Royal Baby Names

Royal Children

Victoria and Albert with some of their children.  Left to right Prince Alfred (yes, in a dress!), Prince Albert (later Edward VII), Victoria, Albert, Princesses Alice, Helena and Victoria
Victoria and Albert with some of their children. Left to right Prince Alfred (yes, in a dress!), Prince Albert (later Edward VII), Victoria, Albert, Princesses Alice, Helena and Victoria | Source

Why Choose a Baby Name with Royal Connections?

If you're expecting a baby and are having trouble settling on a name, you could consider going with a "royal" baby name. There are certain regal names that recur in the Royal houses of Europe that suggest tradition, respectability and grandeur. These names are instantly recognisable, so your child won't suffer the embarrassment of teachers forever stumbling over his name at registration time or get bored of continually being asked to spell it out.


What Name for the New Royal Baby?

As soon as news emerged that William and Kate were expecting a baby, odds were laid on names. William Hill are giving odds of:

10/1 on Elizabeth, Victoria and George

14/1 on Anne, Charles, Diana, Frances, John, Philip, Louis and Richard

1000/1 on Chardonnay and Waynetta


William and Kate's Baby Name

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have gone for George Alexander Louis. George gives a nod to the Queen's beloved father, George VI, whilst Louis is a Royal family favourite through the Queen's late cousin (and favourite with Prince Charles) Lord Louis Mountbatten. Alexander has a Scottish twist - perhaps a reference the country where the couple met.

Prince William

Prince William in 2009
Prince William in 2009 | Source

European Royal Names for Boys

Popular names in the royal houses of Europe include:

Alexander (Russia)

Alfonso (Spain)

Carlos (Spain)

Christian (Sweden/Norway/Denmark)

Ferdinand (Spain)

Frederick (Germany/Norway/Denmark/Sweden)

Gustav (Sweden)

Harald (Norway)

Ivan (Russia)

Olav (Norway

Louis (France)

Mikhail/Michael (Russia)

Nicholas (Russia)

Peter (Russia)

Philip (France/Spain)

Nine Royal Names for Boys

Nine European sovereigns in 1910 (Edward VII's funeral):  Haakon, Ferdinand, Manuel, Wilhelm, George, Albert, Alfonso, another George and a Frederick.
Nine European sovereigns in 1910 (Edward VII's funeral): Haakon, Ferdinand, Manuel, Wilhelm, George, Albert, Alfonso, another George and a Frederick. | Source

Llywelyn Fawr, Llywelyn the Great

A Victorian statue of Llewelyn the Great, Prince of Gwynedd.
A Victorian statue of Llewelyn the Great, Prince of Gwynedd. | Source

British Royal Names for Boys

There have been kings and princes in England, Scotland and Wales for thousands of years. Fashions change, but a surprising number of the names favoured by royalty don't. Some fall dormant for a while, but resurface a few centuries later.

Albert - Queen Victoria married her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Their eldest son was also named Albert (Bertie) though he reigned as Edward VII . He in turn named his eldest boy Albert, though the notorious Duke of Clarence was never to be king, dying before both his father and grandmother. George VI (the present Queen's father) was also christened Albert, being born on the anniversary of his great-grandfather's death.

Alfred - Alfred the Great was the King of Wessex from 871-899. Despite being a legendary kind, he remains the only British king to bear the name. Queen Victoria named her second son Alfred; he became the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Arthur - King Arthur may have been only a legend, but England did nearly have a King Arthur. Henry VII's eldest son was Arthur, who was married to a young Catherine of Aragon. Arthur died when he was only 15 and his younger brother Henry took over both his position as Prince of Wales and later as Catherine's husband.

Queen Victoria revived the name, naming one of her sons Arthur. More recently, Arthur has been added to the strings of names given to royal princes; the current Prince of Wales, for example, is Charles Philip Arthur George. Prince Charles' first cousin, Sarah Chatto (Princess Margaret's daughter) named her son Arthur.

