When Kate Middleton gives birth to the heir to the throne next month, it’s safe to assume that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will choose a safe, traditional name.
But it appears that Hollywood royalty Kanye West and Kim Kardashian may also have looked to Britain for inspiration in naming their offspring.
The week-old baby girl, whose every move will be scrutinised by tabloids and gossip websites for years to come, is called North West.
Her parents, respectively an outspoken rapper and the world’s most visible reality television star, have been unusually coy about revealing their baby’s name. However, the birth certificate from Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles confirmed the news, according to TMZ.
It’s unlikely that Kanye West’s jaunts to the North-west of England left such a strong impression on the star that he chose to name his daughter after what was once the country’s industrial heartland, but Manchester City Council welcomed the news.
Councillor Pat Karney said: “North West is a tremendous name, with a strong, upward direction – just like our own region and of course, Manchester. Perhaps the name was sparked by our recent call for an International Manchester Day.” He suggested the whole family should visit the city, as “Kanye would be inspired by our history of breaking new musical genres” and Kim could enjoy the shopping.
Baby name expert Laura Wattenberg said: “It’s a very unusual name. Direction names are uncommon and they’re almost exclusively chosen for boys. In general, despite what we think, celebrities don’t choose strange names any more than the general public. It’s actually very close statistically. But this is a mother whose career has been about getting attention in any way possible.”
Pamela Satran, author of The Baby Name Bible and founder of the website Nameberry, said: “One of our big trend predictions for 2013 was that North would be the big directional name, with some related names like Winter and Snow.”
She added that while the name could be seen as a “joke”, you have to “put this name in the context of how and where this child will likely grow up, which is in the public eye, in Hollywood, among other children who have similarly outrageous names, from Bronx Mowgli to Zuma Rossdale.”
The baby-name news, which has been the subject of fierce debate since Kardashian’s pregnancy was announced, predictably stoked a frenzy of comical tweets. The Independent’s own Grace Dent suggested: “Kanye’s baby’s name is taken from his love of Carlisle, which is non-arguably ‘the Manhattan of the North-west’.”
Bookmakers William Hill are offering odds of 100-1 that the “next Kimye baby” will be called “South”.