Royal Name Speculation

Normally I try to avoid putting out similar posts to ones already circulating in the blogosphere, but since nameberry so nicely asked me for an opinion over on twitter, I figured I might as well chip in to the discussion.

My gut feeling is that George is the top choice for a boy, and indeed Georgina is a worthy of an outside chance for a girl.

Why?

It’s quite simply really: there are only really three living royals who have any likelihood of ascending to the throne: Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry. Of those three, only Prince Charles wears the name George, and only as his third middle name.

That said, the has been speculation before that Prince Charles may take George as his regnal name upon his ascension the the throne, i.e. he becomes George VII, not Charles III. The big reason for this lies along the lines of the previous two sovereigns to bear the name Charles both have questionable legacies (one was a playboy, the other was beheaded).

It’s certainly not an uncommon practice, as whilst our current monarch reigns by her first name, her predecessor and father reigned as George VI, but he was born Albert Frederick Arthur George. Good ol’ Queen Victoria reigned by her middle name, as her first name was Alexandrina.

Other choices for boys are a little less intuitive, given that many clear favourites such as James, Edward and Charles are currently ‘assigned’ so to speak to another prince-ly member of the family (for those wondering, whilst strictly speaking there exists a Prince James, his parents choose to style him as Viscount Severn).

I don’t particularly believe that the Duke&Duchess of Cambridge will choose a first name already in use by another male styled a Prince, not least because of the potential confusion, so this automatically rules several names out of the running for first name status: Philip; Charles; Edward; Henry; James; Andrew; and Michael.

These names are all, however, still just as likely to be used for middle names. It’s worth noting that Michael is the name of the Duchess’ father, and thus despite Michael seeing rare use by the royals, this fact really rather increases the likelihood of Michael’s inclusion.

The glaringly obvious name left over to pick from is Arthur, and this is one of William’s middle names and indeed Prince Charles’ middle name, too. Of course, Prince William could kick off a new family naming trend and give his eldest son the middle name Arthur, too.

Another option is Frederick, also popularly used by royals in the last century or too. Then there’s also the possibility of Alexander, too.

When it comes to the choices for girls, Elizabeth is a clear middle name contender (and there is the chance of her use as a first name, too), being of course the name of our current monarch and the Duchess’ middle name. The variation of Eliza is unlikely for the simple reason that Prince William has a niece via his step-sister Laura Lopes with the name Eliza. Our current Queen was known as Lilibet when she was younger, so one could even speculate about the name Lily being used as a nod to her (although it makes more sense for them to simply use Elizabeth instead). The names Mary and Alexandra are also undeniably in the running, given that both are the Queen’s middle names.

The name Victoria would be a good call as a first name contender, given that currently Princess Eugenie is the only senior royal to bear the name as one of her middles.

Another name I have a gut feeling is in the running is Alice, the name of Prince Philip’s mother. I’m calling this because the name Andrew wasn’t an oft-used royal name in centuries gone by, but ‘lo and behold it was the name of Prince Philip’s father, and now also that of his second eldest son.

A name I’ve yet to see given mention is Margaret, who stands a good chance of being used in the middle name spot as a nod to the late Princess Margaret, younger sister of our current Queen. Her middle name, Rose, is another middle name possibility, albeit more likely for subsequent daughters.

Then we have both Diana and indeed Frances: the name of Prince William’s mother and her middle name. In the eyes of some, Diana is almost a certainty as a middle name should the child be female. It’s also worth noting that the Duchess’ father has Francis as a middle name, creating a greater possibility of the couple’s eventual use of either Frances or Francis.

Sophia is a currently popular name with historical use as a royal name, but she’s not seen much use of late, however, in order to be eligible for the line of succession, you must be a legitimate descendant of Electress Sophia of Hanover.

There’s an outside chance for both Harriet and Henrietta as potential nods to Prince William’s younger brother, Prince Harry. 

Final acknowledgements to other names with an outside chance of use goes to several names from the Duchess’ family, which include: Philippa, Charlotte and Carole/Caroline. Then there are a few more royal picks: Marie; Maud; Adelaide; Helena; Louisa.

What’s for certain is that this is an extensive list of names, and at the end of the day many of these names mentioned above are more likely to be in the running for subsequent children, rather than for a child that will one day most likely ascend to the throne.

Thus, I suggest the three most likely names to be used for each gender:

BOY: George, Charles and Michael

GIRL: Elizabeth, Diana and Alice

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5 thoughts on “Royal Name Speculation

  1. fascinating article! I didn’t realize how many things there were to consider when naming a potential king or queen. I like the idea of them using Frederick for the first name: Frederick Charles Philip would be very handsome (do there have to be 4 names?, then Frederick Charles Philip Henry). If a girl I’d think Philippa Alice Diana Margaret would be pretty.

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  2. I agree. I would put money on it being George for a boy — it just seems the most likely choice. Girls are more up in the air, but I keep coming back to Elizabeth as a first name, perhaps with Lily as a diminutive.

    Oh, and to add to your example, William also has a Spencer cousin called Eliza. Of course, he also has Spencer cousins called George, Eleanor, Charlotte, Amelia, Alexander, Louis… so perhaps he doesn’t have the luxury of worrying about repeating names.

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  3. S.

    I like Louis as an option, but I agree that George could be the one!
    What about Spencer as a middle for a male? That would be a nodd to Mum.

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  4. Everyone seems to agree that George and Alice (or Elizabeth) are the front-runners.

    Of course the papers are all in a frenzy over rumours that Catherine is carrying twins. I’d normally not pay attention, except they come from the same source which said she was pregnant, three weeks before the story officially broke.

    I wonder what difference, if any, twins would make to the royal naming?

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  5. Pingback: The Historical Naming of British Monarchs « Waltzing More Than Matilda

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