Thursday, December 6, 2012

British Royal Name History

Lady Jane Grey via Wikipedia

To continue thoughts from my previous post...

In recent readings of fellow name bloggers and baby name sites, I have discovered that the Queen has veto power on a name... so I wouldn't worry about a King Spencer, and I would think Elizabeth will come before Diana in the middle name spots. :) William and Kate seem to be traditional in their tastes anyway and will go with family names in the first name spot, but I also wouldn't be surprised if they go their own way. 

I am intrigued by the thought of using Michael in a middle name spot, in honor of Kate's father, and I can definitely see this happening with William being so close to her family. The Queen did incorporate Philip's parents' names in her daughter's and second son's names, even using Andrew as his first name, but the firstborn only uses the name Philip from his side of the family. If the baby is a girl, Kate's mother Carole could be honored by using Charlotte or Caroline, although Carole's middle name is Elizabeth, which itself will definitely be used and can represent her as well. Kate's sister is Philippa Charlotte and her brother is James William, so maybe William could be used to honor both sides, but I see that more in a second son.

I read that Diana wanted to use her father's name, John, when naming William (it is said that she did choose their first names), but the name John is regarded as "bad luck" in the royal family and was nixed. Reasoning is as follows: King John has gone down in history and legend as a negative character, and there were a couple of princes born with the name John who died young (more below). I would think that Diana could have used Edward though, which is her father's first name. One name from her side was used in Harry's name: Albert was her grandfather's name and is a Windsor name as well. 

All that being said, here are my votes for the new full royal name:

Arthur Frederick Charles Michael
Jane Elizabeth Diana Victoria

These picks definitely have my preferences at the forefront. I have a deep love of the name Arthur, which is why I put it in the first name spot. My second pick would be moving the names around and naming him Frederick Arthur Charles Michael. Both of these names bring in a name that hasn't appeared in this family's history before: Michael and Diana. There is a lot of talk in the blogosphere and baby name world of the name Alice as the first name if the baby is a girl. I would love it for sure, but Jane will always be tops in my heart and therefore I will pull for it in the coveted spot. Jane was only a brief presence in the family history, but it would make a grand new "re"entrance. I would also love a revival of Mary or Matilda. Where does Matilda come from? Read on...

Since I looked all of this up, I thought I would share the full names of the current royal family:

Children of Queen Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary) with Philip
Charles Philip Arthur George
Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise
Andrew Albert Christian Edward
Edward Antony Richard Louis

Children of Prince Charles with Diana Frances
William Arthur Philip Louis
Henry Charles Albert David

Charles is now married to Camilla Rosemary

Children of Princess Anne with Mark Anthony Peter
Peter Mark Andrew
Zara Anne Elizabeth

Children of Prince Andrew with Sarah Margaret
Beatrice Elizabeth Mary
Eugenie Victoria Helena

Children of Prince Edward with Sophie Helen
Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary
James Alexander Philip Theo

Children of Peter with Autumn Patricia
Savannah Anne Kathleen
Isla Elizabeth

Those who aren't heir to the throne are able to have a little more leeway with the names they give their children. I love the "new" names that appear in the current family... especially Isla, Eugenie, and Theo.

For some reason, the current family's names weren't enough for me. I decided to go all the way back to William the Conqueror, who became King of England in 1066 AD. I really wish I had the time to list the children of all the siblings, but alas. It is fascinating to see what names were present in the family back then, and which ones stuck around...

Children of William I with Matilda
Robert (was given the Duchy of Normandy at the time of his father's death, and his brother William was given the Kingdom of England)
Richard (predeceased his father)
William* (became King William II but died without an heir so his brother Henry became King)
Henry* (also defeated his brother Robert to become Duke of Normandy)
Adeliza (Adelaide)
Cecelia
Matilda
Constance
Adela (mother of King Stephen)
Agatha

Children of King Henry I with Matilda (born Edith)
Matilda* ("Empress Matilda" was disputed ruler after her father's death but never crowned and was usurped by her cousin Stephen; mother of King Henry II)
William (predeceased his father without an heir)

Children of King Stephen with Matilda
Eustace (predeceased his father)
Matilda
Marie
Baldwin (died in infancy)
William (was passed over as King in an agreement with Empress Matilda's son Henry for the sake of peace)

Children of King Henry II with Eleanor
William (predeceased his father)
Henry* (was King Henry while his father was still alive, but predeceased him and Richard became King after his father died)
Matilda
Richard* (Richard the Lionheart held the throne until his death when his brother John became King; did not have a legitimate heir)
Geoffrey 
Eleanor
Joan
John*

