Princess Names

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!

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37 Responses to “Princess Names”

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Jill Says:

April 28th, 2009 at 2:22 am

Oooh! I loved this entry! I think the Princesses Catharina-Amalia… and Eloise Sophie… have great names!

They aren’t listed here, but I adore some of the British royals’ names, such as Princesses Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise, Beatrice Elizabeth Mary, and Eugenie Victoria. I love Charlotte Marie Pomeline (Monaco), too.

As for names not yet attached to real royal babies (at least none of whom I know), Delphine, Arabella, Araminta, Aurelia, Cordelia, Esme, Flora, Liliana, Ophelia, Odessa, and Viviana feel very princessy to me.

Thanks for this entry, and have a great day! 🙂

Elisabeth@YCCII Says:

April 28th, 2009 at 3:38 am

No embarrassment here. I can’t help but want any daughters of mine to have names fit for a _real_ princess (just in case). Countess Luann just doesn’t have the right ring to me…

It doesn’t look all bad, does it?
http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0goB3g45SKg6W/610x.jpg

Here’s hoping Leonor and Ingrid get some love.

Emz Says:

April 28th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

An interesting entry, but I’m a bit annoyed to see ‘England’ used as a synonym for ‘Great Britain’. I’m Scottish, not English; there are four countries in the UK, not one.

pam Says:

April 28th, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Fixed! Sorry. Chalk it up to American (I mean, United Statesian) ignorance.

Lola Says:

April 28th, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Oh, I love Princess names! The real ones, I mean. Queens & Princesses generally have the neatest names. I’m not embarassed about loving Princess names (or Queens), It sure beats secretly loving Mekaelyia don’t it? :P)
I tried to give my daughter a name like a princess, something strong, regal and just a little frilly. I like to think I succeeded. She sure thinks so! 🙂

My favorites up there are :
Ariane Wilhelmina Maxima
Emma Talullah
Irene
Laetitia Maria
Leonor
and
Maud Angelica (which is beyond gorgeous!)

susan Says:

April 28th, 2009 at 4:51 pm

I love Irene. She is the princess in a George MacDonald book. I think it’s called “The Princess and the Goblins”.

NJ Says:

April 28th, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Love Leah Isadora.

Cassandra and Marina sound princess-esque to me

k Says:

April 28th, 2009 at 11:08 pm

My cousin named her daughter Princess and I have to say, she wears her name very well. She’s a bright confident little girl! Though, of course, I wouldn’t recommend the name because Princess is the only Princess to me. 🙂

pam Says:

April 28th, 2009 at 11:21 pm

How could I have forgotten Buttercup, the name of The Princess Bride.

Gigi Says:

April 29th, 2009 at 3:22 am

What about Sasami’s sister? Aeka or Ayeka (either spelling works) I think transitions better in to english speaking countries than Sasami.

Toying with Maud again « Lola’s Onomastic Fits Says:

April 29th, 2009 at 11:02 am

[…] as a one syllable. So it appeals to me for that aspect as well.  Talking about Princess names at Nameberry yesterday and was reminded of the loverly Maud Angelica, Princess of Norway. Which is what […]

Laura Says:

April 30th, 2009 at 4:14 am

Its funny how the Netherlands Princess is called Anastasia a parraell to one of my children favourite Princess Anastasia (the cartoon of course). The real princess was called Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia

tam Says:

May 3rd, 2009 at 4:35 pm

• Just so you know: you listed Catharina-Amalia (who’s just called Amalia) and Ariane, but you forgot their middle sistier: Alexia. Catharina-Amalia Beatrix Carmen Victoria
Alexia Juliana Marcela Laurentien
Ariane Wilhelmina Máxima Ines
They are the children of our crown prince, Willem-Alexander and his wife Máxima. He’s gonna be king one day, and Amalia is gonna be our queen one day. Alexander also has a brother who has two girls with sweet names.
Emma Luana Ninette Sophie (she goes by the name Luana)
• Joanna Zaria Nicoline Milou (she goes by the name Zaria)
Although they aren’t princesses, they are countesses, but you mentioned Anastasia on the list too, and she doesn’t have an official title at all, so I guess that’s okay. 😉
Also Eloise Sophie Beatrix Laurence, has a little sister; her name is Leonore Marie Irene Enrica.
Anastasia “Anna” Margriet Josephine also has a little sister, her name is Felicia Juliana Bénedicte Barbara.
And there is also a sweet little girl named Magali Margriet Eleonoor, she’ll be a big sister in July.
– Isabella Juliana Lily’s name is Isabella Lily Juliana-
Lol, sorry for bothering y’all with this list. I just saw this entry of yours and I was looking for names of the royals yesterday. As many of you, I’m obsessed with names, and I know that the royals usually have 3-4 names and that they go way back in their family tree so I went to check if there were some nice ‘old-fashioned’ names in there family tree that I would like too. Haha.

pam Says:

May 3rd, 2009 at 6:22 pm

These are great — thank you! I’m going to amend the list immediately.

