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Choosing a royal name

January 25, 2013 - Jodelle Greiner
Not that they’ve asked me, but I have some suggestions for what William and Kate can name their baby.

First off, I think they should take a more modern approach. It seems these royals recycle the same 15 names, just in different combinations. I admit using these traditional names has the advantage of making sure the child doesn’t receive a trendy name that will sound dated in the history books — think of some names that were popular around the turn of the 20th Century and how old-fashioned they sound now — but really how many times can you re-use Albert, George and Arthur?

William could follow his Aunt Anne’s example and go off the beaten path — his cousin Zara seems to have done fine with her name — but I bet he and Kate will stay more on the classic side. There are plenty of good, solid names that will wear well over the years and breathe a breath of fresh air into the family genealogy.

How about using names from Kate’s side of the family? For instance, her father’s name is Michael, a traditional name that is always at the top of the boys’ list — and not found in the royals’. For a girl, they could use Michaela, which keeps the tradition and gives a modern flair. Her paternal grandmother’s name was Olive — how about Olivia? I’m sure Kate has other relatives that would be honored to have a future king or queen named after them.

With Elizabeth being a name reported on both sides of the family, many Brits are betting on it as a favorite. Of course, it happens to be the Queen’s name, and that never hurts. But why not use a variation of “Elizabeth”, which has dozens. My personal favorite is Bettina. Or, since one of the Queen’s middle names is Alexandra, call the child “Alexa”, once again going traditional with a modern twist. Of course, if the child is a boy, “Alexander” works.

There’s a lot of speculation that if the child Kate is carrying is a girl, they will name her Diana. It’s no secret that William still holds his mother close and it’s natural that he would want to give his child a piece of the grandmother she will never know. I think it’s fine for them to use Diana as one of the middle names, but not the first name. First, it will create confusion about which Diana is being spoken of or written about — it’s a bit like naming a boy “Junior”. Second, I don’t think it will be fair to the child; she will always live in the first Diana’s shadow, being expected to be just like her. Even though Diana was and is to this day well-liked, even that can be a burden; the child may grow up feeling she can never measure up.

If William and Kate would like to honor his mother by calling their daughter after her, I think they should consider using “Frances” as the first name. It was Diana’s middle name and is a perfectly good name. It’s not trendy, it’s a familiar name, and has some suitable nicknames. It also works for a boy, with a slight spelling change to “Francis,” which is not a bad middle name.

If the child is a boy, I hope they consider naming him “Spencer”. It, of course, would honor Diana by using her family name and reflect William’s heritage. While it is more modern in its usage as a first name, Spencer is an old name itself and therefore familiar. And it’s not the run-of-the mill from the old list. It’s a new name for a new century.

And that is what’s important: for this baby and everyone else to head into the future.


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