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Princess Names

April 28, 2009 Pamela Redmond

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.

Giselle — The heroine played by Amy Adams in Enchanted.

Jasmine — The name of the princess in Aladdin gave rise to a generation of real-life girls named Jasmine (and Jazmyn, Yasmina, et al)

Kilala — A Japanese fantasy/romance manga princess whose story plays out against her Disney counterparts.

Odette — The Swan Princess.

Sasami — Japanese anime character who is a princess of Jurai.

SignyPrincess heroine of an Icelandic fairy tale who lives inside a giant oak tree.

Tiana — Disney’s first black princess.

Vasilissa — Meaning “queen” in Greek, Vasilissa is the heroine of a Russian fairy tale who starts out as a poor girl and ends up marrying the king.

ZeldaPrincess in the popular Legend of Zelda video game.

Better inspiration might be found via the real little princesses of the world, with their string of four or five names for some poor future spouse to stumble over at the royal wedding.   A selection of those born over the past decade or so:

Aiko — Japan

Alexandra Charlotte Ulrike Maryam Virginia — Hanover

Alexia Juliana Marcela Laurentien — Netherlands

Amelia — Greece

Ana María — Greece

AnastasiaAnnaMargriet Josephine – Netherlands

Ariane Wilhelmina Maxima Ines — Netherlands

Arrietta — Greece

CatharinaAmalia Beatrix Carmen Victoria – Netherlands

Elisabeth Thérèse Marie Hélène of Belgium

Eleonore Fabiola Victoria Anne Marie – Belgium

Eloise Sophie Beatrix Laurence — Netherlands

Emma Luana Ninette Sophie (Luana) — Netherlands

Emma Talullah – Norway

Felicia Juliana Benedicte Barbara — Netherlands

Ingrid Alexandra – Norway

Ingrid Alexandra Irma Astrid Benedikte — Denmark

Irene — Spain

Isabella Henrietta Ingrid Margrethe — Denmark

Isabella Lily Juliana – Netherlands

Joanna Zaria Nicoline Milou (Zaria) — Netherlands

Laetitia Maria – Belgium

Laila KhadijaMorocco

Leah Isadora — Norway

Leonor — Spain

Leonore Marie Irene Enrica — Netherlands

Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary— Great Britain

Louise Sophie Mary — Belgium

Magali Margriet Eleonoor — Netherlands

Maria Olympia — Greece

Maud Angelica — Norway

Sofia – Spain

Victoria Federica – Spain

What’s your favorite?  What are some princess-worthy names and combinations that haven’t yet been attached to real royal babies?  Let us know!

About the author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry. The coauthor of ten bestselling baby name books, Redmond is an internationally-recognized name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show,, CNN, and the BBC. Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its new sequel, Older.

View all of Pamela Redmond's articles

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