Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge are naming not simply any royal baby but the future king or queen – the accession rules were recently changed and so the first child of either gender will ascend the throne – of England. That means the royal baby name will more closely adhere to protocol, which dictates a name previously used by British royalty as well as one with positive connotations: no unlucky choices (sorry, John) or inharmonious history (bye bye, Diana, at least as a first name).
One thing is for certain: the royal name will influence trends in baby names for decades to come, just as William and Henry have become the fashionable classic name choices for boys over the years since their births in the 1980s.
Our top 12 name choices, then, for the royal baby-to-be, with runners-up that don’t make first place predicted to appear somewhere in the usual four-name lineup. Other likely middle names not among our picks here include Diana and Elizabeth, Charles and Michael.
Click here for the full list of the new royal baby names.
Albert or Alfred – Two similar names with positive royal histories, Albert was the beloved consort of Queen Victoria while Alfred was Alfred the Great, the 9th century Anglo-Saxon king who defended England against the Danish invasion. While Alfred has the edge on royal stature, it gets demerits as a trendy favorite, thanks to the character Alfie on the popular show The Eastenders.
Alice — The name of Queen Victoria’s second daughter, the princess who shocked her mother by breastfeeding her baby. Alice is a sweet and pretty classic that is currently considered ultra-stylish in Britain, where it’s in the Top 50.
Arthur – Arthur is one of our two boy favorites for the royal child, with a legendary history as well as contemporary fashion status. In addition to leading the Knights of the Round Table, there are many notable Arthurs in literature (Miller, Conan Doyle), science (Clarke), and sports (Ashe). Queen Victoria had a son named Arthur.
Caroline – With the Duchess’s mother named Carole and Prince William’s father Charles, the royal Caroline would be a logical choice. Although the most recent Queen Caroline was the object of scandal, the strong family connections may transcend its history.
Charlotte — Like Caroline, Charlotte is a feminization of Charles, a perfect choice for a future queen. Charlotte was the cultivated wife of George III, who also had a daughter named Charlotte. This elegant royal name is appealing to a wide range of parents today because it sounds feminine yet grownup, sophisticated yet lush. With Victoria, our top choice for a royal princess.
Eleanor – The powerful Eleanor of Aquitaine was the wife of Britain’s King Henry II, with whom she had eight children including a daughter named Eleanor. Not without controversy, she is nevertheless a strong female historical figure whose image is appropriate for modern times.
Frederick—Since Freddie is a currently popular nickname name in the UK, a little Prince Freddie would go down very well. The name Frederick has been dotted throughout British royal history—it was given to the son of George III—and so sounds properly regal in its full form.
George – The frontrunner for a royal boy name, George was the name of Queen Elizabeth’s beloved grandfather, the king who led Britain through World War I. The meaning of George is the humble “farmer.”
Matilda or Maud – An outlier choice, Matilda has an ancient royal history and also is a nod toward Australia. The related Maud, another long-shot possibility, was the name of the youngest daughter of King Edward VII and granddaughter of Queen Victoria, who went on to become Queen of Norway.
Philip – Philip is the name of the baby’s great-grandfather, husband of the reigning queen. While Philip, which means “lover of horses,” is a dark horse candidate for first name, it’s a likely choice for one of the baby’s three middle names.
Victoria – One of the most likely choices for a girl, Victoria is the name of one of the most famous queens in British history, who ruled through most of the 19th century. While embodying history and strength, the name continues to feel contemporary, ala friend of the royals Victoria Beckham. But don’t look for her to be nicknamed Tori.
<h2>Click here for the full list of the new royal baby names.</h2>