pippa-middleton

“I first went to Wimbledon when I was eight years old and already a very keen tennis player. I told myself I was destined to be the next big thing in British tennis (…) During this first trip I acted on my childish tennis dreams and bought myself a postcard of the women’s championship trophy, on which I wrote, “I will win this one day,” with my signature below. I was a tomboy and clearly very determined. It was a similar sort of thing when, out of the blue, I stated to my family that if I had to get married, it would be in my tennis whites—shorts with no pleats or frills. I’ve grown out of my tomboy phase, but there’ll be no white dresses this summer, apart from at my local tennis club.”

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge honored both royal tradition and some of the most loved people in their lives by naming their baby daughter Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

Meaning “petite”, it is, in French, the feminine form of Charles, a fitting tribute to the Prince of Wales, who made no secret of his desire for a granddaughter. The name’s royal pedigree includes Queen Charlotte, the wife of George III, who bore him 15 children and helped found Kew Gardens. Queen Charlotte’s Chelsea Hospital, which is named after her, is part of the same NHS Trust as St Mary’s Hospital Paddington, where Princess Charlotte was born on Saturday in the private Lindo Wing. Her granddaughter Princess Charlotte of Wales, who married on May 2, the day the new Princess Charlotte was born, died in childbirth in 1817 at the age of just 21. She was the only child of George, Prince of Wales, who would go on to become King George IV. Charlotte also happens to be the middle name of the Duchess’s sister, Pippa Middleton, and goes back in her family to her paternal great-great-great-grandmother Charlotte Ablett, born in 1825 and therefore possibly named for Princess Charlotte.

The choice of Elizabeth is an expected tribute to the Queen in the year she will become Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, as well as being the name of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, who was close to Prince William before her death in 2002. But it also has strong connections to the Middleton family: it is the middle name of both the Duchess of Cambridge and her mother Carole, having been passed down from Carole Middleton’s grandmother, Elizabeth Temple. The name Elizabeth means “oath of God”.

But it is the choice of Diana as one of the Princess’s middle names that is most personal to either of the parents. The death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997 meant the Duke’s closest female blood relatives were the Princess Royal and the Queen, and he has longed for a daughter throughout his adult life. The Duke’s mother was the first and only British Princess Diana, and there are no known Dianas in the Duchess’s family. The name derives from the Latin Diviana or Divus, meaning Divine. In Roman mythology Diana was the virgin goddess of the moon, hunting and chastity. (x)

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