With the birth of Kate and William's baby imminent, I thought I would take a look at some of the more likely baby names on their list.
While Alexandra is the bookies' favourite, here's a look at some of the more traditional Royal first names.
If it's a girl
Diana would seem to be the obvious choice, given the ongoing comparisons between Kate and the late mother of her husband Prince William. Indeed, Kate is already in possession of Princess Di's engagement ring and it would seem a fitting tribute to name the Royal daughter in honour of Diana, who was killed in a car accident in Paris in 1997. However, even more likely is that Diana will be the baby's middle name.
If William and Kate do opt for this name, the baby would become Queen Elizabeth III upon her eventual succession to the throne. Given the extraordinary popularity and longevity of our current queen, the odds could well be stacked in favour of the name Elizabeth. However, keep in mind that there was one other Queen Elizabeth - she who was noted for removing people's heads.
One of the dark horses in the baby name contest, Victoria (the name of England's all-time longest serving queen) would eventually have the task of leading the world into a new Victorian age. Okay, so given Britain's relative lack of imperial influence these days, "world" is probably quite a stretch. But a new Victorian age nonetheless.
Though this name is probably quite far down the pecking order, Queen Mary III does sort of have a ring to it. However, as with Elizabeth, the name is marked by the bloody rule of the first incarnation. Mary I (or Bloody Mary, as she became known) had over 280 religious non-conformists burned at the stake during her 5-year reign. And while she didn't reign over England, there was Mary, Queen of Scots. One imagines that Kate and William's baby would not, however, begin its reign at the age of 6 days.
For a number of reasons, this name is probably the least likely contender on the list. Firstly it is the namesake of Anne, Queen of Great Britain, whose rule was somewhat unremarkable in relation to some of the aforementioned queens. Secondly, the current Princess Anne - the Queen's only daughter - has the distinction of being the only senior Royal family member with a criminal record. Thirdly, two of Henry VIII's wives were Anne Boleyn and Anne of Cleves - the former having been executed. Still, three of his wives were named Catherine, the formal name of Kate Middleton.
My prediction: Victoria.
If it's a boy
While it is unlikely that the couple will want to name their son after Prince William himself, the name does have a history on the British throne. As of 1837, four kings named William had ruled over England. With Prince William second in line to the throne, he would be succeeded by his son, who would take the title of King William VI.
More likely is the notion that the baby will be named - in what would be a similar nod to Diana - after William's father and first in line to the throne, Prince Charles. Upon the eventual conclusion of Queen Elizabeth II's reign, Prince Charles will succeed to the throne as King Charles III, meaning that baby Charles would eventually become King Charles IV.
The last Edward to take the throne was King Edward VIII, who famously abdicated following the constitutional crisis brought on by his desire to marry American socialite, Wallis Simpson. Of course, since his abdication, Prince Edward - the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II - has risen to the ranks of senior Royal Family member as seventh in line to the throne.
Regarded as one of the favourite names should Kate give birth to a boy. The name George has had a storied past on the Royal throne, from "mad" King George III, who has not been viewed kindly by history, to King George VI, the stammering King who assumed the throne upon Edward VIII's abdication to lead Britain through World War II.
Upon the recent discovery of the remains of King Richard III, the name has re-entered the conscience of Royalists up and down Britain. However, there has not been a king of this name since the Plantagenet was killed in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. And for good reason: it is believed by historians that Richard III ordered the murder of Edward V of England and Richard of Shrewsbury, giving rise to the story of the Princes in the Tower.
My prediction: George.
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