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.
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.
Kilala — A Japanese fantasy/romance manga princess whose story plays out against her Disney counterparts.
Sasami — Japanese anime character who is a princess of Jurai.
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.
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
Amelia — Greece
Arrietta — Greece
Irene — Spain
Leonor — Spain
Sofia – 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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on 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! 🙂
on 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?
Here’s hoping Leonor and Ingrid get some love.
on 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.
on April 28th, 2009 at 2:44 pm
Fixed! Sorry. Chalk it up to American (I mean, United Statesian) ignorance.
on 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
Maud Angelica (which is beyond gorgeous!)
on 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”.
on April 28th, 2009 at 10:37 pm
Love Leah Isadora.
Cassandra and Marina sound princess-esque to me
on 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. 🙂
on April 28th, 2009 at 11:21 pm
How could I have forgotten Buttercup, the name of The Princess Bride.
on 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 Said
on 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 […]
on 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
on 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.
on May 3rd, 2009 at 6:22 pm
These are great — thank you! I’m going to amend the list immediately.
on May 7th, 2009 at 4:47 pm
Analiza is a beautiful name i just adore it!… jk lol
on 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
on 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?
on May 15th, 2009 at 11:43 am
King Lear’s daughter in Shakespeare was Cordelia, so guess that makes her a princess!
on 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 Said
on 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?
on 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.
on August 14th, 2009 at 2:09 pm
i can just say this is increadible.
on 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). 😀
on 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.
on 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 Said
on December 24th, 2009 at 12:27 pm
Does it sound like a princess name?
Mia Bella Said
on December 24th, 2009 at 12:28 pm
Mia bella……do u like?
on 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.
on 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.
on April 1st, 2010 at 7:45 am
My favourite names which has the feel of princesses are:
on April 9th, 2010 at 6:51 am
Some of my favourite princess-esque names are
Alyss (Alice spelt differently)
and Persephone (per-sef-on-ee)
on October 18th, 2010 at 11:49 pm
i love these names a lot:
what do you think
princess fikile Said
on 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……
on 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 Said
on April 29th, 2011 at 12:20 am
[…] Princess Names: Princesses by Marriage (Hi, Kate!) […]
on 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.
on 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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