Children of King John with Isabella
Henry*
Richard
Joan
Isabella
Eleanor

Children of King Henry III with Eleanor
Edward*
Margaret
Beatrice
Edmund
Katherine

Children of King Edward I with Eleanor and Margaret
John (predeceased his father)
Henry (predeceased his father)
Eleanor
Joan
Alphonso (predeceased his father)
Margaret
Mary
Elizabeth
Edward*
Thomas
Edmund

Children of King Edward II with Isabella
Edward*
John
Eleanor
Joan

Children of King Edward III with Philippa
Edward (predeceased his father so his son Richard II became King, who was later deposed and Henry IV became King)
Isabella
Joan
Lionel
John (father of King Henry IV)
Edmund (grandfather of Richard, whose mother was great-granddaughter of Lionel; Richard was the father of King Edward IV)
Blanche
Mary
Margaret
Thomas
William

Children of King Henry IV with Mary
Edward (died at birth)
Henry*
Thomas
John
Humphrey
Blanche
Philippa

Child of King Henry V with Catherine
Henry*

Child of King Henry VI with Margaret
Edward (predeceased his father, who was overtaken by King Edward IV)

Children of King Edward IV with Elizabeth
Elizabeth (was also the wife of King Henry VII and mother of King Henry VIII)
Mary
Cecily
Edward* (became King Edward V, but died without an heir and brother Richard III was declared King)
Richard*
George
Anne
Catherine
Bridget

Children of King Richard III with Anne
Edward (predeceased his father; Henry VII became King after defeating King Richard III and stating he was the last heir to King Edward III)

Children of King Henry VII with Elizabeth
Arthur (predeceased his father so the throne passed to his brother Henry)
Margaret
Henry*
Elizabeth
Mary (was the grandmother of Lady Jane Grey)
Edmund
Edward
Katherine

Children of King Henry VIII with Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour
Mary* (had no children so the throne passed to her half-sister Elizabeth)
Elizabeth* (had no children so the throne passed to James, son of Mary, Queen of Scots and Henry Stuart, who were great-grandchildren of King Henry VII)
Edward* (became Edward VI after his father's death but died at age 15 without an heir; he gave the throne to his cousin Lady Jane Grey, but after nine days, the throne was given to his sister Mary)

Children of King James I with Anne
Henry Frederick (predeceased his father so the throne passed to his brother Charles)
Elizabeth
Charles*

Children of King Charles I with Henrietta Maria
Charles* (became King Charles II but had no legitimate children so the throne passed to his brother James after his death)
Mary Henrietta (mother to King William III)
James*
Elizabeth
Anne
Henry
Henrietta

Children of King James II with Anne and Mary
Charles (died in infancy)
Mary* (became Queen after her father's "abdication" because she was Protestant; ruled with her husband King William III and he ruled after her death; when William died, Mary's sister Anne became Queen)
Anne* (became Queen after Mary's husband William died, and because she was Protestant)
James Francis Edward (did not become King because he was Catholic)
Louisa Maria Teresa

Child of Queen Anne and George
William (predeceased his mother)

Children of King George I with Sophia Dorothea (George Louis became King through his mother Sophia, who was ruled as heir to the throne if Anne had no surviving children. Sophia was the daughter of Elizabeth Stuart, who was the daughter of King James I)
George Augustus*
Sophia Dorothea

Children of King George II with Wilhelmina Charlotte Caroline
Frederick Louis (predeceased his father and therefore the throne went to his son George)
Anne
Amelia Sophia Eleanor
Caroline Elizabeth
George William
William Augustus
Mary
Louise

Children of King George III (George William Frederick) with Sophia Charlotte
George Augustus Frederick* (died without a living heir)
Frederick Augustus (predeceased his brother George without any heirs, leaving brother William as heir to the throne)
William Henry* (died without a living heir)
Charlotte Augusta Matilda
Edward Augustus (with Marie Luise Victoria was father of Queen Victoria)
Augusta Sophia
Elizabeth
Ernest Augustus
Augustus Frederick
Adolphus Frederick
Mary
Sophia Matilda
Octavius
Alfred
Amelia

Child of King George IV with Caroline Amelia Elizabeth
Charlotte Augusta (predeceased her father)

Children of King William IV with Adelaide Amelia Louise Theresa Caroline
Charotte (predeceased her father)
Elizabeth Georgiana Adelaide (predeceased her father)

