I think it’s safe to say Wallis, Camilla, and Chicago are off the list of potential names for the impending royal baby, due any day now. Also scratch anything trendy. And all names belonging to current, living members of the royal family can safely be dismissed, according to Christian Turner, global naming director at Siegel+Gale, about the expectations for a royal baby name. (What I want to know is, how can I get a job as a “global naming director”?)
Turner, in an interview with Hello magazine, tossed out a few contenders, including Alice (the bookie’s top pick, and mine too), and Amelia, which belonged to the daughter of King George 11, a monarch who died in 1760. Amelia IS pretty and substantial, but, as he points out, is #2 on the British baby name list. That might make it too popular–a shame.
For boys, he picks Arthur (the bookie’s #1, and mine), Frederick and Leopold. I’m with him all the way on Frederick–Prince Freddie? Charming!—-but wildly disagree on Leopold. Now, it’s exuberant and creative as a name, but one cannot overlook King Leopold’s genocidal tendencies and his brutal exploitation of the Congo Free State. One cannot! (You see, this is fresh on my mind because I Google all of these people while I am watching “Victoria” on PBS!)
Being a staunch royal fan AND a baby name nut (and author of two baby name books, A is for Adam and A is for Atticus), I’d love to expand upon some of Turner’s suggestions and add a few of my own.
For fun! I’ve just spent a pleasant half hour browsing William’s family tree, back to the House of Wessex in the Middle Ages. Here I found some doozies, such as Grunhilda and Sweyn Forkbeard, a couple, I believe, and my personal favorite, Ethelred the Unready (960-1014). Poor Ethelred! Why was she unready, I wonder? Oh wait! Ethelred was a MAN. My mistake.
Confession: The girls’ names are more fun. For one thing, there are more interesting choices from which to pick. so let’s start there:
2. Alexandra: I’ve always liked this Scandinavian name, and I like it for a modern Princess, too. It has elegance, backbone, and some appealing nickname options. (Queen Alexandra was Queen Victoria’s Danish daughter in law, queen consort to King Edward of Edwardian fame. Queen Elizabeth’s middle name is Alexandra, after her great-grandmother.)
3. Mary: This once ubiquitous name now sounds fresh and sweet, and of course boasts deep spiritual and historical underpinnings. (Queen Mary was Queen Elizabeth’s grandmother. Check out her face below! I think she looks quite a bit like her famous granddaughter.)
4. Maud: Why not Maud? She’s royal (Princess Maud was the great aunt of Queen Elizabeth, sister to her grandfather, King George V. She married Haakon VII of Norway and became a Norwegian queen), spunky and invigorating. A Princess Maudie would shake things up! Plus, Princess Kate is a fan of Anne of Green Gables. We know this.
5. Victoria: I absolutely swooned over the Victoria miniseries on PBS–just fell right over! And I fell in love with the strong, fierce, tender and compassionate Queen Victoria, this little one’s GGG-grandmother (I think).
Wildcard: Matilda of Flanders, 1031-1083, King William the 1st’s wife. PS: I love what the smarties at Nameberry say about Matilda, and all of the possible royal baby names.
1. Arthur: Again, I’m with the bookmakers all the way. Not sure why they are leaning so heavily on Arthur, but I love it. This tiny nugget won’t be king, most likely, but his name does evoke knights of the roundtable and dragon slaying pursuits. Like Alice, Arthur pulls off a double image of established and historical and warm and cozy. Prince Arthur was Queen Victoria’s seventh child.
2. Albert: Oh, how I ADORE Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s dreamy consort. He was one of the royal family’s most stalwart husbands and loving fathers, and that counts for more than all the kingly success in the world. Prince George’s namesake, George VI, was one of the good guys, too.
3. Frederick: Loveable? Check. Stately and commanding? Check, check! Prince Frederick was a grandchild of King George II.
4. Philip: From 14 Kingly and Queenly Names Fit for The Crown: “Okay, so yes, as portrayed on “The Crown,” he’s a bit of a cad…But he is Queen Elizabeth’s dearest heart, the love of her life. It was touching to see a large framed photograph of Prince Philip in the background of the Queen’s recent Christmas Day address to her people. If you can get away from pouty PP in “The Crown,” Philip belonged to a disciple of Jesus, and means “lover of horses.”
5. Louis: Endearing and appealing Louis would be a fresh pick, honoring his father’s middle name (William Arthur Philip Louis) and his grandfather Prince Charles’ beloved uncle, Lord Mountbatten.
Wildcard: Sweyn Forkbeard (Actually, I ran out of names.)
What would YOU like to see this royal bundle of sweetness called? Thoughts? Joys? Concerns? Concerns about Ethelred the Unready?
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