Anna Says:

May 7th, 2009 at 4:47 pm

Analiza is a beautiful name i just adore it!… jk lol

JoDee Says:

May 15th, 2009 at 9:27 am

Favs– Isabella Lily Juliana, Amelia, and Emma Luana Ninette Sophie. I also really like Ingrid. I knew a kind, wonderful woman with that name and isn’t a true noble someone who is benevolent?
Other Names that sound princess-esque to me : Francesca, Ariana and Graziella

Amanda Says:

May 15th, 2009 at 11:23 am

Neat list. But I would enjoy reading a list of historical princess names, especially since 100+ year old names are stylishly appealing to me. My hubby and I will name the baby Cordelia Ruth if it is a girl. Is/was there a Princess Cordelia anywhere?

pam Says:

May 15th, 2009 at 11:43 am

King Lear’s daughter in Shakespeare was Cordelia, so guess that makes her a princess!

pam Says:

May 15th, 2009 at 11:44 am

And a little googling just told me there was a Princess Cordelia on Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

Boston Girl Says:

May 15th, 2009 at 12:52 pm

I am a name nut and, even if the idea of royalty is “embarrassing” in this day and age, I get a kick out of it anyway. (I’m an amateur writer as well and have a huge story series going online that revolves around a fictional royal family, which is where my interest in royalty probably got started.) Most royal names seem very stuffy and stodgy to me, though the males less so than the females. I recall reading somewhere that people thought “Diana” wasn’t a proper name for a princess, but I say that’s just plain silly. No reason royalty can’t give their offspring modern, popular names if they want.

That said…I have to say I am just plain fed up to the gills with the name Sarah. I’ve never liked that name. I don’t know why, but I’ve always associated “Sarah” with a prim, overly proper nineteenth-century spinster schoolteacher with no sense of humor, a skinny face and body, a long pointy nose down which she glares at you, half-round glasses on a chain, gray hair severely subdued in a bun, and a generally sour disposition. Honestly, I don’t even know what turned me off the name so much. All I know is, I’ve disliked it just about ever since I can remember. It might mean “princess”, but it sure doesn’t conjure up that image for me!

I know this is going to be incredibly unusual, but I love unusual names. I was once in a Girl Scout troop with a girl whose surname was Susina. I thought from the start that it would be a fabulous variation on Susan (another of my perennial favorites), and I think it would make a neat princess name. If I’m ever lucky enough to have a daughter, her name will be Susina Skye. I have never seen “Susina” in any baby-name books, and I’ve looked for it in an awful lot of them! Would love to know the actual origins of this one. I think it may be Italian; I’ve heard of surnames Susi, Susino, etc. Any ideas?

stephanie-elizabeth Says:

June 17th, 2009 at 1:03 pm

One of my female friends is pregnant, and her three year old daughter wants to name her new sister Cinderella. My friend rolls her eyes when she says this, but I think she could substitute Ella and still make her daughter happy.

I love Sleeping Beauty, and Aurora has always been a personal favorite of mine. And call her Rory for short. 🙂 I have always liked Eleanor, too.

ankush Says:

August 14th, 2009 at 2:09 pm

i can just say this is increadible.

Chelsea Says:

September 25th, 2009 at 6:44 pm

1. Amalia= <3 my favorite name
2. Cordelia on Buffy was not a Princess, just a spoiled rich girl (who ended up not being so rich as time went on). 😀

Anya Says:

November 28th, 2009 at 7:22 pm

My name is a royal name- Anastasia. It’s a royal name, with the frills, but it’s not one of those too-hard-to-read names that sound made up. Additionally to Anastasia, I like Sofia, Cassandra and Jasmine.

Catherine Says:

December 5th, 2009 at 8:04 am

Cordelia (from Buffy) had a brief stint as a Princess (on the world of Pylea) but it was in the series “Angel”.

I named my daughter Cordelia after the Buffy Cordelia 🙂

Mia Bella Says:

December 24th, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Does it sound like a princess name?

Mia Bella Says:

December 24th, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Mia bella……do u like?

Khloe Says:

January 2nd, 2010 at 5:51 pm

I have always liked the name Aquamarine, for a girl. it would be even beter if she was a Piscean, just so she had water fr her element and neptune for her chosen planet, so her god would be Posieden, kind of the sea.

San Says:

March 3rd, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Ariel, Alba, Mariella, Adriana, Esme, Isadora, Elenora, Cassandra.

Ariel Alba and
Adriana Esme, are my fav! So Princess like.

MingMing Says:

April 1st, 2010 at 7:45 am

My favourite names which has the feel of princesses are:
Angelica
Arianne
Anastasia
Amelia
Julianna
Leah
Katarina

Liz Says:

April 9th, 2010 at 6:51 am

Some of my favourite princess-esque names are
Cassandra
Athene
Thea
Alyss (Alice spelt differently)
Phoebe
Scarlett
Morgana
and Persephone (per-sef-on-ee)

lovenames!! Says:

October 18th, 2010 at 11:49 pm

i love these names a lot:
austabella
Anastasia
Arabella and
Rosabella
what do you think

princess fikile Says:

December 16th, 2010 at 8:09 am

i luv amelia dats da best name ever and when i turn 18, this is gonna be my name: princess fikile amelia roselinah eiszabella and surnames renaldo morris… i wanna be a princess ………….i luv amelia from da princess diaries……

Sparkle Says:

February 7th, 2011 at 11:33 am

@ Boston Girl Susina means little plum in Italian. Susina Skye…I like it! 🙂

Princess Names: Princesses by Marriage (Hi, Kate!) – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Says:

April 29th, 2011 at 12:20 am

[…] Princess Names: Princesses by Marriage (Hi, Kate!) […]

MissusAytch Says:

February 7th, 2013 at 8:54 pm

I was thinking of suggesting Elizabeth, but then I realized that sounds more queenly than princessy. Same with Katherine, Victoria, and Beatrix, IMO.

Megalady Says:

July 3rd, 2013 at 6:46 pm

I am fond of Princess Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne—Amy for short.

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