Royal February Birthdays

The end of the month is quickly approaching so we’re just squeezing in our  second edition of  royal birthdays. Here are a few favourites for February.

February 5th Princess Mary of Denmark

Let’s start off with Princess Mary. She was born in 1972 so this year marks her 42nd birthday.  She and the family spent some time in Switzerland for a ski holiday, and posed during a photo call.

All bundled up (via Daily Mail)
All bundled up (via Daily Mail)

February 6: Princess Marie of Denmark

Princess Marie celebrated her 38th birthday this year one day after sis-in-law Mary (What are the odds?). Her family’s photo call seems to be been more extended. Here we have Marie, Princess Athena, Prince Nikolai, Prince Felix, Prince Henrik and Prince Joachim.

Smile! (via Zimbio)
Smile! (via Zimbio)

This photo with Princess Athena is my favourite for obvious reasons.

Where are your goggles? (via Zimbio)
Where are your goggles? (via Zimbio)

Marie and the family did a little meet and greet with the press in a restaurant as well. She likes a good pares-ski beverage!

Princess Marie in Villars (via ZImbio)
Princess Marie in Villars (via ZImbio)

Looks like  a cozy little joint. Happy Birthday to Marie.

via Zimbio
via Zimbio

February 20: HRH Princesss Leonore Lillian Marie, Duchess of Gotland

Next up is Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill’s new daughter, who’s name and title was just announced today. It’s official: she’s a princess AND a duchess, so Madeleine clearly decided NOT to go the Princess Anne route and forgo titles for her children. It had seemed to me like the Swedish royal family wanted to keep things tight and streamlined (and therefore focused on Princess Victoria and her family), but clearly not! Fascinating, right?

A chill photo (via Princess Madeleine's Facebook page)
A chill photo (via Princess Madeleine’s Facebook page)

King Carl Gustav and Queen Silvia travelled to New York over the weekend to meet her. The King was back in Sweden today, where he announced the name at a meeting of the Cabinet Council and made the name public.

The King and Queen and wee Leonore (Via Princess Madeleine's Facebook Page)
The King and Queen and wee Leonore (Via Princess Madeleine’s Facebook Page)

When I first heard the name I instantly thought of Infanta Leonor, the eight year old future Queen of Spain. Slightly different spelling, but close!

Lillian is likely a nod to Princess Lillian,  Madeleine’s late great-aunt who had a fascinating life. Here it is in a nutshell: she was born in Wales in 1915, worked as a model and factory worked during WWII, married and divorced a Scottish actor, and met Prince Bertil of Sweden in 1943. They lived together but didn’t get married in case Bertil had to serve as regent, and that would’t have been allowed if he’d been married to a divorcee. Once Prince Carl Gustav (the current King) came of age and ascended the throne in 1973, they got married. Anyway, It seems like she was an awesome aunt.

Princess Lillian with Princess Victoria and Prince (via The Times)
Princess Lillian with Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Carl Philip (via The Times)

Chris’s mum is named Eva Maria so that could be where Leonor’s second middle name comes from.  So nice that she’s just two years younger than her cousin Princess Estelle!

February 21: Prince Amadeo of Belgium

Next up is Prince Amadeo of Belgium. He turned 28 on February 21st and I believe this is his first appearance on this blog. He is included here since he just announced his engagement to his girl friend of seven years, Elisabetta Rosboch von Wolkenstein, and that means we have another royal wedding to countdown to.

Amadeo & Elisabetta (via Hello!)
Amadeo & Elisabetta (via Hello!)

Amadeo is sixth in line to the Belgian throne as the son of Princess Astrid of Belgium and Prince Lorenz, Archduke of Austria-Este. Elisabetta is Italian-born and they  currently live in New York City (he has worked for Deloitte and  she is a journalist). It’ll be interesting to see how the wedding plays out – I’m thinking it’ll be somewhat low key but still grand and held in Belgium (something in the vein of Zara’s wedding, but perhaps with a few more public pictures will be released). What do you think?

February 23: Princess Estelle of Sweden

Princess Estelle, big cousin to Princess Leonore, celebrated her second birthday on the 23rd. This is one of the pictures that was issued to celebrate.

Princess Estelle turns 2 (via )
Princess Estelle turns 2 (via Kungahuset.se)

It seems this ‘blowing out the candle pic’ will be a new tradition – last year we were treated to this picture.

Princess Estelle turns one (via Kungahuset.se)
Princess Estelle turns one (via Kungahuset.se)

My grandmother will not be delighted to see that the bow in the hair tradition has not only continued, but has gotten bigger. In her words: “you don’t do this to children.”

On that note,  we’ll be back with more birthdays and royal fun in March!

Prince George of Cambridge & His Upcoming Christening

First things first. We have a  name! Or three, in fact.

images-1

Earlier today Clarence House announced:

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to announce that they have named their son George Alexander Louis. The baby will be known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge. 

Our name predictions for a baby boy was posted exactly a month ago (on June 24) and we did pretty well! Check that here if you like. Let’s run it down.

First Name: George

King George with Princess Elizabeth, Princess Margaret and his Queen consort Elizabeth
King George with Princess Elizabeth, Princess Margaret and his Queen consort Elizabeth

The #1 Prediction for a baby boy was George, so hurray for us. The bookies thought so, too and even at Kate and William’s photo call yesterday one of the reporters flat out asked if the baby’s name would be George. William’s response? “wait and see, wait and see.”

We know that this morning the Queen paid a visit to Kensington Palace to see the new baby, and must have given the name her seal of approval then. Kate and William weren’t required to get it, but it must have been fun to have for them to have a little chat about it this morning. Then, they beetled off to Bucklebury where they must have had a final chat about it with Kate’s family before sharing the news with the world.

