What Will Be the Next Royal Baby Name? It’s Complicated

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What Will Be the Next Royal Baby Name? It’s Complicated.

From the moment Kate Middleton’s pregnancy was announced in September, betting agencies across Britain started taking bets on the name of her third child. Betting on the name of most people’s unborn child seems futile—who knows if they’ll name it after their mom, or, like, a city?—but for royals, it’s not that crazy. Because they follow one trend above all: heritage.

Pupils wave goodbye to William and Kate as they leave Hartvig Nissen School Photo (C) GETTY
Pupils wave goodbye to William and Kate as they leave Hartvig Nissen School Photo (C) GETTY

This may seem like an obvious statement. Yes, a family that’s the physical embodiment of tradition picks traditional names. That’s why Victoria and Henry, names of past British monarchs, top the betting lists, whereas Donald and Jazmin have 200:1 odds. “Sometimes royal names skip generations, sometimes they take a diagonal line of succession, and sometimes they are reworked to be more British or more contemporary, but generally, nonetheless, most names are derived from the stable of past royal names,” says Christian Turner, who, as a global director of naming at Siegel+Gale, is an expert in naming trends and history.

Will and Kate arrive at Holmenkollen ski jump to watch junior ski jumpers from Norway's national Photo (C) REUTERS
Will and Kate arrive at Holmenkollen ski jump to watch junior ski jumpers from Norway’s national Photo (C) REUTERS

But it’s not as simple as flipping through the history books and picking the first one that has a nice ring to it. Or the three, four, or five nicest-sounding names, since a royal name always has multiple parts: William Arthur Philip Louis, or, say, Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David (thankfully, the modern royals have lately been limiting it to three).

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Photo (C) PA
Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Photo (C) PA

Each name, and its placement, is carefully considered. The first name, especially for an heir to the throne “must portray Britishness, heritage, tradition, and gravitas,” says Turner. “The second and third names should similarly show weight and heritage, but this can be less so—for example, a middle name can be taken from regal names of other cultures, or could be a nod to a further-flung relative, such as the uncle of the non-royal parent (as long as said uncle wasn’t called, say, Moon Unit).”

Take Queen Elizabeth’s full name: Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. Elizabeth is perhaps one of the most regal names in history: an ode to the great English queen, Elizabeth I. Alexandra, however, is more of an interpretation: It’s an anglicized adaptation of Queen Victoria’s birth name, Alexandrina. Mary is a polite nod to her paternal grandmother, certainly a beloved figure, but not one with huge historical gravitas.

While it’s important to use a famous name, it’s equally as important to avoid an infamous one. “It’s unlikely the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would name a son John or Richard, [as] there is enough negative history associated with those kings that they’d be well advised to steer clear,” Turner says. (King John of Runnymede fame has been called the “most evil” monarch in British history.)

Duchess of Cambridge outside the Hartvig Nissen School where hit Norwegian tv show Skam is filmed Photo (C) GETTY
Duchess of Cambridge outside the Hartvig Nissen School where hit Norwegian tv show Skam is filmed Photo (C) GETTY

Sometimes even beloved figures are avoided too. There’s talk that Princess Charlotte, whose full name is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, would have never had Diana as a first name. “Many believe that had Diana been the princess’s first name, it might have been a millstone around the royal’s neck,” royal correspondent Kate Nicholl wrote in Vanity Fair. There would be too much pressure, too much to live up to—a lot to ask of a child already constantly in the public eye.

Another factor to consider? How many living members of the royal family already have the name. Simply put, it’s confusing. How many Prince Charleses can one family have? Some, for example, think James is a popular contender for the new royal baby—but others point out that William already has a cousin James, Viscount Severn.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet well-wishers outside of Hartvig Nissen School Photo (C) GETTY
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet well-wishers outside of Hartvig Nissen School Photo (C) GETTY

Since he or she will be fifth in line to the throne, Kate Middleton and Prince William won’t need to treat their new child’s name with as much seriousness as George. But those hoping for a Kardashian-inspired city, a trendy “Emma,” or even a simple “Johnny” will probably be out of luck.

Source: vogue com

Tags: Prince William, Kate Middleton, Royal Baby