to care about royal babies.

  4. Bobo says:

    Possibly BARZILLAI as a middle name in rememberance of
    Barzillai Lew who fought for the Continental Army at Bunker Hill. His significance is that he he was one of a few Free African Americans fighting that day.

  5. steve g says:

    Since we gave them the shoe in
    1776 I too cannot understand the
    fawning. I nominate “Richard the T–d”

  6. Fred says:

    I was so looking forward to a girl, then we could have a Princess Katniss.

  7. steve says:

    Ethelred the Unready.
    Regarding the US infatuation with the monarchy, I don’t personally know anyone who has mentioned the birth or who seems at all interested.

  8. JohnH says:

    Alfred Newman II. Named after the first, of Mad Magazine fame, who ran many times for President, but lost out to dimmer lights…

  9. Fred says:

    If they are going to pick names of those who defeated the British they could stick with George; or he could go with Joseph, who was far more important to the Battle of Bunker Hill.

  10. mo says:

    Its a multicultural Britian and as such he should without a doubt be named Mohamed….

  11. Buzz Meeks says:

    Future glorified welfare recipient. So many colorful names and spellings to choose from.

  12. Matthew says:

    Col: Thirty 30 years ago (in reference to Charles and Diana), George Will, I think, riduculed his fellow Washingtonians by noting that only in the capital of the Great Republic would its leading citizens so shamelessly suck up to monarchists. Unfortunately, I can’t find the quote.
    But for background, see

  13. Maureen Lang says:

    Why not cut to the chase & name him King? King King has a certain rhythm to it…Joseph Heller would have loved it:

  14. Old Gun Pilot says:

    You have to wonder why the British keep around a family whose greatest accomplishment in the last several hundred years is that one of them managed to overcome stuttering.

  15. turcopolier says:

    Buzz Meeks
    I always thought your name seemed familiar and then I was watching “LA Confidential” the other day. pl

  16. oofda says:

    Let’s really go old school- how about Æthelred? Or Eadwig?

  17. David Habakkuk says:

    My wife was saying this morning how relieved she was that it was a boy, not a girl. Following recent changes to the provisions for the succession, she — had it been a girl — would now have inherited, eventually. My wife thinks that this would have put her in an impossible position, as there would always have been comparisons with her great-grandmother.
    The kind of devotion to duty, and self-abnegation, which has allowed Elizabeth – patently, like her father, our wartime King, a deeply shy person – to cope so marvellously with a life which would drive most people bat-shit crazy is not something bred into people today. So the comparisons might have been difficult to sustain.
    It belongs to a vanished world, as does a famous comment by the commanding officer under whom her husband served, with distinction, at the Battle of Cape Matapan in March 1941 and the invasion of Sicily in November 1942. Between those two events, in May 1941, the Royal Navy sustained heavy losses at the hands of the Luftwaffe while supporting the evacuation of Crete. These prompted Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham to remark that ‘it takes the Navy three years to build a new ship … it will take 300 years to build a new tradition’.

  18. mbrenner says:

    The royals look to the future, not to the past. They also should hedge their bets.
    Therefore: Rocky Chen – or Chen Rocky

  19. AK says:

    The Royals would just ‘bastardize’ it back to William Joseph James Robert, thereby thwarting all our good fun. Such is the imperial way. Perhaps Paddington? (also in homage to a bear [(in turn named in homage to train station…)], but a bear with a more aristocratic air to him, if I remember correctly). Also, the diminutive would likely be ‘Paddy’, making it Irish. So sweet.

  20. All:
    I have just watched the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge come out of the hospital. He said they were still ‘working on a name’, and referred to the assembled journalists — and the public — as ‘you guys’.
    It is quite clear to me from the comments on this thread that almost all Americans are as incomprehending of the tribal customs of the British as you are of the peoples of Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, etc etc. Likewise, almost all of you are utterly clueless and about the complex ways in which the dominant American culture and local cultures interact.
    I doubt if I can begin to explain how much it hurts, when William — and also the children of very old Jewish friends of ours — call us ‘guys’. It would require an exercise of imagination of whom I do not think more than tiny handful of you are capable.
    Perhaps I can recommend to you a book published last year by the veteran Daily Mail commentator Andrew Alexander, under the title ‘America and the Imperialism of Ignorance.’

  21. Fred says:

    Your wife makes a very good point. I am reminded of a Japanese expression I heard long ago (attributed to one of the Shogun, I believe) “Duty is like a Mountain”. I can’t imagine being thrust into the role of Atlas.

