It was one of the most used baby names of the 20th century but fell from favour as a new millennium dawned. However, interest in the Platinum Jubilee has led to claims that a whole new generation of Elizabeths are about to make their dedbuts.
New research from a leading parenting website indicates that 2022 could see a rise in the number of parents choosing the name, or one of its many variants, for their little girls. Babycentre UK has Platinum Jubilee inspired names as its top trend for the year ahead.
Elizabeth is one of its main picks for names to watch in 2022. Also set to make a splash are some of its diminutive versions including Betty and Eliza.
The name, Elizabeth, was one of the most popular of all in the first half of the 20th century and was a regular in top ten surveys. It had started to fall out of favour but in 2002, the year of the Golden Jubilee, it rose three places in the official data compiled by the Office for National Statistics to become the 30th most popular names in the UK that year. It saw another surge in popularity in 2012, the year of the Diamond Jubilee, indicating that parents could well have been inspired by the royal celebrations that took place at the time their babies were born.
In 2020, the latest year that ONS figures are available for, Elizabeth was the 56th most popular girls’ name in the UK.
Jubilees have been given credit for increasing the popularity of names on more than one occasion. Most famously, there was a surge of baby girls named Diamond in 1897 and the following years after the huge success of celebrations for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.
There might be a while to wait before we see official evidence of an upsurge as ONS figures usually take several months to compile. If they are released in 2024, as expected, then they will tie in with another historic moment lined up for Elizabeth II. In that year, The Queen’s reign will become the longest ever in recorded history, a milestone that could see another new age of Elizabeths.