This week Prince George, having turned four this summer, started primary school at Thomas’s in Battersea. To the school, he’s just another student; there will be none of that His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge stuff. Nor will he be listed as George Alexander Louis Mountbatten-Windsor or anything that complicated.
What to do, then? Scarcely any American publication is more royals-obsessed than People, so People gets hit with the question:
[T]hough that is technically the royal family’s last name, it’s rarely the one members of the family use in day-to-day life. For example, Prince William and Prince Harry went by William Wales and Harry Wales during their own school days, as well as their years in the armed forces. Why? Because their father, Prince Charles, is the Prince of Wales. It’s an homage to their father’s title, for occasions when “Prince” just feels a bit too formal.
So what will George do? “Wales” might make sense, as that’s what his dad did — especially because, most likely, George’s own father will be the Prince of Wales himself one day. But William now has a title of his own: Duke of Cambridge. So just as William took his own last name from his father’s title, so will George — and he’ll be George Cambridge in his school records and to his peers and teachers.
And that teensy little tag on George’s school bag indeed says “George Cambridge.”