Baby name trends – blame the Royal family!

The Royal family has been influencing our choice of baby names since 1837

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The Royal family’s choice of baby names has been influencing the baby naming trends of the greater population since the 1800s, according to a study by genealogical site ancestry.co.uk.

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Since 1837, the top 20 baby names have been heavily dominated by the Royal family’s own choice of baby names for the same period, accounting for half of those top monikers. Nearly every Royal birth has been followed by an increase in the number of babies being given the same name.

In 1984, the year Prince Harry was born, “Harry” wasn’t even featuring in the top 100 baby names for boys. In the 16 years that followed, the name’s popularity increased 12-fold, and by 2008, it was the fourth most popular boys’ name.

The Royals’ influence at-a-glance:

  • Since the birth of Prince William, the name’s popularity has grown two and half times.
  • William is the most popular Royal name since 1837 – more than 1.9 million baby boys have the birth certificate to prove it!
  • The birth of Zara Phillips in 1981 has had the strongest impact on baby name trends of all princes and princesses born since 1837.
  • Since the birth of Zara’s mum Anne in 1950, the name “Anne” has increased in popularity seven times.
  • Princess Beatrice’s birth saw her name’s popularity increase six times.
  • Beatrice’s sister, Princess Eugenie, cause the name “Eugenie” to double in popularity.
  • With more than 1.2 million uses is the name Elizabeth – the single most popular name for girls since 1837.

However the Royals can’t control all the trends – the most popular baby name for boys since 1837 has been John. The Royal family hasn’t used John in modern times, but that hasn’t stopped just over 2 million sons getting the moniker.

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If you want to break with tradition, head to our Baby Namer to find something unique – there’s more than 2,000 to choose from.

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