Posts Tagged With: Alexander

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.


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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It takes an almost conscious effort on my part to ensure I talk about male names as much as I talk about female names.

As hard as it is to say, sometimes coming up with male names to talk about can stump me. However, I luckily received inspiration for this post just the other day when a friend mentioned that he liked the name Alexander, and openly wondered about if there existed names like Alexander, but without the added popularity factor.

Dude, you made that comment in front of the right girl as Aristander and Anaxander were the two names that immediately came to mind for me.

It seemed right to just take the idea, and run with it.

In England&Wales in 2011, the name Alexander ranked at #23, down slightly from the previous year but still a strong showing. At the same time, Alex ranked at a notable #59, whilst Alexandra fell out of the Top 100 for the girls. The name Alexander derives from Greek and means defending man.

History links the name Aristander to Alexander, by way of Alexander the Great and his most favourite seer, Aristander. The seer in question was apparently famed for the accuracy of his interpretations, as well as the many numerous omens and dreams which he had.

The name even shares the second element with that of Alexander, whilst the first element, aristos, means best; thusly, the name means best man.

Unlike Aristander, there is not a massively known Anaxander from history, but there is a well-known Anaxandra. She was a celebrated Greek painter from the 3rd century BCE.

Once more, he shares the second element of his name with the other two aforementioned names. The first part of the name name comes from the Greek anax, which means lord, thus the name means lord of men.

The nice thing about Anaxander is that he also contains an x, like Alexander, so the nickname of Xander remains shgould you so be inclined.

I’ve only been able to track down one other name which begins with Anax, and that is Anaxibia; she’s a female name that means kingly life. The name appears on numerous occasions in Greek mythology.

On the flip side, plentiful names started with Aris, including Aristophanes, the name of the so-called Father of Comedy. Aside from him, there’s also the name of a minor Greek deity, Aristaeus; the name of a 2nd-century saint, Aristides; and a common name from Ancient Greece, Aristion.

So there you have, two quirky (and non-ranking) alternatives to Alexander.

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Sibset of the Week: The Wolfe-Barrys


Engineering during the Victorian Era was nothing short of genius design, and it’s from the select group of notable civil engineers that we pluck this week’s father. Sir John Wolfe-Barry is famed for creating what we now know as Tower Bridge – one of the iconic pieces of London’s skyline. Few mistakenly refer to this bridge as London Bridge, which actually happens to be the next bridge upstream.

It was, by no means, Sir John’s only contribution to key infrastructure of London – he also helped to engineer the District Line of the London Underground. Also, together with Henry Marc Brunel, son of Isambard Kingdom, he worked on the second Blackfriars Railway Bridge. Then there’s Kew Bridge, which lives immediately adjacent to the Royal Botanical Gardens, aka Kew Gardens, which just so happens to be on the district line, as indeed is Tower Hill, the stop if you want to see Tower Bridge:

Picture taken by me at the London Transport Museum


But alas, you’re all probably more interested in the names of his offspring with wife Rosalind (born between 1875 and 1889), which follow as such:

Rosalind Mary

Bernard John

Kenneth Alfred

Ida Violet

Alexander Edward

Eric Gordon

Sylvia Grace

I think the majority of these names would be considered quite stylish picks for today’s modern parents – I’m particularly talking about Rosalind, Ida and maybe Bernard.

Categories: Sibset of the Week | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Crazy Brits

Let’s indulge ourselves with a litte name spotting in the London Birth Announcements, notable names are in bold, siblings in brackets:

Alexandra Charlotte Ozanne, (Isabelle)

Alice Dhanlaxmi

Amelia Jonquil Angharad

Amélie India Lucy, (William)

Beau Vivienne, (Ada Rose)

Celia Jane Vanessa, (Dougal)

Charlotte Carol Jane, (Oscar)

Darcey Carmen Rose, (Theo)

Ellen Andrea Maria

Florence Iona Emily Peel, (Isla and Willa)

Isla Aris

Henrietta Philippa Rose, (Annelies and Martha)

Iona Kathryn, (Imogen May)

Iris Arabella, (Katinka)

Isla Katherine

Isobelle Susannah

Jemima and Willa, twins

Katinka Alice Belsham, (Bella and Freddie)

Katinka Lily

Liberty Valentina Vaughan

Louisa Jane, Alistair

Mair ‘Polly’ Elisabeth Patricia, (Florence)


Martha Maud, (Guy)

Martha Sophie Poppy, (Tilly and Olive)

Mary Beatrice Rose

Mary Constance, (Elsa and George)

Molly Elizabeth Sarah

Molly Juliet

Nancy Rebecca, (Lily)

Nancy Rose

Octavia, (Claudia)

Sadie Francesca

Soma Isis, (Seth and Saul)

Tessa Charlotte Jane, (Isabelle and Eliza)

