Tag Archives: reading

indexing George, the new Prince of Cambridge

Indexing royal names can be a bit tricky. Let’s look at what might be indexed from some text published on the BBC website at a time when we we don’t even know the name of the new person. I’ve highlighted in bold some of the terms we could index, but how should we index the baby now we know he’s George?

“Congratulatory messages are flooding in from around the world to mark the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge‘s son, the third in line to the throne. Prince William said the couple “could not be happier” following the birth of the boy, who weighed 8lb 6oz and is yet to be named, at 16:24 BST on Monday. Thousands of well-wishers descended on Buckingham Palace after the news broke. The royal birth will be marked later with gun salutes and the ringing of Westminster Abbey’s bells. The duke was at the private Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital, west London, for the birth – and stayed with Catherine and the baby overnight. BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said it was unclear how long the baby would be kept in hospital.

Following the announcement, a statement from Kensington Palace said: “The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news.” The Prince of Wales, in a separate statement, said he and the Duchess of Cornwall were “overjoyed at the arrival of my first grandchild”. “It is an incredibly special moment for William and Catherine and we are so thrilled for them on the birth of their baby boy,” he added.”

Some of these people have lots of different ways of referring to them, so we could perhaps have index entries like this list. Some people can be indexed by their first names only, others by their titles, and for readers there can be cross-references should they not be sure where to start. And there’s a couple of entries for the other things that are mentioned in the text.

bells, Westminster Abbey
Buckingham Palace

Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of
Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall see Cornwall, Camilla, Duchess of
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge see Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of
Charles, Prince of Wales
Cornwall, Camilla, Duchess of

Edinburgh, Duke of see Philip, Prince
Elizabeth II, Queen

George, Prince of Cambridge
gun salutes

Henry (Harry), Prince of Wales
Hunt, Peter

Kensington Palace

Philip, Prince, Duke of Edinburgh

St Mary’s Hospital, London

Wales, Prince of see Charles, Prince; Henry (Harry), Prince
Westminster Abbey
William, Prince see Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of


I am on the way to becoming an Accredited Indexer with the Society of Indexers and when I get to use my MSocInd letters, I’ll launch this blog as my website.

Watch this space for more in the coming weeks.

This book was written by the daddy of all indexers, Henry Wheatley and published in 1879. Indexing has a long history before that, but is not constrained to dusty shelves in academic libraries. It has a vibrant future helping readers find information in printed books, in e-books and online using the words and terms that readers want to find. Henry Wheatley could not have imagined the ‘information revolution’ we’ve been going through, but he might have hoped his ideas and approach would persist as an on-going legacy to his hard work.