Are you excited about Prince William and Duchess Kate expecting baby #3? You know I am! It’s a little rare lately for a British family of royals to have more than two children (each of the Queen’s four kids have had two apiece, and of course William and Harry were another famous twosome). I immediately began thinking of possible royal baby names. And right away, I thought of my friend Lisa, royal expert extraordinaire. Here are her thoughts on possible and likely baby names for William and Kate’s consideration — as well as some great royal history behind baby names.
Lisa’s Wisdom on Royal Baby Names
First of all, you should know that old-time names are VERY hot in the British upper classes right now! There’s a whole slew of little Agathas and Huberts and what-have-you’s running off to posh schools in uniforms like little George wears. Names in the U.K. are very class-based still. You won’t find a Wayne or a Kevin at George’s schools unless he’s on a full need-based scholarship. Ditto Destiny and Shania.
For royals there’s a double problem. It is best to go with history, but too many with the same name gets confusing. Example, in the current royal family there are two H.R.H. Prince Edwards: the Queen’s youngest son (the Earl of Wessex), and her first cousin, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent. Confusing. To add to the confusion, the Duke’s grandson is also Edward. So, I’m pretty sure that one won’t be happening (even though it was Diana’s father’s given name—he was called “Johnny” as a nickname).
Recently there was a story claiming Diana said Charles favored “Albert” or “Arthur,” but I’ve also read that he mandated only that it be a royal name not then in use. Back when William was born I guessed all but one of his names in the correct order (not that hard when you know a little history!). So I picked William Charles Philip Louis and he was actually christened William Arthur Philip Louis.
I also guessed Harry’s first name—Henry (“Harry” is a popular nickname for Henry over there). His other names were David Albert Charles—David for both the Queen Mother’s favorite brother and for Princess Margaret’s son, but presumably NOT for the disgraced King Edward VIII who was called “David” and not Edward at home. Albert, of course was the Queen’s father before he became George VI (they sometimes change their names when ascending the throne—it’s a personal choice.) But the Queen’s poor father was only named Albert because he had the very, very bad fortune to be born on December 14—the ultimate day of gloom on Victoria’s annual calendar of gloom. Her husband, the original Prince Albert, died that day. (A few years later their daughter Alice died that day and many years later a great-granddaughter died on that day as well).
So, with my bone fides all set out, let me give my opinions on some of the odds-on favorites.
Here are some of the favorites as cited in the above article and my take on them as well as my personal favorites and suggestions. Also included are some of the bookies’ favorites. The numbers beside some names are the bookies’ odds for betting on the name choice. Betting is a big thing in the U.K.
FYI—the British press seems to think the baby will be a girl just because that’s how it went for Kate’s parents, Michael and Carole Middleton. We’ll see.
- Alexandra 12/1 My personal favorite. The current Princess Alexandra is the Duke of Kent’s sister. She will be 81 on Christmas day. Like her brother the Duke, she has been a workhorse of a cousin for the Queen. It would be a nice way to honor her. Plus, she is one of William’s Godparents.
- Alice 7/1 Prince Philip’s Mother and Queen Victoria’s 2nd Good choice—hasn’t been used in years. It’s Princess Anne’s third name. [The bookies’ top pick was Charlotte last time. Just saying….] This was Queen Victoria’s third daughter. A lovely name and I think it would suit a modern Princess.
- Victoria 10/1 I doubt it. The future Queen of Sweden is Victoria. Though the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth is coming up in 2019.
- Elizabeth 16/1 Not likely unless, sadly, the Queen dies near the time of the birth. Charlotte has Elizabeth as one of her names. Note: Anne would be a nice way to honor either Elizabeth or Philip since she is their only daughter. It is also the name of Diana’s paternal aunt, who’s wedding the Royal family attended.
- Mary 16/1—Probably not. The future Queen Consort of Denmark is named Mary. Queen Mary, the current Queen’s grandmother, was only known by the name “Mary” as Queen. She was called “May” in the family and was previously known by that name.
- Sophie Another of Philip’s sisters. It is said that the Queen and Philip had chosen this name for a girl when Prince Edward was born. Fate intervened and Edward married a woman named Sophie, so it is not very likely. Sophia, maybe, but not likely. (Note from Susan — one of my daughters has this name, so I would love this choice!)
- Diana I think they settled that one. It is one of Charlotte’s names. Maybe for a future daughter of Prince Harry’s, since Kate got Diana’s engagement ring?
- Carole Catherine’s mother’s name. Probably not, but very possible to be among her names. (Note from Susan — I’ve seen Caroline mentioned as a possibility, largely as a tribute to Kate’s mom. Again, I have a daughter with this name — just in case William and Kate need a hint!)
- Grace 16/1 No—Grace is not a name in the British Royal Family. Just in Monaco.
- Philip 14/1 My top choice for a boy. Philip deserves to be honored in this way. I would think a second boy would have Charles and Philip in his names since George was given only the Spencer names (the names of William’s two age-mate cousins and Earl Spencer’s heir.)
- Henry 16/1 My other top pick for a boy—to be known as “Prince Henry,” not a second “Harry.”
- Alfred “Alfie” is a very popular name in the U.K. The last Princes with that name were the son and grandson of Queen Victoria.
- Gerald The last “royal” Gerald was the second grandchild of George V and Queen Mary—their daughter, the then Princess Royal’s second son. Like his brother, the (George) Earl of Harewood, he had a “love child” and left his first wife though. Fear not—it still makes my list because the recently deceased Duke of Westminster was “Gerald,” and it’s his—well, now the present Duke’s — jet that the family flies on for vacations and jaunts like that little trip to Poland this last summer. The Duke’s widow is William’s Godmother and a close friend of Diana’s (as well as a distant relative of Philip’s). Nice tribute.
- Arthur 10/1 Queen Victoria’s third son. But Princess Margaret’s grandson, and former Paige of Honour to Her Majesty, is Arthur Chatto. Not impossible, but not likely.
- Alexander 12/1 Not likely. It is one of George’s names (the name of Lady Jane Spencer’s son). And it’s the name of The Duke of Gloucester’s eldest son. (Another first cousin of the Queen). The Queen Mother had a brother with this name.
- Albert 14/1 Not likely. In the very, very extended royal family the Duke of Kent has a grandson in George’s age range named Albert. Albert’s brothers are Leopold and Louis so that likely knocks those out, too.
- Charles 20/1 I doubt it, but like Philip I’d expect to see it included in a second son’s names.
Thank you, Lisa!
So there you have it. The definitive look at royal baby name possibilities. Now it’s your turn. Do you hope the new royal baby is a boy or a girl? Which boy and girl choices would be your picks for William and Kate?