Tessa Honor Bruce, (Tamsin and Jemima)

Willa Victoria Joanna Rees, (Hamish)

Zinnia Alice Victoria

Alasdair James Dudley

Alexander George Walter Halley, (Serena)

Archie Geoffrey

Arthur John Christopher, (Thady)

Caspar Anthony Wallace

Freddie Samuel, (Jack and Georgia)

George Alfred Beresford

George James Sherlock

George Raffles Tyndale

Griffyd Hunter Heber

Hector David

Henry Arthur Bromhead, (Jenkyn)

Henry Leonidas Tiberius, (Mark and Rupert)

James Luigi Wood, (Johnny)

Jasper Florian

Lawrence Happy John Owen, (Minnie Love and Heidi Sunshine)

Luke Christopher Æneas, (Angus, Orlando and Cosmo)

Oscar Gürsel

Oscar Jack Peter, (Kit and Jemima)

Peter Jack, Angus

Raphael Willam, (Isabella Flora and Lochlann James)

Rudy Felix James, (Olly and Chloe)

Tarka Alexander Arthur

Tobias Tarquin

Thomas Douglas Marinho

Wilbur Clement, (Patti Plum)

My favourite sibset? It has to be Lawrence Happy, Minnie Love and Heidi Sunshine.

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Babies in the early ’90s

Let’s number-crunch. Courtesy of my sister, I got my hands on the class lists for her year (grade) at school. The names totalled around 150, and when we factor in the sixth form class list, who are two years older, we have a reasonably sized data covering popular baby names for catholics (catholic school) in England in the early 1990s:

British Babies Born Circa 1990-1994


Aidan +Aiden

Alexander x3 +Alistair +Alisdair

Andrew x2

Ashley x2

Benjamin x2 +Ben

Bryn +Finn

Christopher x2

Connor +Conor

David x4

Hugo +Hugh +Huw

Jack x5

Jacob +Jakub

James x7

John +Jonathan

Joseph x7 +Joe

Joshua x2

Frederick + Freddie

Matthew x2 +Matteaus

Michael x4

Ryan x2

Theodore +Theo

Thomas x7

William x2 +Liam x2

BOYS – NUMERICALLY (3 or more)

Joseph et al = 8

James = 7

Thomas = 7

Daniel = 6

Alexander et al = 5

Jack = 5

Michael = 4

William et al = 4

Benjamin et al = 3

Hugo et al = 3

Matthew et al = 3


Alexandra x2 +Alexa

Alice x2 +Alicia

Amy x2

Ana + Anne +Joanne +Leanne +Rhian +Roxanne

Beatrice +Beatrix x2

Cara +Clare +Clara

Caroline +Karolina

Chloe x3

Eleanor x3 +Ellen x2 +Helen x2 +Helena

Elizabeth +Eliza

Emma x2 +Emily

Esther +Esme

Eugenie x2

Frances x2

Hannah x2

Hayley x2

Jennifer x3

Jessica x3

Kathryn +Catherine +Katie x2

Laura x5 +Lauren

Lucy x4

Lily x2 +Lila +Lillian +Lilia

Maria x2 +Marie

Molly +Mollie

Natasha +Sasha x2

Olivia x3

Sarah +Sara

Sophie x3

Vanessa x2


Eleanor et al = 8

Ana et al = 6

Lily et al =5

Kathryn et al = 4

Lucy = 4

Alexandra et al = 3

Beatrice et al = 3

Cara et al = 3

Chloe = 3

Emma et al = 3

Jennifer = 3

Jessica = 3

Natasha et al = 3

Olivia = 3

Philippa = 3

Sophie = 3


Daniel x6 +Danielle

George x2 +Georgina

Harry +Hattie +Harriet

Phillip +Philippa x3

Valentino +Valentina


Sean x2 +Shaun +Sian

Sinead +Seamus +Roisin +Bronagh +Lorcan +Ciara x2 +Niall

Patrick x2


The prevalence of Irish names is not taken as uncommon in a catholic school.

Jack was outnumbered by several names: Joseph, James and Thomas. He began his stay at the top of the UK Top 100 list at the end of the decade. Two of the Jacks had the same surname.

Both of the Ashley’s, born when America embraced the name as a female one, were male.

The Eugenie’s were born just after Princess Eugenie, and the Beatrice/trixes born after Princess Eugenie’s sister: Princess Beatrice.

Non of the Lucy’s were a Lucille, Lucienne etc. They were all just Lucy.

The Emma’s outnumbered the Emily.

From personal knowledge:

-None of the Philippa’s in the list shortens their name to Pippa.

-All of the Eleanor’s were nicknamed Ellie.

* In the interests of not boring you all to death with an endless list of data, any name on the class lists which appeared once, without a similar name has been omitted from the data. This accounts for around 30 names out of the roughly estimated 240 names.

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