Off to Bucklebury
Off to Bucklebury

As we discussed in our baby name post, George currently sits at #12 for boys names in England and Wales. We’ll see if it shoots up to #1 now. And of course, the patron saint of England is St. George, and Queen Elizabeth’s father went by George when he was crowned king. So many Georges!

The Cross of St. George via The Telegraph
The Cross of St. George via The Telegraph

Middle Name #1: Alexander

Ok, this wasn’t on our list of predictions so this one was a swing and a miss. Love it, though. There is a lot of history with this name, particularly when it comes to the ladies. For example, Queen Victoria’s first name was actually ‘Alexandrina’ and the current Queen has ‘Alexandra’ as one of her middle names. Princess Alexandra, Lady Ogilvy (one of the Queen’s cousins)  is also one of Williams’ godparents.

Memorial to Queen Victoria outside of Kensington Palace
Memorial to Queen Victoria outside of Kensington Palace

Plus, it’s got a bit of a modern feel to it for the little chap.

Middle Name #2: Louis

Louis was our #3 prediction since it is one of William’s middle names. William was given the name as a tribute to Louis, Lord Mountbatten who played an important part in Prince Charles’ life. Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex also shares this middle name, and he and Sophie named their daughter Louise.

Louis, Lord Mountbatten
Louis, Lord Mountbatten

Louis is is currently tied at #68 with Arthur for most popular baby names in England and Wales.

So there we go! George Alexander Louis is a lovely name and flows very nicely together. As far as why ‘William’ isn’t in there, I guess they just wanted to give the baby his own identity.

Thoughts on The Christening

Now that we have a christening to look forward to for the little Prince of Cambridge, let’s chat about what we can expect.

Venue

There’s been some speculation in the (mostly American) press that it will be held in Westminster Abbey. There is NO WAY in heck is that happening.

The Music Room at Buckingham Palace
The Music Room at Buckingham Palace

As with most things royal, I think we should look to tradition for the answer and here’s a fun fact for you: so far, four royal babies have been christened in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace. Four! And all of these christenings have been relatively recent: Prince Charles was the fist, followed by Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince William. They were all also christened there by the Archbishop of Canterbury, so I believe the Music Room it will be for Prince George.

As a runner up option, Prince Harry was christened at St. George’s chapel at Windsor Castle which would be quite appropriate for little George, too. We’ll see what they choose!

William taking the spotlight at Harry's Christening
William taking the spotlight at Harry’s Christening

It won’t be televised, but at the very least I think we can expect three or four official photographs to be released, along with a list of the chosen godparents.

So When Will it Be?

As far as when it will happen, it seems that most royal babies are christened at some point between four week and four months old. Prince William was christened on August 4th after his June 21st birthday, Charles on December 15th after being born on November 14, and more recently James Vicount Severn was christened on April 19 after his December 17 birthday. It’s all over the place!

We are talking about the third in line to the throne and future ‘Defender of the Faith, so I think a late September  to early October christening is likely as not to interrupt the Queen’s holiday in Balmoral too much.

I mean, we need more photos of her having a lovely time at the Braemar games, which happens at the beginning of September each year.

What a hoot
What a hoot!

The Christening Gown

Most important in my books is the christening gown. We’ve already hashed out lots of details of this tradition in our post.  British Royal Family Christening Gowns. It was published back in October of 2011 and it’s actually one of our most read posts ever, so let me just boil it down quickly for you.

Basically, since 1841(!), royal babies wore a gown first worn by Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Victoria. The last royal baby to wear it was Lady Louise Windsor. Here’s Prince Charles in the gown:

The Royal Collection

The Royal Collection

Then, when Lady Louise’s brother James, Viscount Severn was born, a new gown was introduced. As a press release stated at the time:

“The Christening Gown worn by Viscount Severn is a hand-made replica of Queen Victoria’s daughter’s Christening Gown, which was worn at subsequent Royal Christenings and has now been preserved. It is the first time this gown has been worn by a member of the Royal Family and was commissioned by The Queen.”

It  certainly is very frothy and lacy:

wessex

God Parents

Also very important of course, is who William and Kate will choose to be godparents.  I’d not be surprised to see some of their close friends in the ranks, along with some family.

William’s six godparents included cousins such as the former King Constantine of Greece, Princess Alexandra, and Lord Romsey. There was a bit of a hullaballoo in the press at that time that none of Charles’ siblings were included in the group. Who knows if that is true, but for what it’s worth Prince Harry has six godparents as well and the Duke of York is one of them. Bottom line: siblings could be chosen!

Over in Europe, the royals have each other as godparents but I don’t really see that happening here since they don’t have the same close relationships. As fun as it would be to find out Princess Victoria of Sweden was in the ranks, I don’t think it’ll happen

So, here are my predictions. I’ve got five possibilities for each:

Godfathers:

  • Prince Harry! He’s going to be such a fun uncle.

640_prince_harry_cjackson_270203_162787174

  • Thomas van Straubenzee:  William was a groomsman at his wedding to Lady Melissa Percy earlier this summer and they go waaay back.
William & Thomas back in the day
William & Thomas back in the day when William had lots of hair
  • Hugh van Cutsem– Hugh’s daughter Grace was a flower girl at the wedding (the one who covered her ears on the balcony). Here he is with his wife:

16060006

  • Peter Philips – William’s first cousin, son of Princess Anne
Peter Philips with Isla and Savannah
Peter Philips with Isla and Savannah; Kate with Savannah and Lupo

Godmothers:

  • Pippa Middleton: so that there will be some Middleton representation in the ranks. My guess for the heir is Pippa, and the spare will have James Middleton as a godfather if he doesn’t do anything too embarrassing before then.
  • Zara Philips, William’s first cousin who’s expecting a baby in the new year
Zara receiving her silver Olympic medal from Princess Anne
Zara receiving her silver Olympic medal from Princess Anne
  • A Spencer Lady: So these are the last three guesses. Diana’s sisters Lady Sarah McCquorcodale or Lady Jane Fellowes would be a nice way to include Diana’s side. William, Kate, and Harry all showed up for Emily McCorquodale’s Jun 2012 wedding, so I think she could be another contender . Our post on that wedding always is inexplicably one of our top posts EVER and can be found here if you’d like to see.
That's Lady Sarah in the background
That’s Lady Sarah in the background

Any other ideas?

