Last week, we came up with our suggestions for the name of the first baby daughter of Prince William and his bride. With the variety of girl name possibilities, it was relatively easy — almost an embarrassment of riches — but with the boys, there’s a far less fertile field, especially if we stick within our strict confines of names used in British royal history. (Thank goodness for all those middle names!)
Most of the kings’ and princes’ names were repeated over and over again — Edward (William’s uncle), Charles (William’s father), George (numerous ancestors), Albert, Arthur John, and the name William itself.
But of course, whatever name they choose, kings often do take a different name to rule by than their given first name. As seen in “The King’s Speech,” William’s great grandfather George VI had been Prince Albert (Bertie) before he was crowned, with George being his third middle name.
That said, we were able to unearth a few more unusual boy choices, all of which stay within the royal lines:
Augustus — Augustus was the middle name of George II, father of Amelia. An imposing Latin name of the type bolder parents on both sides of the Atlantic are now daring to reconsider, Augustus can easily be unbuttoned with the friendly nicknames Augie or Gus.
Christian — A middle name of Prince Albert, son of Edward VII, Christian is currently a Top 25 name in the U.S., with many parents choosing it over the long-running Christopher. Once considered too pious for most people’s tastes, its image has changed partly due to such actors as Christian Bale and Christian Slater and fashion gods Christian Dior and Christian Louboutin.
Duncan — This middle name of Queen Victoria’s son Leopold would make a much more lively, modern-sounding choice for a 21st century prince than his first would. A favorite of the Scots, Duncan would be right at home at the Balmoral Castle retreats of the future royal family. It’s also a Shakespearean name, figuring prominently in Macbeth.
Frederick — Since Freddie is a currently popular nickname name in the U.K., a little Prince Freddie would go down very well. The name Frederick has been dotted throughout British royal history — it was given to the son of George III — and so sounds properly regal in its full form.
James — There hasn’t been a King James since the seventeenth century, so the time might be ripe for a new one. Since Kate has a brother named James, this would be a way of incorporating her side of the family into the name as well. James is one of the most enduring classic Anglo-Saxon names — biblical and, in the U.S., presidential.
Leopold — One of the sons of Queen Victoria, Prince Leopold was named after a favorite uncle of hers. Though it sounds a bit stiff and Germanic, it is one path to the popular short form Leo. In literature, the name is famous via Leopold Bloom, the central character of James Joyce’s “Ulysses,” and in music as the distinguished conductor Leopold Stokowski.
Other middle name possibilities would be those of grandfathers Philip and Michael.
Nameberry (http://nameberry.com) is a baby-naming site produced by Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz, co-authors of 10 bestselling baby name guides, including the newest, “Beyond Ave and Aiden: The Enlightened Guide to Naming Your Baby.”