Royal Baby Names: What are the Likeliest Choices for Baby Sussex?
by Linda Rosenkrantz
As anticipation heats up for the announcement of the royal baby name, let’s look at the ones leading the ranks in one of the British betting sites–though keeping in mind that they are in a constant state of flux.
ALEXANDER is currently in the lead. A Greek name, meaning ‘defender of men’, with lots of history dating back to ancient times. It gained international renown via Alexander the Great, who was actually Alexander III, and was worn by many Scottish kings, though never a British one. There was a Prince Alexander, the youngest son of King Edward VII, and it is one of Prince George‘s middles, as the male form of Queen Elizabeth’s middle name Alexandra. One of its assets is its myriad nicknames, from Alec to Zan. Alexander has been in the US Top 25 since 1991 and currently ranks at #13 in the US, 22 in England and in the Top 10 in Sweden, Iceland, and New Zealand.
JAMES has a much lengthier legacy as a British royal baby name, most recently as the current Prince Edward‘s son. It has a rather confusing history before that–James Stuart was the first King James of England as well as the sixth King James of Scotland. A stalwart Anglo-Saxon classic across the English-speaking world, it has been picked as the top name in a poll of America‘s favorite boys names and is still particularly popular and fashionable today–with religious, US presidential and celebrity cred. It’s #4 in the US and 17 in England, plus in the Top 5 in Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia.
ARTHUR has until recently been at the top of the odds-makers’ list. British to its core, it recalls the shining Camelot image of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Queen Victoria used it for one of her sons, honoring the heroic Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley. Currently, it is one of Prince Louis‘s middle names. Among modern parents, Arthur is being embraced for its endearing meaning of ‘bear’ and has seen a rise in favor especially in the UK, where it’s in the Top 20.
PHILIP. As the name of Harry‘s 97-year-old grandfather, this would make a touching tribute in first or middle place–it’s one of William’s middle names. A Greek name meaning ‘lover of horses’, its namesakes include Alexander the Great’s father King Philip the Great, and it has also been borne by French, Spanish, Belgian, German and Swedish rulers. Philip is in the 400s in both the UK and US.
ALFRED has a long regal history, from the wise and compassionate Anglo-Saxon King Alfred the Great to a son of George III to a son and grandson of Queen Victoria. It currently ranks at #107 in England, where nickname Alfie is mega popular, at #12 on its own.
ALBERT, the third Al name on the list, entered British royal history with Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria, who gave his name to all of her sons and as many of her grandsons as she could influence her children to use. Albert was the given name of Queen Elizabeth‘s father and is also one of Prince Harry‘s middle names. Albert ranks at #59 in England.
We shall soon see which if any of these is the winner.
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on May 7th, 2019 at 3:19 pm
I feel like there’s an obvious point AGAINST Alexander – they will pronounce it completely differently. In Harry’s RP English accent, the second A is a long vowel: Alexahnder, whereas in Meghan’s American accent the vowel is short. Not to mention the R sound at the end is emphasised in most American accents, but clipped off in British ones. (That might be a consideration for Arthur as well.) I know couples from different countries will pronouce many words differently and it’s not important, but your child’s name is a particularly significant word, no? Would you pick a name that is vastly different when said by the other parent?
on May 7th, 2019 at 3:28 pm
Thomas is the name of Meghan’s estranged father, so I doubt it will be included. I’d love to see Arthur but I don’t know if Meghan and Harry are very close with Pippa Middleton, who named her son Arthur last spring.
I do feel that Spencer could appear as a middle name. Maybe Frederick Spencer Philip Charles?
on May 7th, 2019 at 5:10 pm
I’m hoping that since Baby Sussex will be further down in the line of succession, Harry and Meghan will introduce some new names into the pool.
My favorite for a boy all along has been Sebastian, but I have a hard time seeing them use something over 2 syllables as a first. If they did use something longer, I’d like to see Gabriel or Elliott. Berry favorite Theodore also feels too elaborate, at least for a first.
With that in mind, I’d love it if they used something like Luke or Leo. A few others: Samuel, Owen, Caleb.
on May 7th, 2019 at 5:32 pm
Thought of a few more for the wish list:
on May 7th, 2019 at 6:47 pm
My guess will be James Philip Spencer. As @lucyycuL said above, I don’t think they will pick something with prominent R sounds that will sound different in Meghan’s American accent. I know there is a superstition about the name James but I think we are overdue for one. Another guess for possible middles is Francis, as the male version of Diana’s middle name, and John, one of Harry’s uncles.
on May 7th, 2019 at 8:40 pm
For first names I think Frederick, Theodore or Nicholas — though I would love to see them go with unlikely choices Daniel or Nathaniel. Middle names I predict Albert Philip.
on May 7th, 2019 at 9:45 pm
Who tf cares if Meghan and Harry pronounce Alexander and Arthur differently????? If British/American couples limited their name choices to names they pronounce 100% the same they’d have a rough time of it.
on May 7th, 2019 at 10:43 pm
I’m guessing (and I hope) that they’ll steer away of the more stuffy royal usuals (eg Albert, Alfred) and choose something more current while still being traditional. eg Jack, Jasper, Caspar, Hugo, Miles, Rufus, Magnus, Leo, Sebastian, Felix.
on May 7th, 2019 at 11:20 pm
Why isn’t there a contest?
