(For George, but which George?)
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.