Christening Cake

No doubt little Prince George will have a christening cake or two. Evidentially there were several ‘christening cakes’ at Prince Charles’ christening in 1948. Some decorations put on the Charles’ cakes were kept and included in an exhibit marking the Prince of Wales’ 60th birthday put on by the Royal Collection.

For example, these silk flowers adorned a cake at his christening and his great-grandmother Queen Mary tucked them away with this hand-written note:

54845

This silver carousel was a topper for a christening cake as well. The Royals Collection’s website explains:

48958-1

“The silver carousel was made for one of Prince Charles’s Christening cakes by Lieut-Col. Bell and wounded ex-servicemen, and was engraved and polished by Peter Milton. It is engraved with the arms of his mother on one side, and of his father on the other. The baby in a cradle is rocked by a lion and a unicorn, supporters in the royal coat of arms.”

Perhaps they’ll bring out it for Baby Cambridge.

Christening Cup

Queen Mary gave Prince Charles this christening cup, which has a very far reaching history:

The Royal Collection
The Royal Collection

This silver-gilt Christening cup was given by Queen Mary to Prince Charles, her godson and great-grandson, on his christening in 1948. It was made by the English silversmith Thomas Heming and was originally a christening gift from King George III to The Hon. Augustus Legge, son of the 2nd Earl of Dartmouth, who was christened in May 1773.

Another tradition to include! Time to pass it on, Charles.

Side Note: Baby Prince Charles also received this little fork, knife, and spoon in a leather carrying case.

The Royal Collection. The Collection of the Prince of Wales
The Royal Collection. The Collection of the Prince of Wales

But could anything be as cute as Princess Estelle of Sweden? It’s debatable. that little sash is tough to beat!

Princess Estelle of Sweden,
Princess Estelle of Sweden,

In case you haven’t had enough yet, here are our other posts on royal christening gowns and ceremonies. Have at ’em if you wish:

Royal Family of Denmark Christening Gowns

Princess Athena of Denmark’s Christening

Royal Family of Sweden Christening Gowns & Traditions

Princess Estelle of Sweden’s Christening 

 

Baby Cambridge Predictions: Boy Names

 In our last post, we really dove in and hashed out potential names if William and Kate have a girl. Click here if you missed it. It may look like we’re throwing a bunch of names at a wall and seeing what will stick, and maybe we are, but there’s some reasoning behind all of it.

So it’s time to talk boy names. My guess is that Baby Cambridge will be a girl but recently there has been some speculation in the press that Kate & William are having a boy. Like check out this piece from The Mirror here. I’m not sure I believe it – the sources seem super sketchy and I hate to think that Harry would have let that slip. Well, time will tell.

Via the Mirror
Via the Mirror

So let’s dive in to the boy names we think might just make the cut. I must say I’m not as confident on these as I am on the top four girl’s names predicted. Boys are tougher. But let’s try.

UPDATED JULY 24, 2013: Clarence house has announced: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to announce that they have named their son George Alexander Louis. The baby will be known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge.

Prediction #1: George

The Cross of St. George via The Telegraph
The Cross of St. George via The Telegraph

Current Name Rank

This name is currently ranked at #12 for boys names in England and Wales. So, yeah it’s very common but with good reason.

Name’s Meaning

Farmer or earth worker. How very down to earth!

The Tradition & History Test

Well where to begin? We’ve got St. George, patron saint of England and oodles of King Georges. Most recently, Queen Elizabeth II’s dad chose to be known as King George VI. This name gets a blue ribbon in the tradition stakes.

King George VI  circa 1940-46
King George VI circa 1940-46

The Title Test

  • His Royal Highness Prince George
  • His Majesty King George VII

Yeah, it’ll do….thought the fact that it’s been so widely reported to be a front runner could work against it. Who knows?

Prediction #2: Arthur

Current Name Rank

Arthur currently ranks #68 for boys names in England and Wales, so it’s popular but not too popular.

Name’s Meaning

Noble, courageous. Love that.

The Tradition & History Test

This is another name with a long royal history, starting with the legend of King Arthur.

Queen Victoria chose to name one of her sons Arthur. Here he is:

Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn

His full title was HRH Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn. One of the titles conferred on Kate and William by the Queen was the Earl and Countess of Strathearn, so that’s a nice little connection there. There’s a Canadian connection, too: Prince Arthur was appointed Governor General of Canada back in 1911.

Plus, the first of Prince William’s middle names is Arthur and this could have been his first one. If reports are true, this is what Charles’ first choice was but Diana nixed that in favour or William. William’s full name is William Arthur Philip Louis. Notably, one of Prince Charles’ middle names is also Arthur.

Baby William, Via Parade
Baby William, Via Parade

The Title Test

  • His Royal Highness Prince Arthur
  • His Majesty King Arthur

I’m giving these two names 100% for the title test!

Prediction #3: Louis

Current Name Rank

Interestingly, Louis is tied for #68 with Arthur. Huh. Again, popular but not too popular.