My guesses are:
James Spencer Alexander
Theodore Spencer Alexander
Nathaniel Arthur Alexander
I highly doubt they will include Thomas. I hope they include Spencer somehow
on May 7th, 2019 at 11:59 pm
Its most likely to be James, I think. Most people in the UK and enough people in the U.S. watch enough of each other’s broadcasts that I don’t think the pronunciation differences trip people up anymore. It’s mainly only each other’s slang we find confusing these days.
on May 8th, 2019 at 1:42 am
Any chance they would name him Henry after dad but actually call him Henry unlike dad? Henry Spencer Philip, Henry Philip Alexander
From the above list, I really like Alexander and James. The idea of Spencer as a middle name is lovely and I do hope they choose it. James Philip Spencer
Since this baby isn’t close in line to the throne, my wishful thinking is that they’ll forgo the traditional royal choices (at least in the first name spot) and instead go for something either timeless or more modern classic. I’d love to see the royal naming pool expand a bit. Elliott, Nathaniel, Evan, Jacob, Lucas, David, Leo, Jack, Benjamin, Peter, Wesley; these seem like good sweet spot names. They don’t scream royalty but they’re still perfectly respectable to give to a Duke or Prince.
Or maybe they’ll pick a traditional full name but address him by a nickname, just like dad. Christopher “Kit”, Alexander “Zander”, Charles “Arlo”, Edward “Teddy”, Leopold “Leo”, James “Jamie”
I like the idea of either David, Henry, Nathaniel, or Leopold “Leo” in the first name spot.
on May 8th, 2019 at 2:07 am
I don’t think it will be James as Harry’s cousin (Prince Edward’s son) is a James.
Also don’t think it will be Thomas as that’s Meghan’s dad’s name and they don’t have a good relationship.
It could be Theodore (I’d love Theodore Spencer as it would honour both of their mothers) but Theodore and Spencer are Pippa Middleton’s nephew and brother in laws respectively and they are friends in the same social circle so might not want to use the same names as friends. For the same reason I think they will stay away from Arthur (Pippa’s son)
I’ve changed my mind about a hundred times now but here are some of the names I think could be a possibility (in any order)
Frederick Hugo Alexander
Alfred Nicholas Albert
David Philip Benjamin
on May 8th, 2019 at 3:41 am
I would be hugely surprised if they went with James due to the James Hewitt connection. Princess Diana had an affair with James Hewitt during her marriage to Charles and for years there were rumours that Harry was actually his son, due mainly to the fact that they both have red hair. If I were them I would be avoiding the name!
I agree it will be something classic but not necessarily royal. I would guess Felix, Theodore, Gabriel, Hugo, Samuel, Daniel, something of that ilk. They don’t need to stay ‘royal’; the baby is seventh in line and, if you go back a generation, is the equivalent of Beatrice, Eugenie, Peter and Zara which are not royal names.
on May 8th, 2019 at 8:23 am
I predict Meghan and Harry will choose something approachable and modern, but I agree it likely won’t be too out there. But I hope they venture outside the royal norm a bit.
My predictions for a boy (made a few weeks ago) includes James, Oliver, Magnus, Noah, Atticus, Simon.
I do think Spencer will be part of the name, as a first or a middle name.
on May 8th, 2019 at 9:54 am
If they chose a royal name I predict either Albert or Douglas, but I think it’s more likely that they just pick a modern down to earth name.
I don’t think they’d pick Alexander because it’s one of George’s middle names.
on May 8th, 2019 at 10:37 am
James or Arthur Spencer Charles would provide a more fashionable first name with family names to honor both of Prince Harry’s parents. Plus, Meghan’s maternal grandfather is James.
on May 8th, 2019 at 10:38 am
I think maybe Alfred, but with the nickname Freddie!
It feels a bit fresher than Alfie to me, and a slight American feel to it.
I read somewhere the suggestion of Aidan as it’s an anagram of Diana, and I quite like that idea!
So my guess is Alfred Philip Henry Aidan Sussex
on May 8th, 2019 at 10:52 am
And it’s….Archie Harrison
Got to admit, I’m not loving it! But to each their own! Congratulations on little Archie!
on May 8th, 2019 at 11:07 am
Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor!
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