PRINCE GE­ORGE

(For Ge­orge, but which Ge­orge?)

Canada's History - - ROOTS -

There have been so many princes named Ge­orge in re­cent royal his­tory that there re­mains de­bate about which mem­ber of the royal fam­ily gave his name to the north­ern Bri­tish Columbia city of Prince Ge­orge. Ex­plorer Si­mon Fraser named the site Fort Ge­orge — after Bri­tain’s King Ge­orge III — in 1807. When the city was in­cor­po­rated in 1915, Ge­orge V (who reigned from 1910 to 1935) was king.

The sec­ond son of King Ed­ward VII, Ge­orge be­came king after his el­der brother Al­bert Vic­tor died of pneu­mo­nia, Ge­orge mar­ried his brother’s fi­ancée, Princess Mary of Teck, and in 1901 the young cou­ple went on an ac­tion-packed tour of Canada.

Since the name of the city is Prince Ge­orge, rather than King Ge­orge, an­other likely pos­si­bil­ity is that it is named after King Ge­orge V and Queen Mary’s fourth son, Prince Ge­orge, who be­came Duke of Kent in 1934. Ge­orge was the first mem­ber of the royal fam­ily to cross the At­lantic by air­plane, con­duct­ing a fly­ing tour of Canada’s Bri­tish Com­mon­wealth Air Train­ing Plan dur­ing the Sec­ond World War. Ge­orge died in a plane crash in 1942 at the age of thirty-eight.

When Wil­liam and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cam­bridge, de­cided to name their first child Prince Ge­orge, there was a re­vival of in­ter­est in the Bri­tish Columbia city’s royal his­tory. In 2014, Mayor Shari Green pro­claimed July 22 Prince Ge­orge of Cam­bridge day, mak­ing the fu­ture king’s birth­day an an­nual cel­e­bra­tion for the res­i­dents of Prince Ge­orge.

Other Ge­orge-in­spired names in­clude On­tario’s Ge­or­gian Bay — for King Ge­orge IV.

Clock­wise from up­per left: King Ge­orge III, 1762, King Ge­orge V, 1936, Prince Ge­orge of Cam­bridge, 2017, and Prince Ge­orge, Duke of Kent, 1936.

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