The world is buzzing with excitement over the arrival of Meghan and Harry’s new baby, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, making it a great time to explore the meaning and histories behind a few other royal names that have gained regal status over the centuries…
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. You can 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. So if you’re a fan of the name (and the legend of King Arthur), why not plan an adventure further afield to Cornwall – where 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’. 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 Charles. To really get a feel for the life of Prince Charles, you can 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’. If you would like to walk in the footsteps of a royal Edward, why not explore the grand Eltham Palace? Gifted to the monarch in 1305, it became a highly visited royal residence up until the 1500s, it’s a fantastic day out for fans of history and the royal family!
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. If you’re visiting London you 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, Elizabeth II has recently celebrated her 93rd birthday, making Her Royal Highness Britain’s longest reigning monarch. 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 – 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. You 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. The birthplace of Empress Matilda, Sutton Courtenay in Oxfordshire, has an interesting history in itself, making it a great place to visit if you are planning a royal or historic tour of Britain!
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. You can discover more about the monarch herself on trips to Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Osbourne House.