Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Royal baby: How are names chosen and does the Queen have to approve them?

Many are speculating what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's first child will be called

Sabrina Barr
Thursday 11 April 2019 10:34 BST
Duchess and Duke of Cambridge step out from Lindo Wing with new son

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are soon going to become parents as they prepare to welcome their first child into the world any day.

In October 2018, Kensington Palace announced that the duchess is due to give birth in spring.

There’s been much speculation surrounding the impending birth, with some questioning what surname the baby will take and whether or not the duchess will give birth in the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital.

One of the biggest questions on everyone’s lips is what the baby will be called, whether it’s a boy or a girl. But how much say do the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have on the matter?

Here’s everything you need to know about how a royal baby is named:

What names are being considered for the royal baby?

If you take a look at the British royal family tree, you can see that the monarchy tends to stick to tradition when naming babies.

The most popular name for baby boys in the royal family is Albert, while the most common name among royal baby girls is Victoria.

Since Queen Victoria’s birth in 1819, there have been 12 royal babies named Albert in the family, while there have been nine Victorias over the past two centuries.

It’s expected that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will follow in the footsteps of their relatives by giving their baby a traditional name.

However, they may choose to depart from tradition, considering they’re further from the throne than the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

“The further down the line of succession, the more likely you are to have a more unique or untraditional name,” said Carolyn Harris, professor of history at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies and author of Raising Royalty: 1,000 Years of Royal Parenting.

On betting website Skybet, the odds of the duke and duchess naming their first child Isabella, James or Victoria is 10-1.

Diana is also a top choice among betters, with current odds of 12-1.

Does the royal baby name have to be approved by the Queen?

While it’s the Queen’s decision whether or not the baby will be bestowed with a royal title, the decision over the baby’s first name is a more informal discussion, royal commentator Kate Williams explained.

“The Queen has the power to say what their title is,” Williams said, when discussing the imminent birth of Prince Louis in April 2018. ”But in the case of names, it is more of an informal conversation.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

“Of course they have such respect for the Queen that if she says ‘I really don’t like that name,’ they’d definitely take that into account.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in