Well, Miss Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Windsor, welcome to the world! Her Royal Highness Charlotte of Cambridge (also known as Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Windsor) made her public debut on the steps of St. Mary's Hospital in London on Saturday, but we had to wait until Monday to learn her name. Now that we know the most eagerly awaited baby name of the century, I, co-founder of Babynames.com, will break the name down in meaning and popularity... and let's not forget heart.
Charlotte. Charlotte is the female form of Charles (an obvious nod to Prince Charles) and has the meaning "free." The name Charlotte is an extremely popular name in the United States. In 2013, it ranked #13 in the United States per the Social Security Administration but ranked #1 on BabyNames.com's most popular names of 2014. The British press has already nicknamed Her Royal Highness Charlie but other common nicknames include Lottie, Lotta, and Char. The last British monarch with the name Charlotte was Queen Charlotte, wife of George III. As you may remember, I recommended Charlotte as a first name if the royals were to choose a name based on trend in.
Elizabeth. Princess Charlie's second name, Elizabeth, is a name with Hebrew origins and means "God is my oath." Elizabeth has several connotations, the most royal being her grandmother's name, Queen Elizabeth II. It is a very common name among modern day royalty's second and third names, paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth I as well. We cannot forget that Elizabeth is also the second name of both Duchess Kate and her mother Carole. Elizabeth is a popular name in the United States, consistently ranking in the top 20 (and #10 in 2013) per the Social Security Administration. In the above-mentioned blog post, I recommended Elizabeth prior to the Princess' birth as both a first and second name based on tradition, popularity and trend.
Diana. And then there's Diana, aptly meaning "divine". Diana was not my first choice for a name for the bouncing baby princess, but I recommended it as a second or third name if it were to be chosen. In contrast, prior to the princess' birth, Jennifer Moss, my co-founder of BabyNames.com, stated, "I adored [Diana] and would love to see them use the name. However, I think it would be prudent to use Diana as a middle name so the baby doesn't feel she has to live up to Princess Diana's beloved image."
As far as name popularity, Diana currently ranks #270 in U.S. births per the Social Security Administration. We expect this name to skyrocket in rank, thanks to its status as a "reborn" royal moniker. By the time the 2015 stats are released in 2016, we predict Diana will rank as one of the fastest growing names in popularity in the United States.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge should be lauded for picking a first name that bucks recent tradition. Their name choice of Charlotte reflects their image: they selected a trending name instead of one stuffy with tradition. Although Her Royal Highness Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Windsor is fourth in line to the throne, she is first in line in our hearts, both in Britain and stateside.
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