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What goes into naming a Royal Baby?

The Royal Baby will grow up to reign over the United Kingdom one day. It's important to choose a dynastic name.

The Royal Baby will grow up to reign over the United Kingdom one day. It’s important to choose a dynastic name.

I have been on a few royalty related sites and message boards as people are guessing what the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will name their child. From my research it seems that George is the front-runner for the name of a boy and Elizabeth is the popular guess for the name of a girl. These names are very traditional. If these are the names selected then in time this new royal scion of the House of Windsor would be either King George VII (or even George VIII if Prince Charles chooses George as his regnal name) or Queen Elizabeth III depending on the gender of the child.

Will the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge select a traditional name? I have a hunch, and it is only a hunch, that the royal couple will select a name that they like and it that will also be proper and within the bonds of tradition. Yet I think it will be a name that might not be among the kings and queens of Britain from the past. The Duke of Cambridge has demonstrated an independent nature most of his life. He did not even want a royal title until Her Majesty the Queen pointed out to him that without a royal title his wife would be known as Princess William of Wales.

Even The Queen herself was a bit of a non-traditionalist when it came to selecting names. Charles and Anne, names more associated with the House of Stuart than the House of Hanover/Coburg/Windsor, was traditional and refreshingly new at the same time since those names had not been used in the royal family for quite some time. Even naming Prince Andrew after the Duke of Edinburgh’s father, Prince Andreas of Greece and Denmark, walked that fine line between tradition and something new.

Another break with tradition that I feel will continue is not naming a child after a living member of the royal family. During the Victorian era, for example, there were many princesses named after Queen Victoria all living at the same time. The future Edward VII was originally named Albert Edward and his eldest son, The Duke of Clarence, was named Albert Victor. Edward VII’s brothers, Alfred and Arthur, each had their eldest sons named after them. In our media saturated culture it may be deemed confusing for there to be two or more royal princes and princesses with the same first name. That doesn’t mean this child won’t be named William, Charles, Henry or Philip if it is a boy; or Elizabeth, Catherine or Anne if it is a girl, it just makes it less likely.

Myself, I have many guesses for the name of the child. I would like to see the name George used or either Victoria or Elizabeth for a girl. I am also open to names from the past that have not been used in a while, such as, Richard, Robert, Alexander, Alexandra, Charlotte and Mary.

In a short while all our questions will be answered and I do want to close with saying that what we all can agree on is that the child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge be healthy and happy.

  • Guest

    1. Can you provide any source for what you say about Prince William not willing to be created a Duke and The Queen’s role in that?

    2. You wrote, “I am also open to names from the past that have not
    been used in a while, such as, Richard, Robert, Alexander, Alexandra,
    Charlotte and Mary.” Well, I’m sure you’ve heard about such FULL members of the Royal Family like Prince RICHARD, Duke of Gloucester and Princess ALEXANDRA, The Hon. Lady Ogilvy, who are The Queen’s first cousins, grandchildren of George V and very hard, full-time working royals performing official duties on behalf of the Queen for decades now. So, how these two names are “from the past” and how they fit your theory of William and Kate choosing a name currently not used in the family, breaking with the tradition which so overused during the time of Victoria?

  • So, there are two ways to approach names. There is what I THINK they will name the baby & there is what I’d LIKE to see them name the baby. I actually think the latter is sort of irrelevant. I’m much more interested in focusing on predictions; names that I think are likely & have a good chance of being chosen.

    That being said, I WILL share my thoughts on a variety of names that are wildcards, names that have been discussed by others, as well as some names I’d like to see them choose, if I ruled the world!

    And can I just say: I am almost as excited about finding out what they will name their child as I was about seeing Catherine’s wedding dress for the first time! I am. Seriously! Maybe even MORE excited.

    For some reason, even before Catherine got pregnant, I had a feeling that she would have a girl. I think it just sort fits into the whole modernization of the monarchy story. The fact that the rules for succession are on the road to being changed to allow a first born girl to be the heir sort of makes poetic justice for a girl to be born. My hope for a girl is rooted purely in my love of the historical connotations & really nothing else. I will be equally thrilled with a boy. Healthy is what matters most…but I would be extra thrilled with a girl!

    The other thing we need to factor is how many names they will choose. They could just do a first & middle or up to four names. I have NO idea how many they will choose but for this endeavor I will settle on three.

    I think they will choose a name that is very royal, British & yet modern at the same time. I don’t think they will choose names that are TOO connected to current members of the royal family…with a few exceptions. I think they will want this child to have her own identity as much as possible. I think they will be mindful of the fact that this name carries with it a lot of weight…as in, one day a crown will rest on it, so they will be mindful of that.

    Here’s my list of names to ponder. In alpha order. At the END I will give you my FINAL PREDICTIONS & my FINAL “I wish” choice:

    ALEXANDRA or ALEXANDRIA: I think this has a very good chance to be a first name. Very royal, regal & modern. All positive historical connotations & I am considering both versions as one in the same.

    ANNE/MARY/SARAH/JANE: All very royal but too connected to current royals/Diana’s sisters. May factor in as middle names.

