By Abby Sandel
Tradition clearly carries the day when royals go looking for baby names. But the times they are a changin’, and there are signs that even princes like to keep it simple. Gone are the long strings of five, six, or more given names. Even Prince George Alexander Louis, future King of England, has just three names total.
While we wait for a happy announcement from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, let’s take a look at the young royals elsewhere in Europe.
Belgium – Princess Elisabeth Theresia Maria Helena is Duchess of Brabant, and expected to become the country’s first queen regnant. Eventually – she’s just thirteen. Her siblings are brothers Gabriel Badouin Charles Marie and Emmanuel Leopold Guillaume Francois Marie, plus sister Eleonore Fabiola Victoria Anne Marie.
Denmark – There are only two acceptable names for a male heir to the throne in Denmark. The first is worn by Crown Prince Frederik. The second, by his eldest son, Prince Christian Valdemar Henri John. The young prince is just nine years old, and the oldest of four children. The family also includes Prince Vincent Frederik Minik Alexander, Princess Isabella Henrietta Ingrid Margrethe, and Princess Josephine Sophia Ivalo Mathilda. There are also royal cousins, thanks to dad’s younger brother, Prince Joachim. Their names are Nikolai, Felix, Henrik, and Athena.
Liechtenstein – Tiny Liechtenstein is ruled by Prince Hans–Adam II. His heir is Prince Alois, Hereditary Prince of Lichtenstein, followed by Alois’ teenaged children: Joseph Wenzel Maximilian Maria, Marie–Caroline Elisabeth Immaculata, Georg Antonius Constantin Maria, and Nikolaus Sebastian Alexander Maria. That’s four names each, but that’s nothing compared to grandpa: Prince Hans–Adam II was born Johannes Adam Ferdinand Alois Josef Maria Marco d’Aviano Pius. Hans–Adams’ dad had fourteen given names!
Luxembourg – Odds are that Princess Amalia Gabriela Maria Teresa, born in 2014, will never inherit the crown. That’s because her dad, Prince Felix, is the younger brother. Should Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume have children of his own, they’ll bump Amalia down a few slots in the line of succession. The current ruler of the tiny European nation is Grand Duke Henri. For the moment, Amalia is third in line.
Monaco – Last year’s headline in royal news was the arrival of the heir to Monegasque throne, Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, son of Prince Albert II of Monaco. After many years of waiting for an heir – Albert is 57, and married South African Olympian Charlene Wittstock in 2011 – the couple welcomed twins. Jacques’ sister, Gabrielle Therese Marie, is actually older than her brother. But Monaco is one of the few European nations that still favors a male heir. Princess Caroline, Albert’s sister, has grandchildren around the same age as the twins by her son, Andrea Casiraghi: Alexandre Andrea and newborn India.
The Netherlands – Catharina–Amalia Beatrix Carmen Victoria became the Princess of Orange just two years ago, when her father, Willem–Alexander, was crowned king. The future Dutch monarch won’t be the first woman to rule the Netherlands. Catharine–Amalia’s grandmother, Queen Beatrix, reigned for more than three decades before abdicating in favor of her son in 2013. Catharine–Amalia has two younger sisters: Alexia Juliana Marcela Laurentien and Ariane Wilhelmina Maxima Ines.
Norway – King Harald V has ruled the Scandinavian nation since 1991. His heir is Crown Prince Haakon, and Haakon’s firstborn is Princess Ingrid Alexandra. Haakon made headlines when he married the lovely Mette–Marit – a single mother. This means that Ingrid has an older half-brother, Marius, as well as younger brother Sverre Magnus. She also has a trio of nicely named cousins through her aunt, Princess Martha Louise: Maud Angelica, Leah Isadora, and Emma Tallulah. The girls are fifth, sixth, and seventh in line to the throne.
Spain – Princess Leonor recently became her father’s official heir. In 2014, King Juan Carlos abdicated in favor of his son, the new King Felipe VI. Felipe’s eldest daughter, Leonor, became Princess of Asturias. Leonor has one sister, Sofia (shown in illustration). Both girls share the same middle name: de Todos los Santos. It translates to “of all the saints,” and word is that it’s a traditional middle for the Spanish House of Bourbon.
Sweden – There’s been more than one Swedish royal born in recent years. Princess Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary arrived in 2012, the daughter of Crown Princess Victoria Ingrid Alice Desiree. Victoria’s younger sister, Madeleine, welcomed a daughter in 2014, Princess Leonore Lilian Maria. Now Madeleine is expecting another child later in 2015.
What are your favorite royal baby names from across Europe?