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Category: british princesses

posted by: Elea View all posts by this author
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By Eleanor Nickerson of British Baby Names

Traditionally, members of British royalty have not only been given a whole string of middle names, most have also been given an affectionate nickname. Queen Victoria’s children, for example, answered to Vicky (Victoria), Bertie (Albert), Alee (Alice), Affie (Alfred), Lenchen (Helena), Loosy (Louise), Leo (Leopold) and Baby (Beatrice).

Previously, these names were kept within the family. But more recently, Charles and Diana broke the mold by formally announcing after their sons’ births that they were going to call WilliamWills” and that Henry was to be called “Harry”.

This then opens up a variety of options for William and Catherine. Let’s say they choose the name “Elizabeth Diana Catherine Charlotte” for a daughter.  They could use a nickname for the first name – Bess, Betsy, Lily, Eliza? – or announce that they will call her by one of her middle names, or even a nickname from the middle name – Lottie, say, or Kitty.

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Princess Names

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One of my embarrassing little obsessions is princess names.  The whole idea of royalty, in these modern times, is kind of embarrassing.  And then there’s the issue of encouraging your daughter to aspire to be a princess rather than, say, a doctor or an astronaut.  For more on this, check out Peggy Orenstein’s great piece from the New York Times, “What’s Wrong With Cinderella?” and her bestselling book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter.

The fact, in our experience, is that most little girls go through a phase of wanting to be princesses whether you encourage them to or not.  And there’s a lot of great name inspiration to be found in the world of royalty.

The most obvious place to start is with names that mean princess — for the most part limited to Sarah and her variations.  Sara, Sera, Sarai, Sadie, Soraya, and Zadie are all possibilities.  A British “glamour model” named her daughter Princess, though we don’t recommend this.

Another source for princess names is fictional: fairy tales, legends, and the art of Walt Disney.  Some ideas:

Ariel — The Little Mermaid, princess of an undersea world, has already inspired many namesakes.

Aurora — One of the “real” names of Sleeping Beauty.

Fiona — The princess from Shrek, a great role model though a little girl might feel ambivalent about carrying her name.

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