    CAROLINE: This could be an option. Very lovely name, quite royal & could be seen as a nod to Mama Middleton. I also like the idea of a name that starts with the letter “C” since there are so many royals with names that start with it (Catherine, Charles, Carole & Camilla). A fav of mine personally. Very ladylike & dignified. And it makes me think of Caroline Kennedy, who I think is an extremely amazing woman…and sort of the closest thing we have to an American Princess in many ways.

    CHARLOTTE: Originally this was my #1 pick (both as a prediction AND my personal fav) for a first name…until Charles Spencer chose it for his new baby girl. Very royal. Very modern. Lovely name. Also, Pippa’s middle name. I don’t think it factors in now though.

    DIANA: I do NOT think this will factor into the name at all. MAYBE if they have a girl down the road, but not for a first born. I think it is too emotionally charged. I go back & forth on this though. Part of me thinks they MIGHT make it a middle name but I’m just not sure. My gut says no, though.

    ELIZABETH: I don’t think it will be a first name. Almost 100% certain it will be a middle name.

    FRANCES: I’ve seen a lot of people suggest this. I don’t think it will factor in at all.

    VICTORIA: Very likely for a middle name. I don’t think it will be a first name though, again for the reasons I mentioned above: they’ll want the child to have her OWN identity as much as possible.

    WILDCARDS. These are names that I don’t think are likely BUT they COULD factor in. They are also names that, in some cases, I would LOVE to see them choose but doubt they will. I include them because I think that they are names that have a REMOTE chance though.

    ANNABELLE/A: For some reason this name keeps popping into my head. The downside is that it is the name of a nightclub that Diana used to go to. Lol. But I think it’s a very pretty name. Not sure that it has any historic royal connections but it feels very British to me.

    EMMA/SOPHIA/ISABELLA: All very lovely names. Very modern & popular. Not sure if they will factor in but I think it is not TOO far-fetched.

    GEORGINA: This one fascinates me. It was the name of one of Diana’s most infamous ancestors. She was the Duchess of Devonshire & like Diana was born at Althrop. She was the “Princess Diana” of her time. VERY interesting woman. If you are not familiar with her, there is a great movie about her called “The Duchess” staring Keira Knightley. The movie was based on a book that was actually written by a college friend of mine. Small world!

    MARGARET or MARGUERITE: Perhaps as a middle name. I’m not sure. Nice tribute to Princess Margaret but not sure if they would go that route. Marguerite was the Queen Mum’s middle name so that might be a nice way to honor her.

    ROSE: As a middle name. It was Princess Margaret’s middle name too. It was also my grandmother’s name (though I never met her) so I would LOVE to see it factor in. I think it is a very sweet old-fashioned name. For some reason I feel a pull towards it. English Rose…I like that.

    All of that being said, they may surprise us all…as they have so many times…by doing things THEIR way & not worrying about what people & even history thinks they should. We could end up with Queen Olive (after Catherine’s great-grandmother) for all we know! lol!

    FINAL PREDICTION of what I THINK they will name the baby:
    ALEXANDRA (Alexandria could be subbed & I still claim victory!) ELIZABETH VICTORIA

    This is actually a name I would be happy to see them chose. I love all three names & think they pay tremendous respect to royal history while also providing pretty, modern, sweet names for a little girl…and future Queen!

    And now you probably understand why I decided to post this sooner rather than later: I was getting miffed that all over the internet websites & bloggers were predicting Alexandra as the top pick. I wanted to be news breaking in my post! Lol I PROMISE you that this has been the name I committed to even BEFORE they got pregnant. But now that it’s all over the internet I don’t very original…or special! lol

    Part of me really WANTS to add Diana as a middle name but I just don’t think it will happen. If I were to choose 4 names I would include it…I think…my heart wants to but my head says NO.

    I could CHOOSE the name (keeping in mind that I am choosing a name that I think COULD happen & not just any old name that I like…if that were the case I’d choose Ella Grace…my fav name for a girl! Queen Lulu would be fun too! Ha!) I would choose: GEORGIANA ELIZABETH ROSE.

    I really love the name Georgiana; it is so melodic. I like it also because it is not a very common name & I think it would be a very clever way to honor Diana. I am partial to Rose for some reason…I think it sounds really pretty as a middle name & of course Elizabeth is, I think a given, so I have to include it, even in my fantasy name.

    So that’s what I think about girl names. What do you think of my picks? I’ll create a poll for you to vote as well!

    Next time we’ll talk about boys…by that I mean we’ll talk about names for boys…but we can talk about boys too if you want! My father’s first/middle name was William Albert so I’m feeling quite royal right now. Lol xo Lulu

    • Bill Foley

      Very well stated Lulu! I like Alexandra. I had not thought of the name Georgiana and I do like that name! Lady Georgiana Spencer married the Duke of Devonshire on her seventeenth birthday: 7 June 1774. She was a member of the same Spence family that later produced Diana, Princess of Wales. So I think Georgiana would be avery appropriate name!

      • Yes, her story is so interesting. A friend of mine wrote the biography that the movie about her life, “The Duchess” was based on. She was a such an interesting woman, often called the Princess Diana of her time. 😉 xo Lulu

  • Victoria!

    My name pic.

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