Name’s Meaning

‘Fame and war’…meh

The Tradition & History Test

Ok, so William was named Louis in recognition of Louis, Lord Mountbatten, who was an extremely important figure in Prince Charles’ life. This fellow here:

Louis, Lord Mountbatten
Louis, Lord Mountbatten

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex has Louis as one of his middle names, likely also in Lord Mountbatten’s honour.

I’m wondering if the fact that there’s already a Lady Louise in the British royal family could make this name a no-go…but I’m keeping it on the list because it just strikes me as a name that both William and Kate would like. It’s regal but has a certain sweetness to it at the same time.

The Title Test

  • His Royal Highness Prince Louis
  • His majesty King Louis

I like it! He gets his own somewhat unique name in that it hasn’t been used much in the British Royal Family, but there is some history there as well. Can’t count this name out!

Prediction #4: David

Current Name Rank:

In England and Wales, this name ranks at #57.

Name’s Meaning:

“Beloved”

Tradition & History:

St. David is the patron Saint of Wales, so this name would be rather appropriate, wouldn’t you say? Prince William joined Diana on St. David’s Day in Cardiff, Wales back in 1991:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cH001n7IHY]

The only living member of the Royal Family who has David as a first name is David Linley, Princess Margaret’s son. He’s at the top here:

HRH Princess Margaret and Family

The Title Test:

  1. HRH Prince David
  2. His Majesty King David

Yes and YES.

Prediction #5 The Wild Card – Fergus

This is out there, but here me out. And that is what wild cards are for, anyway.

Current Name Rank:

This name is not in the top 100 baby names in England in Wales, which makes it more appealing.

Name’s Meaning

Something to do with “strength of man”

The Tradition & History Test

This was a popular royal name for the Celts in Ireland and was also popular in Scotland and dare I say that it’s appropriate for a few reasons:

1. The scottish history is a nice nod to St. Andrew’s university in Scotland where Kate and William met

2.  Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother had a brother named Fergus who was tragically killed at the Battle of Loos. The two of them  had a special bond, so this would be a nice tribute to that branch of William’s family

http://www.westernfrontassociation.com
http://www.westernfrontassociation.com

3. One of William and Kate’s good friends from university is Fergus Boyd, so they’d have good associations with this name. Like some other names we’ve put out there, this fact might work against this name, in which case I say, go for Angus! Angus works, too. Love both names.

The Title Test:

I think Prince Fergus and King Fergus both sound awesome. As do Prince Angus and King Angus. or Prince Duncan and King Duncan…..Yeah, these three are working for me!

A Few Solid Maybe’s for Good Measure:

  • Albert – I can’t totally cut this name out – there is so much history attached (Prince Albert/ Bertie! Alberta!) and it’s a cute name – but I feel like Prince Albert of Monaco makes this name a little less likely to be seriously considered by Kate and William
  • Oliver – There isn’t much in the way of royal precedent here but this is another name that I think both Kate and William would like. They do have  a close friend named Oliver “Ollie” Baker which could work for or against this name, who the hell knows? plus Kate’s great-grandmother was named Olive. Love that.
  • Edwin – from ye old times (like he died in 1073), Prince Edwin was a prince and warrior in North Wales
  • Philip – a nice nod to Prince Philip and a more subtle nod to Pippa Middleton…everybody wins! This is on the maybe list because I feel like it’s a bit obvious…I’d say it’s a for sure for a middle name, though.
Via The Mirror
Via The Mirror

Potential Middle Names:

  • James – If it weren’t for the fact that Sophie & Edward have a son named James, I’d say this was a real possibility as a first name…though Kate’s brother is named James so that could sway this choice either way. Meh….now I’m thinking it’s a likely middle name
  • William – For sure. No Question.
  • Peter – For Kate’s Grandad and William’s cousin Peter Philips
  • Philip – For Pippa and perhaps more importantly, Prince Philip
  • Michael – for Kate’s dad
  • Charles – another no brainer
  • Henry – Ditto
  • David – a family name and the patron saint of Wales so what the heck, eh?
  • Duncan – I just want to throw in one more Scottish name for good measure. So Scottish – and a middle name of Prince Leopold, one of Queen Victoria’s sons. Shakespearean. Heck, I think this would be a brilliant first name, too.
  • Patrick – and here we have an Irish one.Wouldn’t that be diplomatic of Kate and Wills? An irish name, a Scottish name, a Welsh name if we get Arthur or David, and an English name will be in there for sure. How very diplomatic that would be.

All right, after rattling off so many names here’s Royal Poster #1’s final guess:

His Royal Highness Prince George William Philip Duncan Charles 

And Royal Poster #2:

His Royal Highness Prince George William Philip Charles Michael

 Ok, what do you think? Are we off our rockers? Join in the fun in the comments!

Baby Cambridge Predictions: Girls Names

Settle in to your easy chairs…it’s time for us to weigh in with baby name predictions for Baby Cambridge and this is a looooong winded post. This post focuses on girls names and  our post on boys names can be found here. Hope you’ll chime in with your ideas, too.

As Kate herself said on her recent trip to Scotland, “We have a shortlist for both (a boy and girl), but it’s very difficult. My friends keep texting me names.” (Source).

Source: AFP
Source: AFP

As we all know, William and Kate have a tough job here. Whatever name they choose has to tick a heck of a lot of boxes. I mean, the name has to:

  • Be respectful of tradition (there will be no Savannah’s for example)
  • Sound good with ‘Princess’ in front of it (Princess Carole? No.)
  • Sound even better with ‘Queen’ in front of it
  • Look good on coins, stamps, money, mailboxes, etc.
  • Stand up to the scrutiny of millions of subjects

They can’t mess around. So to begin let’s look at what we know.

1. Tradition, Tradition, Tradition

First of all, we know that tradition is important here. Naturally, Queen Victoria’s children’s names have provided inspiration in the naming of many royal children and so the bulk of my predictions are in that direction.

