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Category: royal boy names

Victorian Names: A Royal Legacy

queen victoria_s family

For this royal week, Eleanor Nickerson starts her guest blog with name-loving Queen Victoria herself, then goes on to explore the name trends in the Britain of her era.

Queen Victoria not only gave her name to an entire era, she also ‘gave’ her name to generations of children who were named for her, and was arguably a huge name icon of the nineteenth century.

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:

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:

 

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.

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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:

AugustusAugustus 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.

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royal baby names

Nameberry guest blogger Andrea, whom many of you may know for her intelligent and thoughtful advice on our message boards, is both a newspaper reporter and a royal watcher.  Here, her rundown of the names of the littlest princes and princesses of Europe.

The British royal family is traditional enough that it’s fairly easy to make an educated guess about its naming habits. Other European royals are far more creative in their naming, sometimes reflecting the current styles in their countries or setting styles themselves. The Crown Prince and Princess of the Netherlands gave all three of their daughters “A” names: Princesses Catharina-Amalia (called Amalia), Alexia, and Ariane. (That’s them with their parents on the right.)

Belgian Crown Prince Prince Philippe, the Duke of Brabant, and his wife Princess Mathilde, reportedly have a subtler theme in the naming of their children and have included the element “el” in each name. The children are Princess Élisabeth, born in 2001, and her younger siblings Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel, and Princess Eléonore.

Young Princess Eléonore is one of several young European royals with variants of the name Eleanor. Spain has the Infanta Leonor, born in 2005, whose parents pored over the family tree to find the name, which honors a medieval queen. Royal watchers also tried to guess what name the new Spanish infanta would receive; none I saw got it right. The following year another royal baby was given the name in the Netherlands: the Countess Leonore, daughter of Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien. Will all the Leonors set off a naming trend in other countries? Well, according to at least one newspaper article, Leonor is currently among the five most common names given to baby girls in Portugal.

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