Very soon we will have a name for the new royal prince and it will probably not be Alfred (all the odds seem to be on boring George or James), but I say: why not? The Anglo-Saxon kings are the most English of all English monarchs, and Alfred was, of course, the Great. His lifetime (849-899) was contentious and “dark”, but he shed light whenever he could. Though officially King of the West Saxons, he styled himself King of the Anglo-Saxons, and most historians think of him as the first King of England–at least that part not occupied by the Vikings. Alfred contained these same Vikings, by building a strong fortification system and a navy (again–what could be more English than this?) He was also that very rare early medieval king–a scholar–and as such translated classical and religious works into the language (Anglo-Saxon, Old English) of his countrymen, promoting knowledge and his native language at the same time. Alfred was truly a keeper of the peace and a unifier of England–both in terms of his military and administrative systems and his codified laws–and the only English king to be titled “the Great”: what better namesake?
The only way to see Alfred as his contemporaries did is on the many coins from his realm, another sign of his effective kingship. Much later, his image becomes much more legendary: Ninth-century coin, and 1712 print by John Faber Sr., both National Portrait Gallery, London; “King Alfred the Great forming a Code of Laws and Dividing the Kingdom into Counties, Tythings, Hundreds, &”, Charles Grignion illustration from Raymond’s History of England, British Museum, King Alfred the Great attributed to Samuel Woodforde, c. 1810-15, The National Trust @ Stourhead; Print of Frank O. Salisbury’s King Alfred the Great Rebuilding the Walls of the City of London, 1912, British Museum.
July 23rd, 2013 at 8:02 am
Though he will be monarch of the entire U.K., so why not a royal name from one of the other regions? Macbeth, say, or Llewellyn? Not to ignore Lulach, Redwald, Harthacanute, or Athelwolf.
July 23rd, 2013 at 8:20 am
Well of course Athelwolf would be amazing!
July 23rd, 2013 at 8:26 am
I’ve always thought Eadwig was due a comeback….
July 23rd, 2013 at 10:40 am
I’m for any Anglo-Saxon name, though Edgar was a bit more impressive than Eadwig. And of course, Alfred is Dad’s favorite king–and it is his birthday!
July 23rd, 2013 at 8:53 am
I’m not even trying to guess. I wonder what Johnny Cash would name him? (He wrote a song called ‘Boy Named Sue’)
July 23rd, 2013 at 9:27 am
I wish Henry VIII had said, “you know what, i am going to do you all a favor and give the order to behead me and anyone who comes after me claiming to be king. You’ll all be better off.” Cheers!
July 23rd, 2013 at 10:21 am
A Republican, I see.
July 23rd, 2013 at 10:32 am
I think it’s time for another “Æthelred the Unready.” What better way to instill confidence in the people regarding their future monarch than to give him the nickname “the Unready,” right?
July 23rd, 2013 at 10:41 am
It’s a great name. Any Ash king will do for me.
July 31st, 2013 at 11:50 am
SInce I read your comments I will not say that “they are german”, nor that Great Bretain is more than only english, or anglo-saxon,
so Edgar why not.
Arthur would have be fine, though I am definitely in favour of Olivier ! 🙂