3 July 2013

Telegraph.co.uk: «Royal Baby name: Kate Middleton should go wild»

The journalist Louisa Peacock opens her article «Royal Baby name: Kate Middleton should go wild» (Telegraph.co.uk 3 july 2013) by stating that «The royal baby will become famous overnight regardless of what it's called» and continues by claiming that «This gives the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge free rein to call their prince or princess something completely loopy that everyone is at pains to pronounce and spell correctly - unlike most people's names».

But no, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge should not go bananas - or wild - when settling on the names for their firstborn child. In theory the couple could come up with whatever names they would like, but in reality they are bound by the traditions of the British royal family and monarchy and will most likely find names that can be found in earlier royal generations. Of course, there might be one surprise or two among the four given names that we expect the child will get, but the call name will most certainly be a traditional one.

If the firstborn is a girl, I would be surprised if she is not named after her great-grandmother Elizabeth, although I am sure that names like Victoria, Charlotte, Alexandra and Mary will also be popular choices. Yes, if Victoria is chosen, Europe could end up with having two reigning queens with the same name at the same time (although the Swedish Victoria will most likely succeed many, many years before her British cousin), but that will hardly be a problem. Has anyone ever mixed up King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and King Abdullah of Jordan? I don't think so.

If the firsthborn is a boy, however, I think George is the most likely name. But, one thing is what name I expect the couple to settle on, another is what name I personally would have preferred (not that my opinion matters much, but I will have a go at it as anyone else). I wouldn't mind going back a few hundred years. There have been several English kings named Richard, and that is also the name of Catherine's great-grandfather, Richard Middleton (1878-1951). Yes, I know that the Duke of Gloucester, Queen Elizabeth's first cousin, is named Richard, so the connection could be closer than King Richard I, II or III.

However, my safest bets would be:

Girl: Elizabeth Alexandra Diana Carole (the last two after the child's grandmothers)
Boy: George Albert Charles Michael (again the the last two after the child's grandfathers)

But if one really should go for some "wild names", one just have to look up The Ancestry of Catherine Middleton by William Addams Reitwiesner. What about Theophilus (ancestor no. 26) or Gaston (no. 1200) or Valerie (no. 5) or Olive (no. 9). Seriously, the majority of the given names found in the said book could be said to be rather traditional, but acceptable even today. And for the record, there is of course nothing "wrong" with any of the "wild names" I have mentioned, so there is no reason to take offence!

Funnily enough, two nights ago I woke up after having dreamt listening to the names being announced on the radio. Crazy to have such a dream, huh? I can only remember the first two names, and they were Stanford Sixtus ... No, it won't happen. Not sure where I got Stanford from, but if you google it, you will find that there are quite a few men in the United States who are christened Stanford. Not sure where I got it from, but I started reading a biography about President Herbert Hoover the night before, and he gradutated from the said university in 1895, so that is a possibility. I can't explain Sixtus, though.

1 comment:

  1. I wouldn't be surprised if they showed some independence by using non-traditional names for British monarchs with solid family resonance. I'm thinking of Diana for a girl or Philip or Arthur (though I hope not the latter) for a boy. New, but not wild, sort of like the image the Cambridge couple has been trying to project all along.