For example, Prince Edward (who shares his name with Queen Victoria’s son King Edward VII) and Sophie named their daughter Louise. Louise was the name of Queen Victoria’s daughter (her full name was Louise Caroline Alberta). She really just seems like such a cutie:

Source: Dan Kitwood/Getty
Source: Dan Kitwood/Getty

And of course, The Duke and Duchess of York named their daughter Beatrice after Queen Victoria’s youngest child. Incidentally, that Beatrice named her daughter Victoria Eugenia, which of course inspired Princess Eugenie of York’s name.

Source: Samir Hussein/Getty Images
Source: Samir Hussein/Getty Images

So that leaves us with a few more names of Queen Victoria’s children’s names still up for grabs.

2. The Language of Flowers is Kate’s Thing

On top of the Queen Victoria naming tradition, we know that Kate likes the Language of Flowers. During Victorian times, communicating using the language of flowers was popular (ivy for endurance, thistle for nobility, etc.) and Kate made the Language of Flowers the theme for her and William’s wedding. She was all over it and no doubt that was her plan for years   So, I’m thinking that she likes pretty and feminine but strong girls names. I mean, Kate likes lace and classic dresses and bone china and I think her favourite baby names will reflect that. I really don’t think we’re going to have a Princess Estelle situation here.

In no particular order, here are the predictions:

Prediction #1:  Alice 

This name ticks all the boxes.

Current Name Rank

The most current statistics for baby names in England and Wales gives the name a ranking of #32 (Source). This could be a bit high for William and Kate’s liking, but I just can’t count this name out. It is far less popular in the Unites States: the most current statistics for baby names in the USA give the name a ranking of #142 (Source).

Name’s Meaning

“Of Noble Kind.” Yeah, that works!

The Tradition & History Test:

There are quite a few past Royal Alice’s. Let’s count them down.

1. HRH Princess Alice Maude Mary, Grand Duchess of Hesse (1843 – 1878)

Born in 1843, Princess Alice Maude Mary was Queen Victoria’s third child. She married the Duke of Hesse and her daughter was Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, wife of Tsar Nicholas and mum of Anastiasia. Here she is looking rather non plussed around 1875:

Source: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3004/2518767555_37e62a7778.jpg?v=0
Source: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3004/2518767555_37e62a7778.jpg?v=0

Additionally, she is Prince Philip’s maternal great grandmother. Prince Philip’s mother was Princess Alice of Battenberg.

2. Princess Alice of Battenburg (?-?)

Naturally, this Princess was named after this first Princess Alice. So, Prince Philip’s mum was Queen Victoria’s great granddaughter. Princess Alice was apparently born in Queen Victoria’s presence at Windsor Castle, so this name definitely fits with history and tradition.

3. Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester (1901 – 2004)

Of course, there is another member of the Royal Family named Alice as well. That would be Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, who married into the family way back in 1935:

Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Paliano
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Paliano

We also know that Kate’s dissertation at St. Andrew’s University was on Lewis Carol, author of Alice in Wonderland…so I’d think it’s safe to say she’s a fan.

Alice in Wonderland via Tumbler
Alice in Wonderland via Tumbler

As a final note, one of Lady Louise Windsor’s middle names is Alice. BOOM.

The Title Test:

How does these sound:

  • Her Royal Highness Princess Alice
  • Her Royal Highness Princess Alice of Wales
  • Her Majesty Queen Alice

Sounds good to me!

Prediction #2: Charlotte

Another solid name idea is the soft but strong sounding Charlotte. Kate totally strikes me as someone who would like the name Charlotte. Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Catherine…yes I am really feeling this one.

Current Name Rank

The most current statistics for baby names in England and Wales gives the name a ranking of #21 (Source). As is the case with Alice, this could be a bit high for William and Kate’s liking…but again, I just can’t count this name out!  It is equally popular in the Unites States: the most current statistics for baby names in the USA give the name a ranking of #27 (Source)

Name’s Meaning

“Strong Woman.” Ain’t  nothin’ wrong with that.

The History & Tradition Test 

1. Prince Charles

Right off the bat, Charlotte is the feminine form of Charles, so I think Prince Charles would be pretty tickled pink about this choice. Tickled pink! And he’s just one of the many Charles’ in the history of the British royal family, so there’s that.

Source: Chris Jackson/Getty Images Europe
Source: Chris Jackson/Getty Images Europe

Here are a couple of Charlottes for inspiration:

2. Princess Charlotte of Wales (1796 – 1817)

A portrait of Charlotte by George Dawe, 1817
A portrait of Charlotte by George Dawe, 1817

This Charlotte lived in William and Kate’s home, Kensington Palace. She had a rather tragic and short life, but did she ever have a lovely name.

3. Philippa Charlotte Middleton

That’s right. Pippa’s middle name is Charlotte and no doubt she’s going to be a godmother to Baby Cambridge, so this name would also be a nice nod to her without being so bold as to name the kid Philippa.

Title Test:

  • Princess Charlotte
  • Queen Charlotte

Yep, this name works. And Bonus: it’s a  cute name when you’re three and stands the test of time when you’re older.

UPDATED: As reader Lynne helpfully pointed out in the comments below, Princess Diana’s brother Earl Spencer named his daughter Lady Charlotte (his 7th child!) which had totally slipped our minds…so perhaps this name is out. Rats!!

Prediction #3: Caroline

Current Name Rank

This isn’t currently  in the top 100 in England and Wales and in the USA, it comes in at #87. (Source). I think it’s worth throwing into the mix and here’s why:

Name Meaning

Of Scottish origin, this name means Joy. Sweet, right?

