Britain is buzzing with excitement over the imminent arrival of Meghan and Harry’s little one. As with each new royal baby, one of the questions on everyone’s lips is “what will they name their new addition?” Many names have gained regal status over the centuries, but will the modern couple choose a name with royal significance? With so many elements and hundreds of years of history to consider, we’ve looked at a few possible options that might make the couple’s baby name shortlist…
Royal names for boys:
Albert – taken from the German words for ‘noble’ and ‘bright’, the name Albert saw a surge of popularity in the 1800s following the marriage of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha on 10 February 1840. While fans of the royal family wait to discover if Harry and Meghan will breathe new life into this traditional choice, why not delve into the history of Prince Albert on a visit to Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle or Osbourne House?
Arthur – associated with the legendary King Arthur, who according to medieval literature led Britain to victory against the Saxons in the fifth century, this historic name conjures images of heroic acts and strong leadership. Having recently seen a surge in popularity, the name ranked in the top 20 baby names in the UK last year, making it a strong contender for Harry and Meghan’s new addition! And while many of the festivities surrounding the royal baby will focus on London, fans of the name (and the legend of King Arthur) can venture further afield to Cornwall – legend has it that King Arthur was conceived in Tintagel, a rocky outcrop upon which Richard, Earl of Cornwall, built a castle in the 1200s.
Alexander – although famous as the name of Alexander III, ‘Kings of Scots’, the name itself comes from the Greek word meaning ‘defender of men’. Could Meghan and Harry bring Alexander back into the royal limelight? While we wait to find out, why not trace the history of this famous Scottish king at the ruins of Roxburgh Castle, his birthplace in 1241, or the astounding Dunfermline Abbey and Palace, his final resting place and the burial ground of many of Scotland’s most renowned medieval rulers.
Charles – not popular in Britain until the reign of King Charles I in the 1600s, today this name is best known for being that of Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles. Would a tribute to the Queen’s eldest son and the baby’s grandfather be a fitting gesture? To really get a feel for the life of Prince Charles, visit the part of Wales where he spends the most time, the picturesque Llwynywermod, in Carmarthenshire.
Edward – a name given to several kings of England throughout history, Edward is said to have originated from the Old English words ead meaning ‘wealth’ and weard meaning ‘guard’. Would Meghan and Harry consider naming their little prince, Edward? To walk in the footsteps of a royal Edward, explore the grand Eltham Palace. Gifted to the monarch in 1305, it became a highly visited royal residence up until the 1500s.
Henry – famously, or perhaps infamously, known for being the name of many a king of England, including Henry VIII, the moniker originally comes from the German words meaning ‘home-ruler’. Henry has seen a rise in popularity over the last few years, which could make this royal name a tempting choice for the couple. Visitors to London can trace the footsteps of Henry VIII himself on visits to Hampton Court Palace, Hever Castle (the family home of Anne Boleyn), the Banqueting House at Whitehall and Windsor Castle, where he is buried.
Royal names for girls:
Elizabeth – a name synonymous with strong female monarchs, if the couple choose Elizabeth for their little princess, it could be a fantastic homage to Queen Elizabeth II. Having recently celebrated her 93rd birthday, Her Royal Highness is Britain’s longest reigning monarch and there are plenty of fantastic royal locations where you can walk in her footsteps, from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle and the Sandringham Estate.
Louise – much like Meghan Markle herself, Princess Louise was known as being a strong advocate for feminism, education and the arts. The sixth child of Queen Victoria, the princess was determined to be seen as a normal person and was known for having an unconventional streak, traits that might make this name an appealing option for the royal couple. In the meantime, fans of the name can discover more on trips to Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Kensington Palace, some of the favoured residences of Princess Louise.
Matilda – Empress Matilda was the daughter of King Henry I and the first woman in history to make a claim to the English crown. Derived from the German meaning ‘strength in battle’, the name Matilda is another possible choice for the royal couple, while the Empress’ birthplace, Sutton Courtenay, in Oxfordshire, is a former royal vill with an interesting history, making it a popular choice for a day trip for royal fans on a visit to London.
Victoria – perhaps the most famous queen of England, the reign of Queen Victoria has been immortalised throughout the ages in film, literature and art. The name itself comes from the Roman goddess of victory – a fitting namesake for a monarch who defined an era. Although a more unusual choice in recent years, the name’s noble history means it could be an ideal choice for the couple’s first child. Visitors to Britain can discover more about the monarch herself on trips to Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Osbourne House.