Category: British princess names
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their second child in April, and rumour has it that they are going to have a princess, rather than a prince (rumour also said that Prince George was going to be a girl, so don’t get too attached to the notion).
However, suppose Prince George did have a sister rather than a brother, what might her name be? I looked through the names of all those born in the House of Windsor to a monarch, or to an heir to the throne, and found that the names chosen for them tended to follow fairly clear patterns.
Royal babies have been on everyone’s mind lately, and we recently saw two babies born in the royal family within less than a month of each other.
Not only have been people been doing web searches for Prince George and Maud Windsor, they’ve been searching for royal baby names in general, uncommon royal names, and royal names that nobody else is using. So here is a list of queens and princesses connected to English royal houses by either birth or marriage, whose names aren’t popular or common.
Adeliza of Louvain married Henry I, and became queen of England. She didn’t produce any royal heirs; however, after Henry’s death she re-married, and had seven children and is an ancestor of many of the noble English families. William the Conqueror had a daughter called Adeliza, named after his sister – the name wasn’t uncommon amongst Norman–French aristocracy. Adeliza is a medieval English form of Adelais, a short form of the original old Germanic form of Adelaide. It’s pronounced ad-uh-LEE-za. Although it doesn’t have any connection to the name Elizabeth, it looks like a combination of Adele and Eliza, and might feel like a way to honour relatives who have variants of these names.
It is said that Victoria was very particular about the names she chose, selecting from family members and friends, and even tried to dictate what her grandchildren were named. Her nine children were named:
- Victoria Adelaide Mary
- Albert Edward
- Alice Mary Maud
- Alfred Ernest Albert
- Helena Augusta Victoria
- Louise Caroline Alberta
- Arthur William Patrick
- Leopold George Duncan
- Beatrice Mary Victoria
It is clear to see from the vast number of children named Victoria and Albert (or Victor and Alberta/Albertine for the opposite gender) that the Royal couple were huge namesakes for British Victorians, as were the queen’s children and grandchildren. Many a Victorian child had at least one name that was also used by a member of the royal family –in many cases, the whole name – as can be seen in the records by the great number of children named Albert Victor (after Prince Albert Victor) and Helena Victoria (after Princess Helena Victoria).
Some lovely Royal names include:
- Alix Viktoria Helena Luise
- Beatrice Leopoldine Victoria “Bea”
- Christian Victor Albert Ludwig Ernst Anton
- Franziska Josepha Louise Augusta Marie Christina Helena
- Leopold Charles Edward George Albert
- Marie Viktoria Feodore Leopoldine “May”
- Margaret Victoria Charlotte Augusta Norah “Daisy”
The Birth Index clearly shows that if a name was used for a Royal baby, that name would most likely rocket in popularity. For example, Melita is recorded for 104 children from 1837-1876. In November 1876 Prince Alfred named his daughter Victoria Melita and in 1877 alone 41 children were given the name –with 276 more Melitas recorded over the following twenty years, peaking again in 1894 when the Princess married.
Okay, this might be a little premature, since the royal couple isn’t even married yet, let alone pregnant. But at Nameberry, it’s never too early to start offering our ideas.
There are certain limits, however, for even though Princess Anne named her daughter Zara, and Queen Elizabeth’s first great-grandchild was recently christened the Americanized Savannah, it’s pretty doubtful that Prince William and Princess-to-be Kate Middleton will go that far afield for the name of their first son or daughter. More than likely, they’ll reach back into royal history—but because British rulers typically use three or four middle names, they could slip in something less conventional for third or fourth choice. Not surprisingly, there’s more wiggle room for girls than boys.
Putting aside the most obvious options—such as Queen Mum and Grandmum name Elizabeth (also the middle name of Catherine Middleton herself) and Victoria and Mary and Anne, the royal couple would be staying within the prescribed lines if they considered any of the following names from British royal history:
Adelaide. The capital city of South Australia was named for the beloved 19th century British “Good QueenAdelaide,” the wife of William IV, and could be an appropriate choice for a 21st century “Good Princess Adelaide.”
Alexandrina. This unusual member of the ‘Alex” family of names was actually the real first name of QueenVictoria, and would make an interesting and unusual pick, even though five syllables is a bit much, especially when followed by several other appellations