Charles - Two monarchs and at least one bonny prince have borne the name Charles. Charles I famously lost his throne and his head, whilst his son Charles II is known as the Merry Monarch. The Young Pretender, the grandson of Charles II's brother James II, is commonly known as Bonnie Prince Charlie. The present heir to the throne is Prince Charles. Should be become king he may reign as Charles III, although there have been suggestions that he would take the name George.

David - David I, King of the Scots, made many changes to the way Scotland was governed in the mid-12th century and around a hundred years later David II further strengthened the kingdom. In recent times, Edward VIII was always known as David to his family.

Edward - There have been eight kings of England (later the United Kingdom) to have the name Edward, ranging from the ruthless first Edward, through the unlucky Edward V (one of the unfortunate "Princes in the Tower), to the flighty Edward VIII. The Queen's youngest son is Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.

George - The House of Hanover loved the name George. For more than a hundred years, Great Britain had a King George on the throne - there were four of them in a row. In the early twentieth century George V succeeded Edward VII and, after Edward VIII ran off with Mrs Simpson, George VI came to the throne.

Henry - Henry, along with Edward, has proved to the most popular of names for British kings. They have ranged from the William the Conqueror's scholarly (but spectacularly lecherous) son Henry I to the larger than life Henry VIII.

James - The Scottish had kings named James stretching back to the mid fourteenth century. On the death of Elizabeth I, her cousin King James VI of Scotland became England's James I. James II was England's last Roman Catholic monarch and was deposed by his son-in-law.

Llywelyn - a royal Welsh name, held by several princes in Wales, including Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, who was overthrown by Edward I.

Richard - Three Richards have been King of England. The first was the Lionheart, the second was perhaps slightly mad and the third was demonised as the hump-back wicked uncle who killed the Princes in the Tower. The name is still used occasionally in the Royal family; Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, is the Queen's youngest cousin.

William - there have been four kings named William. The first arrived in England in 1066 and is known as the Conqueror. One of his sons also bore the name, William II, also known as William Rufus. You have to skip forward around five and a half centuries for the next William; he married James II's daughter and took his father-in-law's crown. Finally, William IV broke up the tedium of the Hanoverian Georges, succeeding his brother George IV.

There could be another King William this century; Prince William (Arthur Philip Louis) is second in line to the throne. He is named for Prince William of Gloucester, the Queen's cousin, who was killed in an aircraft accident in 1972. Prince Charles was particularly fond of Prince William, so named his first son for him.

Princess Alice of Battenberg

Princess Alice of Battenberg, later known as Princess Andrew of Greece, was the mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Princess Alice of Battenberg, later known as Princess Andrew of Greece, was the mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. | Source

European Royal Names for Girls

Anastasia (Russia)

Anna (Russia etc)

Blanche (France)

Cristina/Christina (Denmark/Germany/Netherlands/Spain etc)

Elena (Spain)

Isabella (Denmark/Spain etc)

Marie/Maria (Russia/Denmark/France/Spain etc)

Marina (Greece/Denmark/UK etc)

Olga (Russia/Greece)

Sophia/Sofia (Denmark/Prussia/Spain etc)

Tatiana (Russia)

Therese (France)


Olga, Elizabeth and Marina

Princesses Olga, Elizabeth and Marina of Greece and Denmark.  Princess Marina married the Duke of Kent.
Princesses Olga, Elizabeth and Marina of Greece and Denmark. Princess Marina married the Duke of Kent. | Source

Zara

Princess Anne broke with tradition and named her daughter Zara.  Zara has no royal title; she is Mrs Zara Tindall.
Princess Anne broke with tradition and named her daughter Zara. Zara has no royal title; she is Mrs Zara Tindall. | Source

British Royal Names for Girls

Perhaps even more than the male names, female royal names go in cycles. There were times when there were a confusing number of Eleanors and Isabellas or Marys and Margarets in the royal household. Indeed, the producers of the TV show The Tudors made some changes to the names of the Tudor ladies lest the audience became confused.

Currently, the Royal family seem fond of the names used in Queen Victoria's reign.

Alexandra - Edward VII married the beautiful Danish princess Alexandra (Alix) in 1863. Her name has been popular in the Royal family ever since. Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy, is the Queen's first cousin.