The History and Tradition Test

1. Carole Middleton

This one would make Kate’s Mom Carole very happy, and isn’t so obvious as just naming the kid Princess Carole…which sounds just awful.

Source: Glamour
Source: Glamour

Also, there have been plenty of Carolines in the British royal family. Here are three of them:

2. Caroline of Ansbach  (1683 – 20 November 1737)

3. Princess Caroline Matilda of Great Britain (1751 – 1775)

4. Queen Caroline (1768 – 1821)

Title Test:

We can already see from the list above that this name works with both ‘Princess’ and ‘Queen’…Yep, that’ll do.

Prediction #4: Georgia or Georgiana 

Ok, I knew I wanted a name on this list that wasn’t quite so obvious as the ones we’ve got on there so far. Heck, William and Kate named their dog Lupo so a little ingenuity isn’t beyond them. Here’s why I chose Georgia…or Georgiana if they want to get a wee bit more flowery:

Name’s Meaning:

The feminine form of George. Of Greek origin, the name means farmer.

Current Rank

In England and Wales, this name currently comes in at #60 (Source) and it comes in at #305 in the USA (Source). Obviously, that would rocket right up if this was the chosen name.

The History & Tradition Test

This name might just be the most historic of them all. We have:

1. Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (nee Lady Georgiana Spencer) 1757-1806

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire by Sir Joshua Reynolds, c. 1775, The Devonshire Collection
Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire by Sir Joshua Reynolds, c. 1775, The Devonshire Collection

Georgiana grew up at Althorp, Princess Diana’s ancestral home, and was one of the leading socialites of the day. Her father was the first Earl Spencer while Diana’s father was the 8th, so this would be a nice nod to William’s maternal side of the family.

2. St. George, Patron Saint of England

I mean, hello! This is perfect.

3. And there have been SO many English kings named George. Take a look for yourself:

  • George I of Great Britain (1660–1727), King of Great Britain and Ireland 1714-1727
  • George II of Great Britain (1683–1760), King of Great Britain and Ireland 1727-1760
  • George III of the United Kingdom (1738–1820), King of the United Kingdom 1760-1820
  • George IV of the United Kingdom (1762–1830), King of the United Kingdom 1820-1830
  • George V of the United Kingdom (1865–1936), King of Great Britain and Ireland 1910-1936
  • George VI of the United Kingdom (1895–1952), King of Great Britain and Ireland 1936-1952

The Title Test:

As far as I have been able to research, there hasn’t been a Princess Georgia before which is quite nice…and it sounds great. I also think that Queen Georgia works. Hey, there’s been a Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands…I think we can handle Queen Georgia or Queen Georgiana.

Prediction #5: Maud

  1. This name is certainly more unique, and the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced this is a solid option that has largely been overlooked.

Current Ranking:

Maud currently doesn’t rank in the top 100 baby names for England and Wales, nor is it in the top 500 names currently in the USA. Ding, Ding, Ding! We have a unique possibility here.

Name Meaning:

“Powerful Battler”

History & Tradition:

There are a couple of royal connections to this name.

1. Princess Maud Charlotte Mary of Wales (1869 – 1938) was the daughter of King Edward VII and the granddaughter of Queen Victoria. She went on to mary King Haakon of Norway, who also happened to be her first cousin, and split her time between Norway and England. Check out more on her here.

Maud of Wales
Maud of Wales

2. We also have Princess Maude, Countess of Southesk (1893-1945). She was the daughter of Louise, Princess Royal and the Duke of Fife and she went on to marry Charles Carnegie, the 11th Earl of Southesk. You can read more about her here.

Another Princess Maud
Another Princess Maud

3. Plus, we know that Kate loves Anne of Green Gables, which was written by Lucy Maud Montgomery

So what the heck, eh? I’m really feeling this name.

One other Possibility, Just for the heck of it:

  • Alexandra – such a royal name, and one that hasn’t been used in a while. plus, it’s a long name that goes well with William and Catherine.

Middle Names:

Prince William has four middle names so I think we can count on this kid having at least that many as well. Here are some predictions on what they will be, in addition to any of the names we’ve already discussed:

  • Elizabeth – This would 100% bea given if William and Kate have a girl. It would recognize  the current Queen, the Queen Mother, and heck even Queen Elizabeth I. Also, Kate’s middle name is Elizabeth in recognition of her great-grandmother.
  • Diana – The Royal Posters are completely divided on this one. One says 100% no. The other (me) says yes. I mean, Kate got the ring, the kid may be getting the name -but only as a middle name! No way in heck is this going to be a first name. Please, no.
  • Philippa -This is a total wild card, and I keep talking myself out of it…and then talking myself back into it. In the end, I think this is a solid option for a middle name and is extremely unlikely to be a first name. Let’s delve into it a bit more for the heck of it:Name Meaning:The feminine form of Philip, this name means “lover of horses” and the British Royals generally do love their horses.Current RankIn England and Wales, this name doesn’t make it into the top 100 and it doesn’t make it into the top 500 in the USA, which is a tick in the ‘plus’ column.History & Tradition1. Philippa Middleton

    Ok, the obvious one here is that Philippa aka Pippa, is Kate’s sister, but it’s also quite a lovely British name. And yes, maybe this would be way overkill and William wouldn’t be down with it. I get it. I do. But I’m keeping it on the list!

    Copyright Splash
    Copyright Splash

    2. Prince Philip

    the name would be a nice nod to William’s grandfather Prince Philip, so both sides of the family would be represented with this choice. Plus, Prince Philip and Kate’s grandad knew each other back in the day. Check out our post on that here.

