Charlotte DuckRoyal baby names! We look at the most unusual royal names over the years and what they mean, from Princess Eugenie and Archie Harrison to Zara Tindall and Princess Leonore
The coronavirus lockdown may have brought a temporary halt to life as we know it, but babies are still being born every day and that means parents are tasked with choosing a name! Do you go for traditional, modern or kooky? It can be so hard to decide.
Europe's royal families historically favoured traditional over quirky names, but in recent years that has changed. From Princess Eugenie and Princess Leonore and Savannah Phillips and Zara Tindall, these names that might have raised eyebrows at the time but seem completely normal now.
Here, we take a trip down memory lane to find out some of the most unique royal baby names over the years – and reveal their meanings. If you're expecting a baby yourself, you might get some ideas…
Name meaning: Archie means 'archer' or 'truly bold'. Harrison means 'son of Harry'
Little Archie Harrison, the son of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has a very modern name - unusual for a royal but cool nonetheless. The couple decided to forgo the royal title of 'prince' for their son, and we think Archie suits him perfectly.
Princesses Amalia, Ariane and Alexia
Name meanings: Amalia means 'hardworking', Ariane means 'very holy' and Alexia means 'defender of the people'
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands chose beautiful and ultra-modern names for their three daughters - all beginning with the letter A. Catharina-Amalia - known as Amalia - was born in 2003, Alexia in 2005 and Ariane in 2007. Such beautiful names.
Name meaning: Isla means 'island'
Peter and Autumn Phillips seem determined to bring the royal family into the 21st century when it comes to the name game. For their second daughter, born in 2012, they chose the very on-trend ‘Isla’.
Peter and Autumn Phillips broke with British royal tradition and chose the name ‘Savannah’ when they welcomed their daughter, the Queen’s oldest great-grandchild, in 2010. Savannah has increased in popularity during the last 20 years but in history, it’s never been a popular moniker, especially among royalty.
Princess Maud Angelica of Norway
Name meaning: Maud means 'battle might'
Princess Martha of Norway raised eyebrows when she announced the name of her eldest daughter in 2003. While Maud might be an unusual name still in the UK, it’s relatively common in Norway. The same can’t be said for this little princess’s middle name ‘Angelica’. Martha continued with surprise middle names with her other two daughters, naming them Leah Isadora and Emma Tallulah.
In Britain, the name Liam conjures up a member of Oasis (or One Direction!) rather than a royal prince but this was the name chosen by Prince Felix and Princess Claire (pictured) for their baby son in 2016. Felix and Claire are an incredibly stylish pair so, you never know, perhaps little Prince Liam will start a new trend.
Princess Talita Von Furstenberg
Name meaning: Talita is a version of Talitha which means 'child'
She’s got a grandmother who’s a famous fashion designer, a grandfather who’s a billionaire and a dad who’s a German prince, so no wonder Princess Talita Von Furstenberg has a name that’s suitably exotic. The 21-year-old has modelled for Dolce & Gabbana and is as a muse for DvF so we expect to be seeing her unusual name a lot more in the future.
Name meaning: Raphael means 'God has healed'
The daughter of Princess Caroline of Monaco, Charlotte Casiraghi (pictured), opted for the painterly name Raphaël when she gave birth to her first son with then-boyfriend Gad Elmaleh in 2013 (also pictured).
Name meaning: Balthazar means 'protect the king'
Charlotte Casiraghi and her partner Dimitri Rassan also chose a very spectacular name for her second son, born in 2018. Though unusual Balthazar does have royal connotations - he was rumoured to be one of the three kings who visited Jesus.
Prince Vincent of Denmark
Name meaning: Vincent means 'victorious'
Vincent Frederik Minik Alexander is the nine-year-old son of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. While the name ‘Vincent’ would be an unexpected choice for a British royal, he could have ended up with a much more unusual name. Bookmakers in Denmark had Old Norse names, Valdemar and Knud, as favourites.
Name meaning: Pauline means 'small'
Pauline isn’t a name that the British would typically associate with royalty but it’s the moniker that Princess Stephanie of Monaco chose for her eldest daughter in 1994.
Name meaning: Achileas is similar to the name Achilles, meaning 'pain'. Andreas means 'manly'.
Achileas-Andreas is quite the mouthful so no wonder this Greek prince prefers to go by the name ‘Achi of Greece’ on Instagram.
Name meaning: Eugenie means 'well-born'
When Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew welcomed their second daughter in 1990, no one expected them to name her Eugenie. Though this had been the name of one of Queen Victoria’s granddaughters, the moniker had fallen out of fashion for years.
Princess Estelle of Sweden
Name meaning: Estelle means 'star'
Eight-year-old Estelle is a royal rarity when it comes to names – she doesn’t share it with any other princesses, past or present. It’s rumoured that her parents, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden, chose this unusual moniker to honour her distant relative, the humanitarian Estelle Bernadotte.
Princess Leonor of Spain
Name meaning: Leonor means 'light'
The name Leonor was the go-to name for European princesses in the 15th century but it fell out of favour until Felipe and Letizia of Spain resurrected it in 2005. Since then, it’s had a bit of a revival with Queen Mathilde of Belgium and Princess Madeleine of Sweden both choosing variations of it for their daughters.
Name meaning: Sverre means 'wild, swinging, spinning'
Unusual as it is, it’s not the first time there’s been a Norwegian royal called Sverre. The 14-year-old prince is named after a 12th-century king.
Name meaning: Zara means 'flower' or 'princess'
Zara might be quite a common name in Britain – but it’s not among the royals. It was her uncle, Prince Charles, who helped choose the name. "The baby made a rather sudden and positive arrival," Princess Anne reportedly said, "And my brother thought Zara was an appropriate name."