Kate, Princess of Wales, felt ‘pressure’ as she called her children: ‘The world has been waiting’
In the royal family, names are a big deal. Rich in history and steeped in tradition – especially for those at the top of the line of succession – it’s no surprise Kate feels pressured when it comes to thinking of baby names.
During Wednesday’s engagement at Royal Surrey County Hospital – one of her first steps as Princess of Wales – Kate opened up about the difficulties she faced in choosing names for her three children.
Amy Stubbs, deputy midwifery director, said Kate confided to her that choosing their names “sound like a lot of pressure” because “the world was waiting for them to name their children.”
In the end, the Prince and Princess of Wales decided to give their children their “favorite names,” she explained.
In recent years, some members of the royal family have broken with tradition and chosen more exotic names for their children.
Princess Eugenie chose August, which on the surface seems like a strange choice. However, it was actually a nod to Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert. August is the modern talking about his middle name August.
Peter Phillips and his sister Zara also went their own way, with Phillips and his wife Atom picking Savannah and Isla for their two daughters and Zara and her husband Mike choosing Mia, Lena and Lucas
Part of this has to do with the fact that they do not work for the royal family and it is unlikely that their children will play a major role in royal duties in the future.
For William and Kate, as heirs to the throne, they were expected to adhere to tradition closely.
Do baby names need the king’s approval?
The royal family does not have to get permission to give their children a particular name, but it is said that they are very inclined to listen to the opinion of the king.
Given how much the family respected the late Queen Elizabeth II, if she wasn’t really keen on the name, they might have gone the other way.
Prince Harry and Meghan decided to name their daughter Lillipet, the Queen’s family nickname when she was a child.
When the reports claimed they had not consulted the Queen about this choice, their spokesperson was quick to correct it, saying: “The Duke spoke with his family prior to the announcement – in fact his grandmother was the first member of the family to contact him.
“During that conversation, he shared with them the hope of naming their daughter Lilibit in her honor. If she hadn’t been supportive, they wouldn’t have used that name.”
Since Queen Elizabeth’s death, there have been no newcomers to the House of Windsor, but according to Hello! Charles actually played an important role in naming the royal children.
When his sister Anne gave birth to her daughter Zara in 1981, it was Charles who suggested her name. Reportedly, this was due to the nature of her birth, which was “somewhat surprising.”
The Greek meaning of Zara is “bright as dawn” which has led some people to believe that the name Zara was also a reference to Prince Philip’s heritage.
With such a successful choice behind him, the rest of the family may be eager to get the new king’s opinion on any potential name choices.
Why does the royal family often use so many middle names?
Regularly, members of the royal family have multiple middle names, which are often family names honoring a relative.
Kate and William chose the middle names Alexander Louis for their eldest son, Prince George. It is said to be a tribute to both the late Queen and Lord Mountbatten.
William also has Louis as one of his middle names. George is himself, of course, a name rich in royal history: there were six of King George, the last of whom was the late Queen’s father.
Even members of the royal family who opted for less traditional first names often chose to honor their family members using middle names.
For example, Eugenie chose the middle names Philip – in honor of her great-grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh – and Hook as a reference to her in-laws.
Lena Tindall’s middle name is Elizabeth – given how close Zara was to her grandmother, it’s no surprise that she chose this traditional royal name.
In general, three of the late queen’s grandchildren were given her name as a middle name, and five of her great-grandchildren. Both William and Harry used Diana as a tribute to their late mother as names for their two daughters.
For those who will one day take the throne, the multiple middle names have another function, which may have added to the pressure on Kate and William when making their decisions.
The king could choose any of their names – the first name or one of the middle names – as their ruler’s name. This is the name they will officially use as King or Queen.
Both Charles and Queen Elizabeth chose to use their first names, but the Queen’s father decided not to use his name. Albert – or Bertie as he was nicknamed – was known as King George VI once he ascended to the throne.
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