Naming a future king of England is something that doesn't come up every day so of course there may be some confusion about it.

There is no hurry, actually, and the prince and princess of Wales are correct to wait a bit for public input, as you might say, and suggestions for names that might not occur to them right off.

If the prince had only been born in Mississippi, there would be little trouble, because there babies are named on one of two principles: Either the names (they are usually double names) hark to the past of the family or else are chosen for their sheer beauty; for example, Jimmy Earl, Aurethia Lou, etc.

In that part of the South either Uther Arthur (harking far to the past) or Joshua Ben (for sheer beauty) but, alas, the new prince is not a southerner at all.

There is Orm. A boy named Orm will probably have a fair fortune and many adventures. Canute and Sven (we are, of course, now on Danish names) are, frankly, a little obvious. You want a name that breathes the aura but does not hammer it to death.

This is a royal business, you understand, and they are different from us. I feel that babies should be named for their grandfathers. I was. Considering the tensions likely to arise between immediately adjoining generations, it is well to let a kid have a breathing space, back to his grandfathers whom he will probably dislike less.

Philip George is the obvious name for the new prince, but that is far too sensible for the parents to adopt it. Louis (which has been suggested, in honor of the late Mountbatten of Burma) is impossible. Frog name. Burma would be better than Louis, but has the disadvantage of the kid's being called Shave all his life.

More kings named Henry have been crowned in England than kings of any other name. Henry Ninth is not only a splendid name, but Prince Henry of Wales (and I calculate the new prince is going to bear that title for virtually all of his life) is truly superior. There have been almost as many Edwards crowned as Henrys, but since the last one went after the Baltimore person I doubt it would be found acceptable.

Nothing wrong with Richard. Some of our best friends are Richard. But it lacks zip and immediacy, don't you think. Peter Paul kills two birds with one stone and should please the archbishop of Canterbury and the average loon in Liverpool equally since it suggests not only the standard saints but is discreetly swingy as well.

You must agree that the biological inheritance of a human is far less important (though one reasonably hopes for the standard number of ears, etc.) than the world he identifies with and the tribe he is member of. Nobody doubts everything is perfectly regular in the royal household from Arthur on, yet there were those centuries in which records may have been lost or obscured, and such are the mists of the aeons that I would not personally guarantee the new prince has any biological inheritence from, say, Uther.

But if the family do not care for Philip George, then names suggesting centuries long gone (yet still relevant to our day) should be chosen.

Few races are more mixed up biologically than the "Anglo-Saxons," and the term has come to mean "unSlavic" mainly, or not Russian. Thus the Anglo-Saxon world is seen to differ from the Soviet Empire, though of course not so much as formerly, but the point is that Anglo-Saxon has far less legitimacy as a race of humans than bassets has among dogs.

Still, the Anglo-Saxons, so-called, do feel somewhat submerged (in their psychology) by what they dimly suspect (for the race is not celebrated for sparkling clarity) is a rising tide of mafiosos on all sides. Hence it were well for the prince, in his very name, to reaffirm the value of that legacy from the Angles and the Saxons. Their language, much changed, and not necessarily for the best, is at least the common legacy of all, though the French, ever perverse, refuse to speak it.

Egbert, first of the Anglo-Saxon kings, is marred by the presence of the "bert," but what is wrong with Ethelwulf (839 A.D.)? Wolf is one of the most attractive words in the language, I have always thought, and wolves are singular in their faithfulness, bravery and so on.

But then, it's a sticky business. Adam. That's fairly safe