Alice, George & Charlotte: At Home in Hollywood or Buckingham Palace

July 21, 2013 Abby Sandel

By Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain

We love to talk about celebrities who choose far-out names for their children. But how about those who take the royal route, giving their kids names that are more Buckingham Palace than Hollywood play date?

I thought there might be oodles of starbabies with monarch-worthy monikers. But if we’ve learned anything from the Great Kate Wait, it’s that the list of possible names for a new prince or princess is pretty short.

Plenty of high profile parents play it safe, sticking with popular picks like Ava and Zoe, or traditional names like Daniel and Joseph. But despite their popularity and long history of use, those aren’t names fit for a future king or queen

Many of the names rumored to be on the royal shortlist are rare in Tinsel Town. Alexandra, Caroline, Victoria, Diana, and Anne are seldom heard, and the same is true for the boys’ list. Then again, actor Sean Astin has three regally named girls, and Eva Herzigova’s three sons all wear royal appellations, too.

When we do meet the future heir to the throne, his or her name is sure to set trends. Will it be one of the names on this list?

Read on for celebrities who went the royal route when naming their babies.


CharlotteSarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze, Jr. gave this stylish classic to their daughter in 2009. There have been several princess Charlottes. Perhaps the most notable is the daughter of George IV, born in 1796. Had she outlived her father, Princess Charlotte would have been queen. Instead, her cousin Alexandrina Victoria eventually inherited. The Prinzes’ second child answers to the more rough and tumble Rocky.

Mary – The once-dominant Mary has faded in recent years. Actor James Marsden brought back the evergreen name for his daughter, born in 2005. She has the masculine middle James, after dad. Comedian Louis C.K. is father to Mary Lou, a name that feels more retro than royal. Two queens of England have answered to Mary, as well as too many princesses to count.

Beatrice – She’s a longshot for Will and Kate’s firstborn, but Beatrice has history as a princess name. There’s Will’s cousin, Princess Beatrice of York. Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter was Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore. In celebrity circles, this is the name Paul McCartney and Heather Mills chose for their daughter in 2003. Bryce Dallas Howard has a Beatrice Jean, born in 2012.

HelenaKelly Rutherford played New York socialite Lily van der Woodsen on Gossip Girl, but she gave her daughter a name at home in a palace. Victoria and Albert’s fifth child was Helena Augusta Victoria. Kelly is also mom to a son, who answers to the mythological, high-fashion Hermes.

AliceElea of British Baby Names has said that she loves the idea of Princess Alice, and I agree. Besides the literary Alice, there’s Queen Victoria’s daughter, Alice Maud Mary. Tina Fey welcomed a daughter named Alice Zenobia in 2005.

SophiaJude Law and Benjamin Bratt both have daughters with this lovely, sophisticated name. King George III had a daughter called Sophia Matilda. However, Will’s aunt – the Countess of Wessex – is Sophie. It seems unlikely that she’ll be the given name for this royal arrival.

Adelaide – Doesn’t Princess Adelaide sound perfect? She fits right in with all of those Addie names, but has a commanding presence, too. There’s never been a British princess born Adelaide, but Princess Mary Adelaide is great-grandmother to the current queen, Elizabeth II. On the celebrity front, Rachel Griffiths is mom to Banjo, Clementine, and yes, Adelaide.

Matilda – Another name that feels perfectly on trend in 2013, Matilda was a twelfth century English princess. She was daughter of Henry I and briefly the heir to the throne. However, it was her son, Henry II, who ultimately inherited. Matilda Ledger, daughter of the late Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams, keeps this name in the spotlight.

IsabellaNicole Kidman and Tom Cruise are Hollywood royalty, and they set trends when they named their daughter Isabella in 1992. One of Matt Damon’s four daughters answers to Isabella. Sean Astin also has an Isabella, along with two other regally named girls: Alexandra and Elizabeth. It’s not a common name for British royals, though she’s favored by many other monarchies. There was a medieval Princess Isabella of England who went on to marry the Holy Roman Emperor.


Henry – He’s hot in Hollywood, with A-listers like Heidi Klum and Julia Roberts embracing Henry. There have been eight kings to wear the name, and Prince Harry is actually Henry Charles Albert David. If the baby is a boy, could he be the future Henry IX? Minnie Driver, Rachel Weisz, Colin Farrell, and Emily Deschanel all chose the name, too, making Henry at home in London or Los Angeles.

JamesMatthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker surprised us with their firstborn’s name, James Wilkie. Classic and restrained, James has lots of use as a royal appellation, though Elea points out that a future King James would face confusion about how many kings of the same name had come before him. It makes it an unlikely choice for this royal baby, but takes nothing away from his charm.

George – The current favorite should Will and Kate welcome a son, George has been worn by plenty of kings and princes. He’s also one of the classic names chosen by supermodel Eva Herzigova. Of all the names on this list, he could get the biggest bump if the new prince is christened George.

PhilipEva is also mom to Philip. Philip doesn’t have a long history of use amongst British royals, but he’s very much a family name for William. The Duke of Edinburgh is Prince Philip, and Prince Charles’ full name is Charles Philip Arthur George.

EdwardEva’s third son also shares a monarch’s moniker. With eight King Edwards in the past, this could be the royal couple’s choice. Of course, Will’s uncle is Prince Edward, so perhaps they’ll give it a miss to avoid confusion. Besides the supermodel, Fox newcaster Megyn Fox and reality stars Bill and Giuliana Rancic also named their sons Edward, but both boys answer to their middle names – Yates and Duke.

William – There’s no such thing as a junior in royal families, but William could possibly pass down his own name to a future heir. MaryLouise Parker, Brad Paisley, Annika Sorenstam have all chosen William for their sons.

CharlesHenry is big in Hollywood, and so is Charles. Russell Crowe, Cynthia Nixon, and Chris O’Donnell all have sons named Charles. Factor in Charlie, and there are even more boys answering to the name, including Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer’s new son, as well as boys born to Jon Cryer and Tiger Woods. There have been of plenty of kings and princes to wear the name, including Will’s dad, the current Prince of Wales.

ArthurKing Arthur would be a lot to live up to, but several royals have Arthur as an extra middle. He’s a stylish choice in 2013. It was so exciting when Selma Blair welcomed her son, Arthur Saint, in 2011.

Frederick – Perfectly regal, and rather underused in recent years, could Frederick be the couple’s choice for a boy? Maybe – there was a Prince of Wales by the name, and Frederick and Freddie are fashionable in the UK. In the US, The Big Bang Theory’s Mayim Balik gave the name to her son in 2008.

Are there any names on the rumored royal shortlist that you might consider for your child? Does it help when someone like Tina Fey or Julia Roberts chooses one of these classics, or do you worry that the name might become too popular?

About the author


Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at

View all of Abby's articles


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