    Source: Ok! Magazine
    Source: Ok! Magazine

    3. Philippa of Hainault (1314-1369)

    If we reach waaaay back, there has already been a Queen Philippa. Philippa of Hainault was Queen Consort to Edward the III of England, so that’s a nice touch. Here she is:

  • Frances – This is William’s maternal grandmother’s name. Diana definitely had an up and down relationship with her, but it is believed that William and Harry both had a pretty good relationship with her. This was also Diana’s middle name, and Francis is Kate’s dad’s middle name.
  • Rose – Princess Margaret’s middle name and, hello, Kate  as discussed likes The Language of Flowers
  • Mary – It’s a good royal name, so it’s getting a spot.
  • Helena – another good royal name and the name of one of Queen Victoria’s daughters
  • Cecilia – I just think this is a name Kate would be totally down with, even as a first name. There’s not much in the way of Royal precedent apart from the fact that Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s mum’s name was Cecilia, but I want to add it in here anyway. Princess Cecilia…Queen Cecilia…Yep. Totally down with this, Kate and William. Go for it!

Very Unlikely First Names:

While we’re on the subject, here are a few of the names that keep popping up in the press that I just completely disagree with and I want to go on record saying so:

  • Adelaide – A much as some Australians might like it, I just don’t see it happening. Yes, it’s a middle name of one of Queen Victoria’s daughters but I just don’t see it.
  • Victoria – I think Kate and William are looking for something a little more fresh and unique…and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden has this name covered.
  • Diana – As discussed, this is firmly a middle name. I’d be shocked otherwise. Shocked, I say!!

And to finish off, here’s Royal Poster #1’s final guess:

Her Royal Highness Princess Alice Mary Diana Elizabeth 

And Royal Posters #2’s final guess:

Her Royal Highness Princess Alice Mary Elizabeth Diana

And then any future sister would be Maud. Alice and Maud go very well together, me thinks.

Ok, so what do you think? If Kate and William see this (hey, you never know) are they going to change their minds? Or are we totally off, do you think? Please share!

The Titles of Will and Kate's Children

There’s been much excitement following the early announcement that William and Kate are expecting a baby. There’s much to discuss here at the Royal Post! To kick things off, let’s talk titles. Here we go!

The current state of titles in the British Royal family, and who can claim the title of HRH Prince and HRH Princess goes back to King George V in 1917. In an attempt to streamline the royal family, letters patent were issued stating “the children of any Sovereign of these Realms and the children of the sons of any such Sovereign and the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales shall have and at all times hold and enjoy the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness with their titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names or with their other titles of honour”.

So, when William was born he was HRH Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales.

HRH Prince William in 1982
HRH Prince William in 1982

Under these rules, the children of the Queen, when she was Princess Elizabeth, would not have received titles. So,  in 1948 The Queen’s father, King George VI granted letters patent declaring that children of the marriage of HRH Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, should “have and at all times hold and enjoy the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness and the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names in addition to any other appellations and titles and honour which may belong to them hereafter”.

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Charles
HRH Princess Elizabeth and HRH Prince Charles

The 1917 letters patent also stated that “grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line … shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes of these Our Realms”

HRH The Duke of Gloucester and his daughter The Lady Rose Windsor
HRH The Duke of Gloucester and his daughter The Lady Rose Windsor

So, what does this mean for William and Kate’s children? 

If the Queen is still on the Throne when their first child is born, an eldest son will receive the title of HRH Prince <name>. Other sons and daughters will have the titles of the children of a royal Duke. So, an eldest daughter will receive the title of The Lady <Name> and any subsequent sons and daughters will have the title of The Lord <name> and The Lady <name>.

Now, all of this changes again when Prince Charles becomes King. When this happens, all of William and Kate children will all become HRH Prince and HRH Princess, as children of the heir to the throne.

Isn’t that interesting? However, there are reports now that the Palace is saying that an eldest daughter will also receive the title of HRH Princess <name> since times have changes and a daughter will have the same rights to inherit as a son.

Let us know what you think in the comments!

HRH The Duke of Cambridge and HRH The Duchess of Cambridge
HRH The Duke of Cambridge and HRH The Duchess of Cambridge

UPDATED January 12, 2013: “The Queen has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm dated 31 December 2012 to declare that all the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales should have and enjoy the style, title and attribute of royal highness with the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their Christian names or with such other titles of honour.”

I’m surprised it doesn’t say “all LEGITIMATE children….” I mean, look at Prince Albert!

UPDATED June 2013: It has been announced that the child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will hold the title Prince or Princess of Cambridge

Royals in their Prams Part Two

Part One of this series focussed on four generations of the British Royals enjoying the view from their baby carriages. Today, with one exception, we’re looking at  the youngest generation of European Royals out and about their prams.

But first, in case you haven’t yet seen the pictures released of Princess Estelle of Sweden at four days old, take a look. The sweater Estelle is wearing was knit by her great-great grandmother Alice.

Cute! Onto the those baby carriages…

The Danish Royal Family

We’ll start with one of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden’s many royal godchildren, Prince Christian, Count of Monpezat. There he is with his mom Princess Mary of Denmark and their family dog in Copenhagen. Prince Christian was born in 2005 and is the second in line to the Danish thrown after his father. Perhaps we should have a series on Young Future Kings of Europe?

Prince Frederik of Denmark got in on things on a different occasion:

The Spanish Royals

Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia had their carriage out in April 2008 with daughters Princess Leonor and Princess Sophie.

The Belgian Royals

We love this old family picture of Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz , the future Princess Mathilde of Belgium and Duchess of Brabant.

This photograph was taken at her family’s beautiful estate where she grew up. It is called, Castle Losange:

Too bad we haven’t yet been able to track down a picture of her daughter and future Queen of the Belgians, Princess Elisabeth.

