10 of the best Royal baby names for girls

Steeped in history - some good, some not so fortunate - there are a wealth of traditional and more surprising girls names with royal history

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  • So what will Kate and William call their new baby daughter? The bookies reckon the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are most likely to choose Charlotte, or possibly Alice or Diana. 

    We reveal 10 other royal baby names that have been used by the British royal family for more than a thousand years....

  • Catherine

    This is a classic girl's name with many spellings and nicknames. The most famous royal Catherine at the moment is of course Catherine Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge. Other royal Catherines include: 

    • Catherine of Aragon - Henry VIII's 1st wife
    • Catherine Howard - Henry's 5th wife
    • Catherine Parr - Henry  6th wife (he liked Catherines)
    • Catherine of Braganza - Charles II's wife
  • Elizabeth

    Two of England’s most famous Queens have been Elizabeth I and II. It can be shortened in many ways like Lizzie, Eliza, Beth and, um, Betty. But we doubt Betty is a name that echoes down royal corridors...

  • Anne

    The name Ann, which means “grace”, has been common among royalty. Two queens of England have been called Anne, most famously one of King Henry VIII’s wives Anne Boleyn. William's aunt is also Prince Charles' sister, Princess Anne. Confusingly, the original English spelling is Ann and the French spelling is Anne.

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  • Victoria

    For many people, there is only one Queen Victoria - William's great-great-great grandmother and a formidable queen, mother and woman. It means “the victorious one” but with such a powerful legacy, will we see another Queen or even Princess Victoria?

  • Beatrice

    Beatrice is becoming a very popular baby name and can be shortened to Bea and Trixie. It meas “bringer of gladness”, which is rather nice. The Duke of York, Prince Andrew, and Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, named their eldest daughter Beatrice. 

  • Helena

    Along with Helena of Troy, Helena was also one of Queen Victoria's daughter and means “bright and shining one”. Queen Helena is the character played by Liz Hurley in the new caustic royal TV series, which has just premiered in America. Described as the British monarchy meets Made In Chelsea, we should get to see Queen Helena later this year. 

  • Margaret

    Meaning “pearl" we had an early Queen Margaret (Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry VI in the 15th century) and before that Queen Margaret of Scotland in the 11th century. Of course, the sister of William's reigning grandmother was Princess Margaret.

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  • Matilda

    Not a name you'd immediately associate with royalty, Matilda means “little battle maiden”. Although it might be more famous from Roald Dahl’s book of the same name, it was also the name of a Queen of England, nicknamed “Matilda the Good” and also Empress Matilda. Daughter of King Henry I, she fought hard to be the first female overall ruler of England but was never formally recognised as Queen. Her son, Henry II, later became King. 

  • Jane

    Not plain Jane for two of the most famous Queen Janes. The first is Jane Seymour, third wife of Henry VIII - who became betrothed to the King just 24 hours after the beheading of Henry's previous wife Anne Boleyn. The second, Lady Jane Grey, only reigned for 9 days in 1553, before powerful and envious officials imprisoned and later executed her. Hmmm, may be not the best choice for the new royal baby. 

  • Mary

    Meaning the “star of the sea”, we've had a few queens named Mary.

    Mary I was known as Bloody Mary and reigned from 1553-1558. She was the daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Mary Queen of Scots never made it to be Queen of England - and was kept away from the throne by her cousin Elizabeth I. Mary II was married to King William in the 17th century (you know, William and Mary) but sadly died from smallpox. And then there was Mary Victoria, the Queen Consort of George V. 

    So which royal name are Kate and William likely to choose? Join in the debate and tell us what you think...