Written by Linda Rosenkrantz for Nameberry
As the due date for the Duchess of Cambridge approaches, the British betting establishments have gone into mad odds-shifting mode. They’re taking bets on everything from the future sovereign’s hair color to future university and career choices and even which magazine will have the exclusive photos. But of course the main focus is on the royal baby name. The front-runners include some obvious, conventional royal ancestor options, and also some bizarre, outrageous outliers. Here, the names attracting the top odds:
This has been a steady favorite, with odds as high as 2 to 1 at one point. Pluses: it’s one of Queen Elizabeth’s middle names, was the name of King Edward VII’s consort and currently that of a popular royal cousin, who is a godmother to Prince William. <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Alexandra" target="_blank">Alexandra</a> is nowhere to be seen in the UK Top 100; she’s 76 in the US.
The regal <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/George" target="_blank">George</a> has been the consistent frontrunner for a male heir, with odds running around 12 to 1. There have been six King Georges, including the present queen’s father -- who was born Albert. Possible glitch: it’s been rumored that Prince Charles wants to be known as George VII when he is crowned. George is much more popular in the UK than here -- it’s Number 13 there, 166 in the US.
<a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Charlotte" target="_blank">Charlotte</a> has suddenly leaped to the fore, her odds now standing at 4 to 1. The middle name of media darling, royal sister-in-law Philippa/Pippa Middleton, Charlotte has regal cred via the beloved wife of King George III amongst others. Fashionable among William and Kate’s social set, Charlotte is Number 24 in the UK, 19 on the other side of the pond.
At about 23 to 1, this name would obviously honor William’s grandfather, who has been ailing of late. But since there has never been a British monarch with the name -- there have been only eight names used in almost a thousand years -- we’d expect to find this one in middle place, as it is with both Charles and William. <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Philip" target="_blank">Philip</a> is not in the Top 100 in either the UK or US.
Her odds are a strong 6 to 1, but since <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Elizabeth" target="_blank">Elizabeth</a> is the name of the baby’s great and great-great Grandmamas, it seems much more likely that this will be among the multi-middles of the little princess. It also happens to be Kate’s middle name. Elizabeth is Number 56 in the UK, way up at Number 10 in America.
<a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Louis" target="_blank">Louis</a> may seem something of a surprise at 25 to 1, associated more with French royalty than British. It is another of William’s middle names, a tribute to Prince Charles’s mentor, Lord Louis Mountbattan, who was assassinated in 1979. Another strong middle-spot candidate. In the UK, Louis is Number 71, Lewis 28, and Louie 80.
<a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Diana" target="_blank">Diana’s</a> odds may also be at 6 to 1, but there is virtually no chance of there being a future Queen Diana, because a) it has no royal antecedents and b) there are lingering ambivalent attitudes towards Princess Di in the family. But it’s quite likely that William’s deep feelings for his mother will position her name in one of the middle spots.
Yes, a modern King <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Arthur" target="_blank">Arthur</a> would be nice. Yet one more used in both Charles and William’s names, as well as George VI’s, Arthur conjures up romantic images of chivalry and Camelot. More likely influences are the first son of Henry VII and one of Queen Victoria’s boys. It’s at Number 89 in the UK, 355 in the US.
Longtime Number 1 name <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Mary" target="_blank">Mary</a> is a late-breaking contender, thanks to a mystery man in a top hat who place a hundred-pound bet on the name on his way from Royal Ascot. Queen Mary, wife of George V, was crowned in 1911. Her real first name was Victoria, which she chose not to use in deference to the famous queen, who reigned over England from 1837 to 1901, and whose name is another favorite, running 7 to 1 in the polls. It was actually her second name: her first given name was Alexandrina. Victoria is not to be found in the current UK Top 100, while in the US it’s at Number 28.
The stalwart <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/James" target="_blank">James</a>, a Top 10 name in England and Wales, would be a safe choice for the royal couple, though a possible problem is that his Uncle Edward used it for his son in 2007. England has had two kings named James, while Scotland had six -- King James VI of Scotland became James I of England in 1625 -- so it might be time for a new one. Others active on the betting slate: John, Edward, Charles and Richard.
Enough Brits have bet on this name made famous by the tacky ITV soap opera Footballers’ Wives to shorten its odds at one point from 500 to one to 250 to 1. Queen <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Chardonnay" target="_blank">Chardonnay</a> over Queen Charlotte? Yeah, right. (Others have put their hard-earned pence on Princess Tiffany, Tracy and Tulisa, Janet and Janine.)
The odds of this name -- belonging to a titled statesman and distinguished man of letters, a market town, a sofa, an overcoat, an ale, and a brand of cigarette -- becoming the next King of England are 100 to 1. But the same goes for Wayne, Bradley, Stanley, Donald and Gary.
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