These Are the Top Contenders for the Next British Royal Baby’s Name
After much murmuring and supposition over the last few months, it is now official that the third royal Cambridge baby is on the way. There are many potential royal baby names that Baby #3 could have, but a more important question to ask is: What do we know about the Duke and Duchess’s established naming style?
1. All six of the names they have used for their children have royal precedence. George and Charlotte, in particular, have a distinctly Georgian feel.
2. Both George and Charlotte were popular English names at the time of their births. George was #12 in England in 2012 and Charlotte was #23 in 2014, so odds are that the Cambridges will go for another “current” name. Mary is adorable and very royal, but an outlier at #249.
3. Some of the names they have used subtly honor family members. In George’s case, he shares a middle name (Louis) with his father. Charlotte shares her mother’s and maternal grandmother’s middle name (Elizabeth) — all three are “C. Elizabeth” — Charlotte is aunt Pippa’s middle name, and Diana (Charlotte’s other middle name), of course, speaks for itself.
4. Repeating names of extended family members is clearly not an issue. William has maternal first cousins named George, Alexander, and Louis and Charlotte Diana. That said, they have avoided names currently in use among the more immediate royal family (i.e., the Queen’s children and grandchildren), so Anne, Andrew, Edward, Beatrice, Eugenie, Louise, and James won’t likely be first-name choices.
Based on all this information, I’ve compiled a list of baby names which I think best fit the criteria outlined above. There is a wider pool for girls than boys, as most of the official royal male names are all currently “in use” by the immediate royal circle. The most likely candidates fitting their style are below.
1. Alice: This is the bookies’ favorite already, and it’s a great bet. Alice is a thoroughly royal name, and the princesses who have borne it have been highly admirable. Queen Victoria’s daughter championed women’s causes and nursing and even managed field hospitals herself during the Austro-Prussian. Her granddaughter, Princess Alice of Battenberg, also devoted herself to charity, organized shelters for orphans and worked in soup kitchens, and sheltered Jewish refugees during WWII. This Princess Alice is Prince Philip’s mother, and therefore William’s great-grandmother. Alice is currently at #24, sitting right next to Charlotte in the ranks.
most likely GIRLS’ names
2. Amelia/Emily: Amelia and Emily are currently at #1 and #3 in England, so they certainly qualify as currently popular. Both names also get both the “royal” and “Georgian” stamp from Princess Amelia (1711-1786), daughter of George II, and Princess Amelia (1783-1810), daughter of George III, who were both called Emily familiarly. Both Amelia and Emily sit really nicely stylistically alongside George and Charlotte.
3. Sophia: Another name which ticks the boxes of being popular, royal and Georgian. Britain nearly had our own “Queen Sophia I.” Sadly, the heir to the throne, Electress Sophia of Hanover, died weeks before she would have become queen in 1714, making way for her son George I. Princesses with the first or middle name Sophia followed soon after her. Sophia currently ranks at #12.
4. Eleanor: Eleanor was the royal name extraordinaire back in the Middle Ages, borne by three Queens of England and numerous royal princesses. It also retains a Georgian flavor, as the name was popularly used in the 18th century — Princess Amelia (1711-1786) was fully Amelia Sophia Eleanor. The name is #52 in England at the moment and is showing early signs of being on the rise again.
5. Matilda: Like Eleanor, Matilda was a medieval royal powerhouse. We even (briefly) had our very own ruling Queen Matilda for a while. While it hasn’t been used as a royal first name since the Middle Ages, it has been used as a royal middle name — and a Georgian royal middle name at that — such as for Princess Caroline Matilda (1751-1775) and Princess Sophia Matilda (1777-1848). Matilda is currently #27 in England, very close to Charlotte.
6. Isabella: With three medieval Queens of England and several princesses with the name, Isabella has perfect royal credentials. The down side is that it has not been used as a royal name since the 15th century, but at #8, it ticks the box of being popular, royal and traditional.
1. Arthur: Arthur is the bookies’ favorite for a boy already and, as with Alice, it’s not hard to see why. If we discount the names currently used by the royal family (Charles, Henry, Edward, William, James, etc.), then Arthur is the highest ranking of all the royal names left over, at #35 in England and rising. Not only is it famous for the legendary King Arthur, but we almost had an actual “King Arthur” when Henry VII gave it to his eldest son. Sadly, we were deprived when he died aged 15. Queen Victoria later reintroduced the name to British royalty when she gave it to one of her sons.