“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
Shakespeare attempts to diminish the significance of a name, based on the tortured love between Romeo and Juliet. Whether a Capulet (Juliet) or a Montague (Romeo), Shakespeare argues it doesn’t change the fundamental characteristics of a person.
But if you’ll be addressed as “Your Majesty,” then there’s a little more pressure on mom and dad to pick the perfect name.
On a drizzly morning, royal expert Victoria Arbiter joined me for a spot of English tea at New York’s Brit-inspired hangout, Tea & Sympathy, to spell out what the royal couple is considering when it comes to naming the next heir to the throne.
“People think that when you’re naming a royal baby, you’ve got five names,” Arbiter says. “That’s just not the case. You’ve got a plethora to choose from.”
A plethora, in theory. A quick scan of the royal roster and you see where the monarchy saved a few pounds by not having to change the royal stationary.
Six Georges, three Charles, five Williams, two Marys and eight Edwards, just to name a few of the most popular recycled names.
Why are they repeated? Simply put, they just sound royal.
“Royals tend to choose dynastic names, names with history and tradition … it has to be something of weight and gravitas,” Arbiter says.
Which is why bookies have Victoria, Elizabeth, George and Alexandra as favorites. Before your place your bets, however, Arbiter advises that William and Katherine are trendsetters and their list could include some lesser-known possibilities.
“‘Eleanor of Aquitaine was wife of Henry the Second, a controversial figure, but a strong character,” she said. “So we might see an Eleanor. Also, Alice is really cool in the U.K. at the moment. Prince Philip’s mother was called Alice. Queen Victoria I had Alice as a daughter. Eleanor and Alice, these two are long shots.”
And for boys?
‘The front-runner, and my favorite, is George,” Arbiter says. “George was the queen’s beloved grandfather, it was the name her father chose.
“Also Arthur. It has a historic legend, but William, Charles and the queen’s father all share Arthur as a middle name and Arthur has come back. It’s cool and very trendy among the upper classes.”
While it’s truly anybody’s guess on the next royal’s name, Arbiter is certain of one thing: Katherine’s family will not be considered for name options.
‘This is no disrespect to Kate’s family, at all, but we’re not going to see her family recognized or celebrated in any, before the Windsors,” Arbiter says.
The Windsor’s, of course!
The royal family’s surname is barely used.
Protocol says to skip it on signatures, if you answer to “Your Royal Highness.”
Oh, and keep in mind when you’re betting on your favorite newborn name? Pick four: Royals give themselves a few extra.
So with her insight, what does Arbiter think?
“For a boy? George, Arthur, Philip, Charles,” she says. “And, for a girl, I’m going with Alexandra Elizabeth, Francis Mary. So we’ll see.”