The Royal Family of the Netherlands:

Ok, so this isn’t your traditional pram, but they sure do like their bikes there in the Netherlands so it works for us! That’s Princess Maxima and Prince Willem-Alexander with two of their daughters, Princess Catharina-Amalia and Princess Alexia:

We’ll be back on Thursday March 1 for a review of Kate, Camilla, and the Queen’s visit to Fortnum & Mason that day.  See you then.

We have a new future Queen of Europe

There’s a new future Queen of Sweden. She’s the daughter of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, who you may recall as the fellow who gave that amazing groom speech. It seems she came a bit early since the palace had announced she was due in March. The new Princess’ name is expected to be announced tomorrow by King Carl Gustaf (more on that below), but for now we know she was born at 4:26am Sweden time at a university hospital in a suburb of Stockholm.

According to Prince Daniel, she was about this big:

The Swedish Royal Family’s website explains the traditions surrounding a royal birth. The first is that the Marshall of the Realm notifies the country’s leaders of the birth and then issues a press release.

A statement of witness is drawn up the day after the birth (unless the baby is born on a Saturday, in which case this happens on the Monday). The Speaker, the Prime Minister, the Marshal of the Realm, and the Mistress of the Robes are the witnesses. The statement of witness is signed and sealed by these witnesses.

The day after the birth a Cabinet Meeting is also held and chaired by the King. It is here that he will announce the baby’s name and title. There will also be a thanksgiving service called a Te Deum. Both events will be photographed and issued to the public.

The family is now home. Here they are on their way. This picture was posted on the Swedish Royal Family’s facebook page:

We’ll see you tomorrow with the scoop on the baby’s name, title and all that good stuff. Congratulations to Victoria and Daniel!

Royal Baby News out of Denmark

The Danish royal family is celebrating a new addition to their clan.

At 8:25 am on Tuesday, January 24, Princess Marie and Prince Joachim welcomed a daughter. The new Princess is tenth in line to the throne. As is tradition for the Danish Royals, the new princess’ name will not be revealed until her christening when she is three months old. The couple also has a son together named Prince Henrik. He was born in 2009.

This is the picture featured on Prince Henrik’s page on the royal family’s website. Cute!

Prince Joachim also has two sons from his marriage to his ex-wife Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg. They are named Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix and the came to the hospital to meet their baby sister. Here they are bundled up in the car as they arrived:

Other visitors included Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik (Frederik is Joachim’s older brother). The brothers now each have four children.

Crown Princess Victoria and Autumn Philips will be next on our baby watch!

Our thanks to reader Walden for bringing our attention to this news out of Denmark.

Peter and Autumn Phillips – Baby #2

Peter and Autumn Phillips, walking to church at Sandringham on Christmas Day, 2008

When we posted our recent article on royal christening gowns, we asked the question, who will be the next royal baby to wear the traditional gown?

Well, now we know!

On Friday, October 14th Buckingham Palace announced that Peter and Autumn Phillips are expecting their second child, due in March (the same month that Crown Princess Victoria is expecting her first child)

The official statement reads:

“The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, as well as Autumn’s family, have been informed and are delighted with the news.”

We find it interesting that BP chose a Friday night to make this announcement. Friday night announcements are usually saved for items that are intended to be relatively low key, which is fitting in this case since Peter and Autumn are not working royals, and have been living quietly in the London area without much media attention. This of course is in contrast to their wedding which they sold the pictures of to be published in HELLO, which caused quite a stir, as private pictures of the royal family at the wedding dinner were included and many were not made aware in advance that those photos would be included.  The Queen was apparently not amused.

Peter and Autumn's HELLO cover

Anyhow, lesson learned, and let’s be honest, although of course we understand that they also deserve their privacy, we enjoyed seeing these ‘behind the scenes at a royal wedding’ photos, like this one of Kate Middleton and Chelsy Davy on the dance floor.

Peter and Autumn’s first child, and the Queen’s first great-grandchild, Savannah, was born on December 29, 2010 at the Royal Gloucester Hospital.

Autumn with Savannah

Savanna is 12th in line to the throne, after her father Peter, and before her aunt, Zara. Her name is unique, and is not in the roster of typical ‘royal names’. Her name was not included in the birth announcement issued by Buckingham Palace. The public only discovered her name when the Reverend Jonathan Riviere, Rector of Sandringham included “Autumn, Peter and Savannah” in prayers in the service on 2nd January 2011. Interestingly, Autumn once worked at a pub/restaurant named Savannah’s.

Savannah’s christening took place on April 23, 2011 at Holy Cross Church in Gloucestershire, near Princess Anne’s home, Gatcombe Park. She was the second royal baby (after Viscount Severn) to wear the replica of the original royal christening gown worn by almost all royals since the christening of Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Victoria.

Royal Baby Watch!

There have been two royal pregnancies announced recently. Things seem to happen in threes so who shall the third one be? Hmmmm…

The Crown Princess Couple of Sweden

This couple is one of our favourites and we just love the sound of ‘Crown Princess Couple.’ Perhaps that should be the subject of another post.  Anyhow, on August 17, 2011 the Swedish royal court announced that Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel are expecting their first child. The baby is due to be born in March of 2012 and as the first born child of the heir apparent to the Swedish throne, the baby will be the future King or Queen. Congratulations to Victoria and Daniel!

Prince Joachim and Princess Marie of Denmark

On August 24, the Royal Palace of Denmark announced that Prince Joachim and Princess Marie are expecting their second child together. Their first child, Prince Henrik, was born in 2009. The baby is expected to be born in late January of 2012.

This will be Prince Joachim’s fourth child; he has two sons from his previous marriage to the former Princess Alexandra, now known as the Countess of Frederiksborg. Prince Nikolai is now eleven and Prince Felix is nine.

With three boys, could the fourth be a girl? Congratulations to Marie and Joachim.

So who wants to start guessing baby names?