  22. turcopolier says:

    David Habakkuk
    I am sorry if our attitude has offended you. I may know one or two things about your tribal customs. Some of them I like. Some I do not. Your maintenance of the present form of government I find baffling. Nevertheless, I find it regrettable that the DoC uses the vulgar neologism “guys.” Down here we do not say that and the use of the “word” by a waiter or some such person is instantly identifying of someone from “up there.” It is even worse than “youse.” The process of offense works both ways across the pond. On “Chuck” Todd’s morning political show today your ambassador told the host that American obsession with your monarchy reflected “buyer’s remorse.” I prefer DCI Morse. pl

  23. turcopolier says:

    David Habakkuk
    I have withdrawn “Gervase” and “Nigel” as possibilities although “Gervase” would be a nice gesture toward Old Catholics. Surely they won’t name him “Louis.” pl

  24. Matthew says:

    OGP: Unity of the realm and tourism.

  25. Matthew says:


  26. rjj says:

    So how should one address and/or refer to the Albionese?

  27. turcopolier says:

    Perhaps – Alfred Gervase Louis? pl

  28. Matthew says:

    Col: Old Morse or Young Morse?

  29. walrus says:

    How about “Treyvon”? Mo beat me to it suggesting “Mohammed”. Perhaps we could add “Ali” and “Guptar”, or all Three, to get a multicultural mix to please the politically correct left wing fringe.
    While the birth and naming of Little Cambridge is a fit subject for joy and hilarity I take issue with the suggestion that the crown and royal family is merely an anachronism, fit only to be a tourist attraction. There is steel and duty under there as anyone who has served in HM forces will know and woe betide any politician who forgets it.
    Madison observed that “If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary (Federalist 51#), unfortunately controls are needed. The British and Australian Monarchy provides that final line of defence against tyranny, so far, through its implementation of the separation of powers which seems to me to work quite well.
    All armed forces, police, judiciary and the executive branch of Government are ultimately appointed by and responsible to the Queen (or in Australia, her appointee the Governor General) who has a duty to her subjects (the General public).
    In 1975 Australia experienced what happens when a Prime Minister decides to govern in his own right and dispense with the niceties of the Westminster tradition. His dismissal was a tectonic event and a warning to others with similar imperial tendencies.
    The value of the constitutional Monarchical system is not what it provides, but what it denies to others.
    Let the hilarity continue.

  30. Matthew says:

    Col: Winston Spencer Disraeli Palmerston Wellington Plantagenet Boudica de Windsor.
    I’m not old school enough to advocate for the royal family’s real name: Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. See

  31. PStu says:

    If you like DCI Morse, you should enjoy the new Endeavour series on PBS. While the Inspector Lewis series was less serious than Inspector Morse, the prequels for Morse are more serious.
    Having married into a republican family, I propose John (yes, I know my history) or something non-UC like Jayson or Jayden.

  32. Stephanie says:

    Gervaise Brooke-Hamster. I’m sure the new arrival will be a truly Great Twit.

  33. turcopolier says:

    both. I like Lewis as well. pl

  34. Tidewater says:

    Seriously, isn’t it kind of obvious that the kid should be named Philip. Say, maybe, Philip Arthur James Spencer… The Arthur is for the “Once and Future King”, James for the Union with Scotland, and Spencer for the family of the fabled and tragic grandmother. But Philip for character and toughness.

  35. Maureen Lang says:

    Nor do I.
    Although I did send a very mildly sarcastic (I thought) e-mail to a Canadian couple we know- they informed that naming the Heir was not a light matter to them.

  36. The Twisted Genius says:

    Used as a wastepaper basket by his father. Also in the Guards.
    I’m also rather fond of Craig Ferguson’s portrayal of Prince Charles. (Sorry, David Habakkuk.)

  37. mbrenner says:

    English tribal ways would be better appreciated by people like myself were the realm not being thoroughly degraded by a comprehensive and uncritical mimicking of those aspects of contemporary American society and culture that I detest.

  38. CK says:

    Perfidious is a good start.

  39. turcopolier says:

    Maureen, Sceptered throne, divine right etc., pl

  40. Lord Curzon says:

    Well said David! “You guys”, a little vomit came up into my mouth at that.

  41. Lord Curzon says:

    Colonel, may I suggest you watch Luther? As crime drama goes, it grips like a courtier’s breeches!