Alice - Britain has never had a queen named Alice, but there have been a great number of princesses and royal duchesses named Alice. Queen Victoria named her third daughter Alice. Prince Philip's mother, herself a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, was named Alice too.

Anne - there have been a number of queen consorts named Anne, plus one queen regnant. Henry VIII married two Annes: Anne Boleyn and Anne of Cleves. Anne of Bohemia was the popular consort of the Richard II, interceding on behalf of people in the Peasant's Revolt.

Princess Anne is the Queen's eldest daughter.

Beatrice - Henry III and Eleanor of Provence had a daughter named Beatrice who married the Duke of Brittany. The next Princess Beatrice was Queen Victoria's youngest daughter, whom the Queen called Baby for most of her life. Presently in the Royal family, Princess Beatrice of York is one of the Queen's granddaughters.

Catherine/Katherine - Catherine reached a zenith of popularity during the Tudor dynasty, Henry VIII marrying three of them. Prince William recently married Catherine Middleton, who became Duchess of Cambridge on her marriage.

Eleanor - Eleanor was particularly popular as a royal name in the Middle Ages. Eleanor of Aquitaine was perhaps the most fearsome and accomplished queen consort, married firstly to the King of France and then to Henry II. She was mother to Richard the Lionheart and King John.

Elizabeth - An enduring royal name. Elizabeth I is one of England's most celebrated monarchs and the name has been used right through to the present Queen.

Eugenie - The daughter of Queen Victoria's beloved "Baby" Beatrice, was named Victoria Eugenie. She became queen consort of Spain and was the grandmother of the present King of Spain. Princess Eugenie of York is one of Queen Elizabeth II's granddaughters.

Helen/Helena - Princess Helena was Victoria's third daughter, a patron of the arts and a founder member of the Red Cross. Lady Helen Taylor is a minor member of the Royal family, a great-granddaughter of George V.

Louise - Another of Victoria's daughters was Louise. Her brother Edward VII also named his eldest daughter Louise and it is the name of Prince Edward's daugther, Lady Louise Windsor.

Matilda - Hugely popular for a century or so due to Queen Matilda, the wife of William the Conqueror.

Margaret - Popular in both England and Wales, there have been numerous queen consorts and princesses named Margaret. The Queen's sister was named Margaret Rose.

Mary - Like Margaret, Mary has proved popular with the Royal family on both sides of the border. Mary, Queen of Scots, Bloody Mary and Mary II were all queens in their own right and there have been a number of queen consorts and princesses who have borne the name.

Victoria - Queen Victoria (actually christened Alexandrina Victoria) popularised the name Victoria in Britain. She was named after her mother, a German princess who married into the British Royal family. The Queen named one of her own daughters Victoria and the name was carried on through the family.


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Comments 22 comments

peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

Frankly speaking, if you have a royal name, you do have the characteristic of the royal attitude and behavior, I have friends who are named Henry from birth and they do have that character!


Judi Bee profile image

Judi Bee 3 years ago from UK Author

Hi peachpurple - not sure if that's a good or a bad thing!

Thanks very much for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it.


tattuwurn 3 years ago

Princess Andrew? It's the first time I've heard of that.

Here, some kind of take fun of "royalty" names. While I was working for a public statistics office then, I encountered the name "Albert The Great" (I'm not sure if there's such a figure named Albert the Great though) on a birth certificate -- no kidding. There are also some names like "Empress" (and I thought it was only for cats) and "Queen Elizabeth". LOL

Thanks for sharing this informative hub. Voted up and interesting. :)


Judi Bee profile image

Judi Bee 3 years ago from UK Author

Hi tattuwurn - "Princess Andrew", like "Princess Michael of Kent" is not actually the name of the person, but their formal title - like when a woman is called "Mrs John Doe". I worked in a government office many years ago too, and it's incredible what people call their children!

Thanks very much for your comments, much appreciated.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

I think William will always be my favorite. :)


Judi Bee profile image

Judi Bee 3 years ago from UK Author

Hi Bill - I'm partial to Isabella and quite keen on some of the Scandinavian names too.

Thanks for taking the time to comment, always appreciated.


