Category: British names for girls
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:
- Victoria Adelaide Mary
- Albert Edward
- Alice Mary Maud
- Alfred Ernest Albert
- Helena Augusta Victoria
- Louise Caroline Alberta
- Arthur William Patrick
- Leopold George Duncan
- Beatrice Mary Victoria
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:
- Alix Viktoria Helena Luise
- Beatrice Leopoldine Victoria “Bea”
- Christian Victor Albert Ludwig Ernst Anton
- Franziska Josepha Louise Augusta Marie Christina Helena
- Leopold Charles Edward George Albert
- Marie Viktoria Feodore Leopoldine “May”
- Margaret Victoria Charlotte Augusta Norah “Daisy”
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.
This was one of those delicious mornings when I allowed myself to dip into the recent British baby names in the London Telegraph birth announcements. As usual, they didn’t disappoint (can you tell that my speech has suddenly acquired a British cadence?) and I managed to pick up on some actual trends.
The first is that, now that Americans have started following the British lead and using two middle names, the Brits are upping the ante by using three. Four first names total, ala Charlie Gaspar Geoffrey Langton: that’s one major new trend.
Every few months, about as often as I allow myself to relish a hot caramel sundae and with about the same amount of delicious anticipation, I dip into the London Telegraph birth announcements to see what the upper-crusty British baby namers are up to.
And as with that sundae, the results rarely disappoint. There are always plenty of eccentric three-name combinations, lots of charming sibsets, and a collection of names not often heard in my neighborhood of New Jersey.
One trend asserting itself in this collection: R names, with a raft of children (far beyond those mentioned here) called Rory, Rufus, Rupert, Rex, and Rowley, and on the girls’ side, Ruby, Rose, Rosemary, Rosalind (and Rosalyn) and Romilly. R is a letter that’s seemed dowdy for quite some time — blame all those Baby Boom Roberts and Richards — and is due for a resurgence.
The best of the recent British baby names are, for girls:
- Clementine Annabel Emily, sister for Rupert
- Daphne Olga Amelie, sister for Henry and Beatrice
- Eliza Miranda Rosemary, sister for William
British baby names seem especially fascinating to our American sensibilities, familiar and exotic at the same time. Once every handful of months, I allow myself a visit to the Birth Announcements in the London Telegraph, the way one might ration such indulgences as a banana split or a day in bed with a good book. And each time I report back to the devoted berries, I try to take a different view of the Telegraph’s baby name offerings.
This time, the focus is sibsets: Groups of distinctly British and delightfully quirky names. While I hate to leave such delicious choices as Constanza Una Honoria or Reuben Clarence William behind — and look there!, I didn’t have to! — there’s something new to be gained by seeing these choices with their brother and sister names.
British baby names and sibsets from the most recent Telegraph viewing: