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We don't yet know what the name of the likely future king of England will be. (Or maybe we do, and you've read this article between its announcement and our updating. Congratulations to you!) But we do know what the child would be named if it weren't up to Will and Kate. The most likely: Edward, Mohammed, George, and Jacob.

Allow us to explain.

If it were up to former monarchs

Most of the past monarchs of Great Britain/England were named by the reigning monarch. Not always, of course; the transition process between monarchs has not always been a matter of simple inheritance. But by compiling the past names of the nation's kings and queens, we can get a sense for what the current child might be named.

In order of frequency (and via this list), the most likely names chosen by former monarchs would be:

  • 1. Edward (11)
  • 2. Henry (8)
  • 3. George (6)
  • 4. Richard (4)
  • 4. William (4)

Caveats: King Henry IX might have a difficult time finding a wife.

If it were up to regular Britons

Each year, the British Home Office compiles the most popular names for children born in England and Wales. For 2011, the most recent year available, the top ten looks like this:

  • 1. Harry
  • 2. Oliver
  • 3. Jack
  • 4. Alfie (King Alfie!)
  • 5. Charlie
  • 6. Thomas
  • 7. Jacob
  • 8. James
  • 9. Joshua
  • 10. William

Caveats: This list doesn't combine variations of spelling. If you do that, as CNN did, the top spot goes not to Harry but to the rather more controversial name "Mohammed." King Mohammed has a certain charm, but it's unlikely that it's what William and Kate selected.

If it were up to Irish gamblers

Users at the Irish gaming site PaddyPower have been placing bets on the name of the kid. It's list is a bit more traditional than the list immediately above.

  • 1. George (2-1)
  • 2. James (4-1)
  • 3. Alexander (8-1)
  • 4. Louis (11-1)
  • 5. Henry (12-1)
  • 6. Arthur (12-1)
  • 6. Phillip [sic] (12-1)
  • 8. Albert (14-1)
  • 9. David (18-1)
  • 10. Richard (20-1)

Caveats: King Louis seems unlikely.

If it were up to Americans

The U.S. Social Security Administration compiles its own list of the most common names in the country for any given year. Unlike the slowpokes at the Home Office, the names on its list are current through 2012. If it were up to regular Americans, the most likely names for the new prince would be:

  • 1. Jacob
  • 2. Mason
  • 3. Ethan
  • 4. Noah
  • 5. William
  • 6. Liam
  • 7. Jayden
  • 8. Michael
  • 9. Alexander
  • 10. Aiden

Caveats: None. All of these are fine names for royalty. Especially "King Jayden."

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