  42. Fred says:

    I was wondering if someone would mention that name and how long it would take. Monarchy might suit Australians but we gave up being subjects a couple of centuries ago, even though it seems many of our politicians are hell bent on returning us to that state.

  43. Amir says:

    I suggest “Changey-Hopey” in analogy of our great eavesdropping master in this side of the pond.

  44. David Habakkuk says:

    Many years ago I remember the maverick Tory politician Enoch Powell saying that the description ‘perfidious Albion’ was entirely apt. Of course, a fundamental traditional strategy of British foreign and imperial policy was ‘divide et impera’. Its effective practice requires some knowledge of those you are attempting to manipulate. Figures like Blair and Cameron are ignorant of other societies and cultures, to a much greater degree than their predecessors would have been.

  45. Ursa Maior says:

    If we dig into tribalism with some pun intended two centuries are not exactly a “couple” which I would define as 3 or maybe 4 and more, but I might be wrong since I am a historian not a mathematician. ;-D

  46. YT says:

    Alas… Dr. Brenner,
    A people dumbed down.

  47. At The Virginia Capes says:

    How about “Bubba”?

  48. YT,
    By and large, yes – and I think what Professor Brenner says is, on the whole, fair comment.
    One particularly unpleasant aspect of contemporary Britain – exemplified by the old Etonian David Cameron – is the way a vicious social snobbery can co-exist with a matey populism. Not only is this populism intellectually crippling: it serves to conceal the erosion of the old Tory sense that elites have responsibilities to the people over whom they rule.
    But Prince William patently isn’t like that. However much an old curmudgeon like me may dislike the ‘you guys’, it is, quite patently, a genuine expression of an uncondescending amiability on the part of a good-natured and rather ordinary young man, who wants to muck in with his fellows.
    Very sensibly, he has married a wife who clearly thrives on the unremitting contact with the public which is the fate of monarchs in today’s world – and also, like the old Queen Mother, has a hint of steel that a lot of us like.

  49. Colonel Lang,
    Your attitude does not offend me in the least. And as for the Ambassador’s remarks, had I been the Foreign Secretary, I would have sent him a terse telegram recommending the wisdom of keeping his mouth shut.
    We are all the products of our pasts, and must make the best of the choices available to us, given where we start from. The United States will either survive as a constitutional republic, or become a pathological form of democracy.
    In so far as I am offended, it is with those of my fellow-countrymen who seek to escape from the dilemmas created by their own pasts by uncritical imitation of the United States, or clinging to the mirage of some kind of ‘special relationship’. One particular object of my contempt has been the kind of nonsense produced by Macmillan, about our playing Athens to your Rome; another is those of my fellow-countrymen who cope with their own nostalgia for empire by egging you on to ‘take up the white man’s burden’.
    The legacies of our pasts, obviously, shape the ways in which we can understand other societies. The point I was making about American understandings of British culture overlaps, I think, with a peculiarly poignant anecdote in a story which brings together the experience of the French, and Americans, and the native inhabitants, in Indochina:
    “Laine went out to dinner that night in the dining room of the Caravelle Hotel. This was located just behind the Vietnamese Parliament. Two of his counterpart Vietnamese officers from STD were invited. Laine asked the more senior of these who he preferred to work with, the French or the Americans. He knew this lieutenant colonel well. They had gone through SF training in North Carolina together. His friend said that he preferred the French. He continued that the Americans wanted too much. They wanted the Vietnamese to be Americans. In contrast, he said, the French treated the natives as children, but nevertheless, as beloved children. Laine was “processing” that when a crippled Vietnamese soldier came to the table on crutches.”

  50. walrus,
    “The value of the constitutional Monarchical system is not what it provides, but what it denies to others.”
    This is a much clearer formulation than I have produced, and I will use it, with appropriate acknowledgement.
    It seems to me that the situation creates a real dilemma for countries like Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. On the one hand, we are a long time away from the days when Slim – who had fought with Australians – was Governor General, or when Neville Shute wrote ‘A Town Like Alice.” On the other, I think it is more difficult than many realise to turn systems rooted in the Westminster tradition into American-style republics.
    As to the ‘steel and duty’, a lot of this has always been, in my view, carried by the women. The Old Queen Mum had her faults, no doubt, but she was both tough and dutiful – and a lot of people here liked that. Likewise, I think there is a lot of steel in the Duchess of Cambridge. And – dare I say it – as a national symbol, I prefer her and her husband to what we would have ended up, had any British politician been elected President.

