What will Prince William and Duchess Kate name their baby? In what's sure to be the most closely watched pregnancy of 2013, Buckingham Palace announced Monday that Kate is pregnant. Mazel tov!
Palace sources say she's not even 12 weeks yet, so they've got a ways to go -- and plenty of time to choose a name.
Of course, naming a possible future British king or queen is no simple matter of mum and dad deciding they both like the sound of Emma or Jayden. A royal baby name has the weight of history behind it. Elizabeth, George, Diana, William, Margaret, Frances, Victoria and Charles have strong royal family ties. There has been speculation that Diana and Elizabeth are front-runners as a girl's name, at least in the middle name spots.
Whatever they choose, the royal baby name will surely cause waves in the popularity lists. In a world where Mason rockets to the top 10 in the U.S. based in part on being the name of Hollywood pseudo-royalty Kourtney Kardashian's child, can you imagine the influence that actual royalty will have on naming trends?
When we asked TODAY Moms for suggestions, Diana came up most frequently. Some other suggestions from our readers:
Karin Walpole Kasper says: "I think they'll go traditional - Elizabeth,Victoria, or Mary for a girl, and George, Charles, or William for a boy. I could see Diana for a middle name, but definitely not the first name."
Beth Kassander suggests: "Joseph or Frances."
Kary Kruger says why not run with the whole name-smush trend? "Katwill or Kathiam?? Kidding...Victoria or Alexandra. Alexander or Peter. Something strong."
Robin Cunningham thinks the couple may be influenced by Britain's other royal couple, Victoria and David Beckham: "Harper boy or girl!"
Sandy Mitchell suggests: "Higgins or Matilda."
Some might say Tiffany Gilmore's suggestion is inconceivable: "Princess Buttercup."
Deborah Heard thinks the royals should go modern, and geographic: "Londyn."
Meanwhile, TODAY Moms reader Jennifer Anderson is the voice of reason, commenting: "Really!!! Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Give them some space!"
Good point, Jennifer. Here's hoping for a happy and healthy nine months for Duchess Kate, and a healthy little royal baby... by any name.
From Pamela Redmond Satran at the baby-name website Nameberry, here are her top predictions for the royal baby name:
Albert or Alfred – Two similar names with positive royal histories, Albert was the beloved consort of Queen Victoria while Alfred was Alfred the Great, the 9th century Anglo-Saxon king who defended England against the Danish invasion. While Alfred has the edge on royal stature, it gets demerits as a trendy favorite, thanks to the character Alfie on the popular show The Eastenders.
Alice – The name of Queen Victoria’s second daughter, the princess who shocked her mother by breastfeeding her baby. Alice is a sweet and pretty classic that is currently considered ultra-stylish in Britain, where it’s in the Top 50.
Arthur – Arthur is one of our two boy favorites for the royal child, with a legendary history as well as contemporary fashion status. In addition to leading the Knights of the Round Table, there are many notable Arthurs in literature (Miller, Conan Doyle), science (Clarke), and sports (Ashe). Queen Victoria had a son named Arthur.
Caroline– With the Duchess’s mother named Carole and Prince William’s father Charles, the royal Caroline would be a logical choice. Although the most recent Queen Caroline was the object of scandal, the strong family connections may transcend its history.
Charlotte – Like Caroline, Charlotte is a feminization of Charles, a perfect choice for a future queen. Charlotte was the cultivated wife of George III, who also had a daughter named Charlotte. This elegant royal name is appealing to a wide range of parents today because it sounds feminine yet grownup, sophisticated yet lush. With Victoria, our top choice for a royal princess.
Eleanor– The powerful Eleanor of Aquitaine was the wife of Britain’s King Henry II, with whom she had eight children including a daughter named Eleanor. Not without controversy, she is nevertheless a strong female historical figure whose image is appropriate for modern times.
Frederick – Since Freddie is a currently popular nickname name in the UK, a little Prince Freddie would go down very well. The name Frederick has been dotted throughout British royal history—it was given to the son of George III—and so sounds properly regal in its full form.
George – The frontrunner for a royal boy name, George was the name of Queen Elizabeth’s beloved grandfather, the king who led Britain through World War I. The meaning of George is the humble “farmer.”
Leopold – One of the sons of Queen Victoria, Prince Leopold was named after a favorite uncle of hers. Though it sounds a bit stiff and Germanic, it is one path to the popular short form Leo.
Matilda – An outlier choice, Matilda has an ancient royal history and also is a nod toward Australia. The related Maud, another long-shot possibility, was the name of the youngest daughter of King Edward VII, and granddaughter of Queen Victoria who went on to become Queen of Norway.
Philip – Philip is the name of the baby’s great-grandfather, wife of the reigning queen. While Philip, which means “lover of horses,” is a dark horse candidate for first name, it’s a likely choice for one of the baby’s three middle names.
Victoria– One of the most likely choices for a girl, Victoria is the name of one of the most famous queens in British history, who ruled through most of the 19th century. While embodying history and strength, the name continues to feel contemporary. But don’t look for her to be nicknamed Tori.
Here are the most popular boys' and girls' names in the UK last year, according to BabyCentre.co.uk:
TODAY Moms editor Rebecca Dube realizes that it's none of her business, but thinks Diana would be lovely. Maybe Spencer as a middle name for a boy?
More about baby names from TODAY Moms: