The Duchess of Cambridge – that is, Princess Kate, as she’s better-known – and her husband, Prince William, have a difficult task ahead of them when it comes to naming Royal Baby #3. Unlike every other set of parents in England, they can’t just open up a book of baby names (or reference a popular TV show) and find one they like; instead, they have to consider centuries of history, aim for a name that is meaningful yet neither too popular nor too obscure, and, most of all, avoid shocking and scandalizing the British public with their name choice.
As the Daily Star reported, the Royal Couple want a “down-to-earth” baby name, according to an insider close to the family. However, they’re also looking for something that carries “weight.”
In other words, they’re going for something that sounds sufficiently royal, but yet is neither too common nor too off-the-wall. What’s more, they would do well to consider the names of royals who have come before them – both royals that have sat on the throne, and those who haven’t.
Avoiding Trendy Or Off-The Wall Names
According to British mommy blog Mumsnet, the ten most popular baby boys’ names in England are Oliver, Jack, Harry, George, Jacob, Charlie, Noah, William, Thomas, and Oscar; for girls, it’s Amelia, Olivia, Emily, Isla, Ava, Ella, Jessica, Isabella, Mia, and Poppy.
Needless to say, any of those names are almost certainly out.
Also right out are any names that are too obscure. That means that there won’t be a Royal Baby Khaleesi or a Royal Baby Hezekiah any time soon.
Honoring Royal Tradition Without Copycatting
You may have noticed that the names Harry, George, Charlie and William are up there among the most popular boys’ names in England. They are also names of Prince William himself and some of his close family members (his son, father, and brother, to be specific).
Royal tradition dictates that a royal baby be given a name that has been used by another Royal at some point in history. BUT, using names that are already in use by the Royal Family, or have been used within a generation or two going back, would probably be seen as untoward by royal watchers.
What’s more, at least two previous royal names are absolutely forbidden. The name John has been unwelcome in the British monarchy for around a thousand years, having to do with the disastrous reign of King John I. Further, Mary (for a girl) is also out, for reasons having to do with religion and history that would require thousands of words of exposition (just take my word for it).
So What Name Will They Land On?
Christian Turner, the global naming director at Siegel+Gale (yes, “Naming Director” is a thing that exists), is confident that, wherever they land, they’ll do it right.
“George and Charlotte are excellent examples of names that strike the balance perfectly; royal by tradition, solid in heritage, both names have enjoyed a resurgence over the last decade, and it’s not uncommon to hear either name being called in the local playground. This is common of the style of this generation of royals, who want to be more down-to-earth.”
This writer, for what’s it’s worth, suggests “Stephen” for a boy and “Beatrice” for a girl.
What do you suggest William and Kate name their third baby? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Julian Simmonds – Pool/Getty Images]