  51. The names have just been announced: George Alexander Louis.
    They hark back, quite properly to some of the great moments in the history of the child’s family and the people they ruled. Accordingly, they help us, in difficult times, to build bridges between the past and the future.
    My only regret is that family loyalty has included the Louis, rather than replacing it with Philip.

  52. turcopolier says:

    David Habakkuk
    Good wishes on the prospects of a future English king. Who is Laine? A joke. I don’t think Laine’s experience in Indo-China had anything at all to do with British influence. We had a long history of dealing with native peoples and were not much better at it than you were. Our masses were as hostile to the idea of how to do this as yours. pl

  53. YT says:

    May Heaven watch over the young couple & their child.

  54. Carl O. says:

    I know I”m late to the game, here, but it seems to me that “Ozymandias” would have been the best choice. Afterall, the end this Empire, too, is inevitable.

  55. turcopolier says:

    David Habakkuk
    “The United States will either survive as a constitutional republic, or become a pathological form of democracy.” These two tendencies are already locked in a terminal struggle. I think the country will eventually break up as it becomes more and more difficult for the two ideas to co-exist. pl

  56. Buzz Meeks says:

    I am a huge James Elroy fan, I see him as the true successor my favorite fiction writer Dashiell Hammett.
    Now I will have to offer a suggestion Jack Miehoff

  57. Stephanie says:

    Given that the Master of Disaster (as Mountbatten was known at the Admiralty) more or less pimped Philip to Elizabeth, thus gifting the nation with decades of tone-deaf gaffes to come, I’d say the Louis is eminently appropriate.

  58. David Habakkuk says:

    I have no desire to defend Mountbatten. However, in relation to Philip, ‘tone deaf gaffes’ is not quite right.
    Just before his ninetieth birthday, the Independent published an item entitled ‘Ninety gaffes in ninety years.’ The key one I think is number 86, which records how, asked in 1992 how he felt about his life, Philip remarked “I’d much rather have stayed in the Navy, frankly.”
    Periodically opening his mouth and putting his foot in it is, doubtless, partly an expression of frustration at the constraints of life as a royal consort, on the part of someone not well adapted to the kind of ‘zoo animal’ existence which being a member of today’s royal family entails.
    But I strongly suspect that there is an element of deliberate clowning – the fact that Philip sometimes sounds as though he was in a ‘Carry On’ film may not be entirely accidental. And I also think this may reflect an – accurate – awareness that the kind of talk which would have seemed natural and amusing to quite a few ordinary seamen and warrant officers aboard a wartime battleship or destroyer still seems so to many people here today.
    Whether or not that should be seen as a devastating indictment both of Philip and a substantial section of the British people is perhaps a moot point. However, it is striking that while opinions in the comments section of the Independent – a paper characteristically read by ‘liberals’ – the ‘best rated’ comment reads as follows:
    “Pure genius. What’s happening to this country? I thought only Americans struggled with the concept of irony? In an age of stakeholders, best practice, focus groups, pushing the envelope, crying at the drop of a hat, counsellors, nanny managing from the state and a complete lack of personal responsibility acceptance, at least the old boy utilises plainspeak. Priceless. He has a devilish sense of humour. Get over to it.”
    (See )

  59. David Habakkuk says:

    Colonel Lang,
    I did not think that Laine’s experience in Indochina had anything at all to do with British influence – although I thought his personal interpretations and actions might perhaps have to do with French (and hasten to add I am not suggesting that would have been a bad thing.) What I had been struck by was the Vietnamese SF lieutenant-colonel making the point that nationalist understandings of their own history commonly make Americans want to transform others into replicas of themselves.
    On reflection, however, it is probably fair to say that all our self-understandings tend in some measure to shape the ways in which perceive, and misperceive, other cultures. Moreover, such understandings characteristically are not, and cannot be, purely intellectual – and this is as true for a ‘constitutionalist’ or ‘republican’ understanding of American history as it is for a nationalist one.
    It seems to me that keeping a constitutional order from degenerating requires energies and commitments which cannot be generated by purely ‘rational’ considerations. The energies sustaining the American republican tradition have roots – deriving from the Roman traditions in terms of which it is imagined – in the revolt against the British monarchy, and the cult of those who led the revolt and created a constitutional order out of it. To say this does not imply any kind of disrespect.
    By contrast, the energies sustaining a constitutional order in Britain have been shaped by the dual failure, in the seventeenth century, of the republican experiment and the Jacobite restoration – the latter a purely accidental result of the fact that while Charles II was the most intelligent of the Stuarts James II was the stupidest. The viable consensus position, which has allowed widely divergent groups to find some kind of modus vivendi, has been constitutional monarchy, not least because the allegiance of the armed forces has been to the (hereditary) monarchy, and I suspect probably still is.
    It should be obvious, I think, that any reasonably outside observer – be they in London or indeed Beijing or Tehran – ought to regard the possibility of the United States degenerating into a pathological democracy as an absolute and unmitigated disaster. This is, incidentally, another reason why I have such contempt for those of my fellow-countrymen who want the United States to ‘take up the white man’s burden’, given that such a course must necessarily be subversive of the constitutional order in your country.
    A further implication would seem to be that I should be as relieved by the sight of Americans sternly frowning at the sight of the appearance of a possible future King George bringing out latent monarchist tendencies among their fellow countrymen, as I am heartened by the enthusiasm of so many subjects of his great-grandmother at his arrival.

  60. turcopolier says:

    David Habakkuk
    The imperialist temptation here is far advanced on the path to total dominance. This temptation is closely linked to the disease of “degenerative democracy” that you mention. the US rejected a wave of such temptation in the early 20th Century. this is well described in Tuchman’s “The Proud Tower.” Now the cry is that we cannot withdraw from anywhere because that would be an abandonment of “democracy” overseas, women’s rights or even worse a return to pre 9/11 ways of thinking. Yet, the struggle continues. I really don’t care about your government. I have been clumsily playful, and am surprised how deeply defensive feelings are among you. In the context of the 17th or 18th Century I suppose I would have been a Whig politically. Most of our founders were that. With regard to the Laine episode, I should mention to the committee that this from a draft chapter in my autobiographical novel “So Long To Learn.” This chapter deals with Laine’s second tour of duty in Vietnam. Laine is my avatar in the novel. It is fair to say that I was always good at dealing with foreigners, something most Americans are not. As you say or imply Americans typically are so confident in the success and desirability of their own culture that they have difficulty in accepting the value and even the existence of other cultures. This has caused me to spend much of my life trying to overcome that propensity, often with little success. The VN SF LTC probably would not have answered that question honestly for most of the Americans whom he knew. This kind of ability with foreigners has always been a mixed blessing. pl

  61. The Twisted Genius says:

    You would have made a fine anthropologist. Or more accurately you are a fine anthropologist… someone who carefully observes and accurately understands man and his many cultures. I first became interested in this field as a wee lad reading a 1931 edition of William Seabrook’s “Jungle Ways.” To be honest the photographic plates of high breasted, young Guere women were probably what sparked my prepubescent curiosity. I was struck by Seabrook’s mental struggle over reconciling these West African tribal ways with his own western ways. He ends up accepting these cultures as valid and sensible for these tribes in their world and that western culture is not and should not be universal. It’s a worthwhile read. Like you, I’ve always felt comfortable with other cultures and, you’re right, it is a mixed blessing. In the words of Adrian Monk, “It’s a blessing… and a curse.”

  62. walrus says:

    The value of the constitutional Monarchical system is not what it provides, but what it denies to others.”
    David, please use it with care. I borrowed the sentiment from the end of what I think may have been a BBC documentary some years ago, but I have been unable to find attribution for those exact words.

  63. walrus says:

    TTG, “The Forest People” – a study of the Pygmies of the Congo basin by Colin Turnbull did it for me. His later work “The Ik” I found depressing.

  64. Stephanie says:

    He asked a nursing home resident in a wheelchair if people tripped over her? Excuse me while I wipe away the tears of helpless laughter…
    I think most naval officers can distinguish between rough humor on the job and pleasantries appropriate for disabled old age pensioners. I don’t deny that Philip is clever enough to know exactly what he’s doing. He has a job in the public sector from which he cannot be fired and he behaves accordingly. The Duke can be funny but I find most of the “plainspeaking” simply insults of a pretty buffoonish kind.
    Mind you, I don’t find him entirely unsympathetic, and I agree that his wish that he’d been able to stay in the Navy was likely no joke. I also see what Elizabeth saw in him, aside from his good looks. I expect Philip was a very refreshing contrast to the chinless wonders who were considered the most suitable consorts for Elizabeth and her sister.

  65. Medicine Man says:

    The only person I know who cares about the new addition to the royal family is a history buff.
    I thought Canute was a great suggestion for a name.

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