Royal Baby Names: Take the Poll

There’s nothing like a royal pregnancy announcement to get the media’s mouths watering. So we thought we would join in the speculation and fun of guessing the future King or Queen’s name. We are in no doubt that William and Catherine will stay within the bounds of traditionalism (i.e no Apples or Harpers here) but will they be safe and choose the name of a previous monarch or will they go for something new? We have dug in to the archives to find out some names of previous Princes and Princesses. Scroll to the bottom, to take our poll

Princess Margaret

Princess Margaret
Princess Margaret

Of course Prince William’s Great Aunt was Princess Margaret or “Margot” as she was affectionately called by friends. There hasn’t been a Queen Margaret before, however, although a royal beauty, the Queen’s sister was quite a controversial member of the royal family.

Prince Albert (Bertie)

George VI or Prince Albert as he was christened
George VI or Prince Albert as he was christened

If you have seen the King’s Speech, you probably feel like you know King George VI rather well. The Queen’s beloved father was a reluctant King; thrown on to the throne after his brother’s abdication, he had the enormous job of restoring the popularity of the monarchy which was at an all time low. He succeeded. He has gone down in history as being a dutiful family man and a King with personal courage. So perhaps William will pay homage to his great-grandfather whose baptismal name was Prince Albert and was known as ‘Bertie’ by his family. There never has been a King Albert as Edward VII (born Prince Albert) decided he didn’t want to diminish the status of his father. The Queen’s (Elizabeth II) father took the regnal name George VI to carry on this tradition.

Princess Mary (May)

Queen Mary of Teck watching Wimbledon
Queen Mary of Teck watching Wimbledon

We think Mary may be a strong contender for a girl and then with a nickname of ‘May’. Prince William’s great-great grandmother was Queen Mary of Teck (pictured) and Queen Victoria’s great granddaughter was called Princess May of Teck. And of course there hasn’t been a Mary on the throne since the days of Mary II aka “William and Mary” who were joint sovereigns of England, Scotland and Ireland back in the 17th century. Mary is a pretty girl’s name which has fallen out of vogue in the last 50 years but we just have a hunch it could be time for a resurgence.

Prince Henry or Princess Henrietta

Prince Henry, the Queen's Uncle, watching the racing with his niece
Prince Henry, the Queen’s Uncle, watching the racing with his niece

We all know how close Prince William and his brother Harry (Prince Henry) are so we think there is a strong possibility that William may choose Henry or Henrietta as a tribute to his brother. ‘Henry’ has been a popular choice for members of the royal family. Prince Henry, seen in this picture with the Queen, was the Queen’s uncle and there have been many Prince Henry’s before him.

Henry VIII was the last Henry to grace the throne though. He was an accomplished and charismatic king although he is often illustrated as a lustful and egotistical character. And although there has never been a Queen Henrietta, apparently the name Henrietta is a “thoroughly upper-class name” and in fact Charles I’s daughter was called Princess Henrietta of England. It’s not very popular in England anymore but perhaps it’s time for a renaissance.

Princess Victoria

Queen Victoria in Dublin
Queen Victoria in Dublin

Could there be another Victorian era ahead? It is some 111 years since Queen Victoria’s reign ended. If William looks to his family history for inspiration, he will know that Queen Victoria’s reign of 63 years and seven months, is still the longest reign of any British monarch and the longest of any female monarch in history. Although she was officially Alexandrina Victoria (nicknamed Drina), her first name was withdrawn at her own wish.

Victoria was the symbol of the British Empire. She displayed fortitude and strength when there were seven separate attempts on her life. Her popularity was temporarily affected by her depression but ultimately she was a popular Queen who remained dutiful to the end. As William is 4th great-grandson of Queen Victoria, we think Queen Victoria II is a strong contender.

Princess Charlotte

Prince Charles with the Queen
Prince Charles with the Queen

And how about Charlotte? Of course Charlotte is the female name of Charles so this would be a great tribute to William’s father. There was Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz who was the Queen consort of the United Kingdom as the wife of King George III. If it is a boy though, we don’t think William and Kate will choose Charles – just because there is already one in line to the throne.

Pathe’s Final Prediction
Our wholly speculative final guess is: a girl called Charlotte

…and if it is a boy, our final guess is: Albert

But what do you think? Take the poll now:

A Royal Honeymoon Location

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip honeymooning in Hampshire

Royal Honeymoons often occur where you least expect them, as the British Pathe archive demonstrates…

Everyone is speculating over where Prince William and Catherine Middleton (Wales), now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are spending their honeymoon. In solving a royal honeymoon riddle it is important to think outside the royal box –  and perhaps footage from the British Pathe archive can help us:

A lot of Londoners suspect Will and Kate to have borrowed a home (or indeed an island) off one of their high flying friends. Just glancing at the wedding guests, Elton John, Richard Branson, David Beckham, – a whole host of people who own luxury homes and mini resorts abroad. But what if Will and Kate pulled the ultimate red herring and took a helicopter ride out into the deepest English countryside…

In this great British Pathe reel below we see crowds and press gather around Princess Elizabeth (The Queen) and Prince Philip as they leave Romsey Abbey to depart together on their honeymoon.

In the clip the narrator declares “At the 1000 year old abbey 10,000 people stood on chairs and climbed churchyard trees to get a glimpse of the princess and the duke. Penned-in by well-wishers the royal car had great difficulty in getting back to Broadlands the honeymoon retreat of the royal pair”

The clip shows Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip roaming around Broadlands, the Home of Earl and Countess Mountbatten, where they spent the first section of their honeymoon. Princess Elizabeth is depicted flicking through the first photos of the wedding whilst Prince Philip gives Pathé the first official flash of his wedding ring.

Watch the clip here: ROYAL HONEYMOONERS IN HAMPSHIRE

 We were surprised to learn that the couple had to attend morning service at Romsey Abbey directly following the Royal Wedding day! Quite a different world to the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton at which Prince Harry allegedly made bacon and cheese sandwiches for guests who partied until 6am, and after which the happy couple left in a helicopter! Clearly the austerity wedding of 1947 had a tighter belt than the recession wedding of 2011.

Even in the 1940s the Royal Family had become aware of the media’s gaze, as the Pathé narrator tells us – “The second part of their honeymoon will be spent in Scotland and so for a while Pathé News will respect their desire for the seclusion they have so well earned”

It’s interesting how stately homes in and around the UK were popular as a royal honeymoon destination. Here the Duke of Kent, Prince George is videoed on his honeymoon with Princess Marina at Himley Hall in Worcestershire:

HONEYMOON HALL (1934)

Princess Margaret was one of the first high-profile Royals to have an exotic honeymoon that was televised. In 1960 she chose to tour the Caribbean on the Royal Yacht with Anthony Armstrong-Jones. Pathé went along too and captured the trail of their honeymoon on camera:

PATH OF THE PRINCESS (1960)

Did you know: The Japanese Prince Takamatsu took his honeymoon in England in 1930? Here is the Pathé newsreel of it, called BANZAI !

 Broadlands House is currently undergoing a major electrical refurbishment but should be open to the public again in time for the Olympics next summer: http://www.broadlandsestates.co.uk/