Why did Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank name their son Ernest?


Name Inspiration for Princess Eugenie’s Children

At the beginning of the month, Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank announced on Instagram the birth of their second child, Ernest George Ronnie Brooksbank, and in her post Eugenie explained the tributes to the family behind his name: “He is named after his great-grandfather George, his grandfather George and my grandfather Ronald,” she wrote. It was easy to guess at least two of the names that had inspired the choice. Jack’s father, George Brooksbank, died last year and Ronnie Ferguson, father of Sarah Ferguson and long-time polo manager for the Royal Family, died in 2003. Furthermore, obviously, Ernest’s great-grandfather was King George V, who reigned from 1910 to 1936.

Ernest: A Fabulous Name

Commentators were a bit perplexed: where did the name Ernest come into all this? Last week, Sarah clarified the matter in her new podcast, Tea Talks with the Duchess & Sarah. In the course of a banter with her co-host, she explained that Eugenie had been inspired by the full name of George V, George Frederick Ernest Albert. “She made a great choice. He is called Ernest George Ronnie,” she said to the co-host Sarah Thomson. “Ernest because the second name of George III [great-grandfather] was Ernest, and also because it is a fabulous name. Then George as Jack’s father and Ronald, Ronnie, as my father, which was really touching. When Jack and Eugenie told me, I was moved. To give him my father’s name was very kind, I couldn’t hold back the tears.”

Family Inspiration

It is not the first time that the couple has chosen to pay homage to the family in this way. When Eugenie announced the birth of August Philip Hawke Brooksbank, the first child she had with her husband Jack Brooksbank, in February 2021, it was obvious to whom she had been inspired for the second name. Her grandfather, Prince Philip, was ill and would die in just two months, at the age of 99. As for the names August and Hawke, the actress was rather cryptic, but she provided some clues that showed her interest in family roots: “He is named after his great-grandfather and both his great-grandparents,” she wrote in an Instagram story. She was referring to Queen Victoria’s consort, Prince Albert, whose full name was Franz August Karl Albert Emanuel. Hawke comes from an ancestor of Jack, the Reverend Edward Hawke Brooksbank, who lived in Healaugh, a small village in Yorkshire. Although both August and Ernest are technically family names, they do not often appear in the context of Windsor history, so it makes sense that the choice fell on Ernest also because it is a “fabulous” name, as Sarah said.


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