Category: names for William and Kate’s baby
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 William “Wills” 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.
by Eleanor Nickerson of British Baby Names
It’s July! Which means, the month of the Royal Baby’s arrival is here. Many assume that the Royal couple only have a very small pool of names to choose from and, while this is true, royal history shows us that William and Catherine actually have a lot of flexibility in the way they can use those names.
Let’s take the example of King George V and Queen Mary who named two consecutive kings: Edward VIII and George VI. Their eldest son was given the appropriately “kingly” first name of Edward, but was actually known as David to the family – his full name being “Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David”.
The second son was named “Albert Frederick Arthur George”, but called Bertie by his family and friends. When he became king, the name Albert had no precedent as a regnal name (and was deemed a bit too ‘Germanic’ in the aftermath of WWI) so it was easy enough to use one of his middle names instead.
Yesterday we came up with our suggestions for the name of the first baby daughter of Prince William and his bride. With the variety of girl name possibilities, it was relatively easy—almost an embarrassment of riches—but with the boys, there’s a far less fertile field, especially if we stick within our strict confines of names used in British royal history. (Thank goodness for all those middle names!)
Most of the kings’ and princes’ names were repeated over and over again–Edward (William’s uncle), Charles (Wills’ father), George (numerous ancestors), Albert, Arthur John, and the name William itself.
But of course, whatever name they choose, kings oftendo take a different name to rule by than their given first name. As seen in The King‘s Speech, William‘s great grandfather George VI had been Prince Albert (Bertie) before he was crowned, with George being his third middle name.
That said, we were able to unearth a few more unusual boy choices, all of which stay within the royal lines:
Augustus—Augustus was the middle name of George II, father of Amelia. An imposing Latin name of the type bolder parents on both sides of the Atlantic are now daring to reconsider, Augustus can easily be unbuttoned with the friendly nicknames Augie or Gus.
Christian—A middle name of Prince Albert, son of Edward VII, Christian is currently a Top 25 name in the US, with many parents choosing it over the long-running Christopher. Once considered too pious for most people’s tastes, its image has changed partly due to such actors as Christian Bale and Christian Slater and fashion gods Christian Dior and Christian Louboutin.