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 3 years ago from Iowa

Great hub! My sister-in-law told me last night that if Will and Kate have a girl, she's betting they name her Frances, Diana's middle name. Interesting theory, although not my favorite name. I like Victoria or George.


Judi Bee profile image

Judi Bee 3 years ago from UK Author

Hi Deborah - Frances was also the name of Diana's mother, so William's grandmother. She was a controversial figure (banned from driving for drink-driving) and there were persistent rumours of a difficult relationship between Diana and her mother - whether that was true, who knows. I've always liked Victoria too, and Elizabeth.

Thanks very much for your kind comments, great to hear from you.


shiningirisheyes profile image

shiningirisheyes 3 years ago from Upstate, New York

Very interesting read as one of these names quite possibly will be chosen when Will's and Kate's baby comes to town. Great read.


Judi Bee profile image

Judi Bee 3 years ago from UK Author

Hi shiningirisheyes - I guess it's pretty certain one of these will be chosen, but wouldn't it be great if they shocked us!

Thanks for your kind comments, always great to hear from you.


ThePracticalMommy profile image

ThePracticalMommy 3 years ago from United States

Excellent hub! I'm glad the name I chose for my new baby boy is not on the list. That was my first worry when I heard Kate was pregnant! ;)

If I was going to have a girl this time, she was going to be Elizabeth. I always thought that was a beautiful name.

Voted up and sharing! I know a few pregnant women who would like to see this.


Judi Bee profile image

Judi Bee 3 years ago from UK Author

Hi ThePracticalMommy - at least the royals are pretty predictable when it comes to names - no huge surprises, ever! I like Elizabeth too, I am a big Elizabeth I fan.

Thanks very much for your comments, hope your expectant friends enjoy this too!


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

This was fascinating. With all of the baby fever in the UK right now this will come in handy for all prospective parents...I was watching a broadcast about people placing bets on royal names and one that was suggested was Chardonnay. While it's a great name for those that love it, I just don't see it making the list of royal names. I've always loved Anastasia.


Judi Bee profile image

Judi Bee 3 years ago from UK Author

Hi Glimmer Twin Fan - Chardonnay is at 1000/1, so I don't think we'll see a Princess Chardonnay :) Anastasia is pretty and I like Alexandra and Marina too. It will be interesting to find out what they choose.

Thanks very much for your comments, always appreciated.


Pinkchic18 profile image

Pinkchic18 3 years ago from Minnesota

Very interesting hub! I do like the name Zara, I bet the royal baby will have Diana incorporated in the name somehow for sure.


Judi Bee profile image

Judi Bee 3 years ago from UK Author

Hi Pinkchic18 - Zara was certainly a departure for a mainstream royal name and it is a pretty name. You could well be right that a girl will have Diana somewhere in her name - they usually give them a string of four, so it could feature.

Thanks for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 3 years ago from Rome, Italy

How fabulous! My father was William and is still may favorite 'male' name. His middle name was James. Beautiful names. I quite like Alfonso today! I've got an Anne in my name to be proud of. You have a super idea here with just the most wonderful names that any parent, teacher, friend and person/baby can be truly proud of. What a happy recourse.


Judi Bee profile image

Judi Bee 3 years ago from UK Author

Hi GoodLady - Alfonso (or Alphonse) is a good one - you wouldn't run into many of those in the UK! My father and all his first cousins have distinctly non-regal names - I think that their Victorian parents wanted to ring the changes and have less formal names. I still like the traditional names though.

Thanks for commenting, I appreciate it as always.


safiq ali patel profile image

safiq ali patel 3 years ago from United States Of America

smile. nice hub topic.


Judi Bee profile image

Judi Bee 3 years ago from UK Author

Hi safiq ali patel - glad this hub made you smile. Thanks very much for taking the time to comment, much appreciated.


Kathrine Latte 21 months ago

I'm one of a set of triplets , my family originally comes from Denmark I have two brothers , Edvard and Christian my decided to go with a English name for me , but I didn't stick to any tradition with my 3 kids their names are Maddison , Elle and Lucas


Judi Bee profile image

Judi Bee 21 months ago from UK Author

I have a friend who is a triplet - she and her sisters all have very traditional Catholic names. I like your parents' choice, and yours too!

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