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What Shall We Name the Royal Baby?

Maybe you've heard the news: Prince William and Princess Kate are having a baby. Now that the world has let out a collective breath, it's time to move on to the next pressing question: What will the heir to the throne be named?

We talked with name experts Laura Wattenberg and Candace Alper to get their opinions on what Will and Kate may be considering.

In general, says Wattenberg, "A name choice for any parent reflects your culture and your hopes and the image you want to present to the world. For this couple, I'd be shocked if they veered away from royal tradition. British monarchy is nothing but tradition and symbolism."

Here, some of the frontrunners:


Alexandra: Anything starting with an "A" is big in England right now. (The top name of 2011 was Amelia.) There are lots of Alexandras in royal lineage, and it's also one of Queen Elizabeth's middle names and one of Prince William's godmothers.

Diana: Obviously, this name is coming up in conversation. Wattenberg predicts that it will be a middle name (of which royals receive three). A first name of Diana could feel like too much of a burden or expectation to put on a child. Alper also suggests Frances—Princess Diana's middle name—or Ruby, her birthstone, as other possible homages.

Mary: Royals like to stick to names that are in the family, and this one certainly is, although there hasn't been a major Mary in many years. That makes it a good choice for Will and Kate, who are traditionalists but also value their autonomy. Mary would additionally be a nod to their British roots—it's just about the most classic English name around.

Elizabeth: If you ask the oddsmakers, this one's in front: The British betting house Ladbrokes released the odds this morning, with Elizabeth leading the way at 8-1. Wattenberg isn't so sure, though. She says that, like Diana, Elizabeth—the name of the current queen—could be too big a gesture for a couple as private and quiet as Will and Kate. Again, look for this as a potential middle name.

MORE: Other Pregnant Princesses Though the Years


Arthur: Again, "A" is big right now. Arthur is a middle name of both Prince William and Prince Charles, and has the kind of classic British feel that is necessary for a royal name.

Spencer: This name, while not royal in its history, would be a good way to honor Princess Diana with a boy baby, says Alper—it's Diana's family name.

Philip: Another one of Will's middle names, Philip was also Queen Elizabeth's husband. It's a little less loaded than Elizabeth, though, says Wattenberg, as he never held the same prominence as the Queen and her mother (also Elizabeth). Philip would also be a nod to Pippa, Kate's sister—yes, it's nice to consider both parents' families!

George: If you simply look at the charts, this one's a frontrunner. It's hovered around the top 10 names in England for awhile now, and is also one of the most common names that's been used in royal history. Like Philip, it doesn't represent anyone too recent, and it also has the very classic, almost fussy feel that Brits love.

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