Children of Queen Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria) with Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel
Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa
Albert Edward*
Alice Maud Mary
Alfred Ernest Albert
Helena Augusta Victoria
Louise Caroline Alberta
Arthur William Patrick Albert
Leopold George Duncan Albert
Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore

Children of King Edward VII with Alexandra Caroline Marie Charlotte Louise Julia
Albert Victor Christian Edward (predeceased his father)
George Frederick Ernest Albert*
Louise Victoria Alexandra Dagmar
Victoria Alexandra Olga Mary
Maud Charlotte Mary Victoria
Alexander John (born prematurely and died a day later; one of the reasons John is not used anymore)

Children of King George V with Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes
Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David* (abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson)
Albert Frederick Arthur George*
Victoria Alexandra Alice Mary
Henry William Frederick Albert
George Edward Alexander Edmund
John Charles Francis (had epilepsy and was hidden from the public, died at age 13; one of the reasons John is not used anymore)

Children of King George VI with Elizabeth Angela Marguerite 
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary*
Margaret Rose

Children of Princess Margaret with Antony Charles Robert
David Albert Charles
Sarah Frances Elizabeth

*held the throne

Phew!

Did you see Cecily pop up? What about Blanche, Joan and the numerous Matildas in the early days? Adelaide also jumps out to me. It's hard to ignore all the princes and princess with the names Augustus or Augusta. Why didn't Eleanor or Thomas stick around? Are you surprised there aren't any Catherines among the children? Such fabulous names should make a comeback... hopefully, William and Kate will make that a reality.

And the more I look at the name John, the more I love it and am saddened that the family refuses to use it anymore.

There are several great side stories that I uncovered in this research, but I'll share just one. It's interesting that the Queen chose Charles for her firstborn son given the history of the kings that carried that name. Charles I was beheaded for high treason, ending the monarchy for eleven years. Charles II had 12 illegitimate children and no legitimate children, leaving the throne to his brother James. The fascinating thing about Charles II's story though is that Princess Diana is a descendant of two of his illegitimate children, making Prince William likely to be the first monarch to be a descendant of Charles II. I guess that's more of a history lesson than a name story, but I found it fun enough to tell.

If you have read this far, thanks for staying through my madness.  :) I would love to hear your favorite royal names and what names you think should be in the combo for the newest royal heir!

A big thank you to Wikipedia for this information.

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7 comments:

  1. I love your English history of names. I just thought I'd throw in a little Swedish Royal History I researched along with getting to know my cousins in Sweden this year. King Gustav and Queen Silvia have three children. Their oldest daughter Crown Princess Victoria (DOB 17 Jul 1977) is heir apparent in line to the throne as Sweden had the first law in European primogeniture passed on 1 Jan 1980. Victoria's name is Victoria Ingrid Alice Desiree. She has 2 younger siblings Carl Philip Edmund Bertil (DOB 13 May 1979) and Madeleine Therese Amelie Josephine (19 Jun 1982). Most exciting of all is the fact that this year Victoria had her 1st child, a daughter Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary (DOB 23 Feb 2012). Princess Estelle is now 2nd in line to the throne.

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    1. I remember reading about Princess Estelle when she was born. Fabulous names!

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  2. The royal family don't use the name Arthur except in the middle - they have a superstition about it.

    I also think Jane would be off the cards, since the only queen Jane (Lady Grey) ruled for just 9 days and suffered an unhappy fate.

    I do think Alice would be sweet, I can see why everyone is gunning for it. I would rather like an Adelaide or a Maude, although I realise these are extremely remote possibilities!

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    1. i read that about Arthur as well... i hate that superstition so much, i chose to ignore it. :)

      and i think there might be some negativity towards Jane because of that, but she was chosen queen because she was Protestant (Mary was Catholic), so maybe it's not as negative as it could be. the Queen might think otherwise.

      there is so much scandal and craziness in the history of the royal family that i'm surprised they have any names to use at all! ;)

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  3. Because Jane was proclaimed, but never crowned, queen, it would be very controversial to have a Jane II - it would be a slap in the face to parliament. And yet to just have a Queen Jane would be denying history. So I don't see how it's workable.

    It's okay to have a Prince Arthur, but not a king - so in the days when families (including royal ones) had 6-8 children, a younger son named Arthur would be considered safe. These days, when 2-3 children is more the norm, I think it would be too risky. However, it definitely has a chance as a middle name!

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  4. Richard III was the brother of Edward IV not his son. Edward IV did have sons named Richard and Edward but these boys were murdered in the white tower. After this Richard III had his brother's children declared illegitimate and became king by succession as his elder brother George predeceased him.

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