British Columbia

What will baby #PrinceGeorge mean for B.C. city?

It's official — the royal baby has been dubbed George Alexander Louis, or Prince George, and the news has created quite a stir in Prince George, B.C.

The northern community will have to learn how to share the royal name

B.C.'s Prince George connection

10 years ago
Duration 1:55
The naming of the royal baby has put the city into the spotlight

It's official — the royal baby has been dubbed George Alexander Louis, or Prince George of Cambridge, and the news has created quite a stir in the northern Canadian City of Prince George, B.C.

While some locals have expressed concerns about the city being buried on social media and the internet, others are tweeting their approval.

As one person wrote, "This is the most attention #PrinceGeorge has had since... well... ever?"

Sherry Powney at the city's tourism agency welcomes the attention this will bring to the city.

"We just heard! That's awesome. Woo-hoo! I just think it's great. It'll put us on the map. That's awesome."       

Somewhat ironically, the city recently disabled both its Facebook and twitter accounts, saying it was reviewing its social media strategy.

Nevertheless, Prince George's Mayor Shari Green also believes the royal baby attention will provide a boost to the city.

"I've been very excited for a number of days. The odds on favourite was Prince George... Having a shared name with a royal is very exciting," said Green.

"It's a chance for us. We'll certainly invite the royals, both the Duke, the Duchess and Prince George of Cambridge to join us in 2015, that's when Prince George this city will be celebrating its 100th birthday," she said.

"We do have some royal history. Queen Elizabeth was here, then it would have been 25 years ago, to open our University of Northern British Columbia."

What's in a name

The city was originally established as the fur trading post of Fort George in 1807 by Simon Fraser, who named it in honour of King George III.

Then in 1915 the City of Prince George was incorporated at the townsite established for the new Grand Trunk Pacific railway station.

The old Hudson's Bay fort at Fort George, B.C., as photographed in 1880. (Photographer unknown/Wikipedia)

But it remains unclear which member of the royal family the new city was named after; several explanations and theories have been put forward over the years.

The company that named the city —Grand Trunk Pacific Railway — said it was so-called in honour of King George V, who was crowned in 1911.

According to local historians, another likely explanation is the city was named after King George V's youngest son and uncle of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince George.

Prince George, who was born in 1902, is not to be confused with his older brother King George VI, who was actually known as Prince Albert before his coronation in 1937.

In contrast, Prince George seems to have lived a colourful life, with many rumoured affairs with both men and women, as well as an alleged drug habit, before marrying Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark in 1934.

He died in 1942, in a plane crash in Scotland while serving in the RAF during WWII. He had three children.

The town's mascot Mr. PG was built in 1960 as a symbol of the forest industry. When first unveiled the eight-metre tall statue could speak and bow. He now stands silently at the entrance to town, welcoming visitors to the commercial hub of northern B.C.