The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge fittingly gave their new baby girl a name fit for a princess: Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.
Will Canadian parents be inspired by Wills and Kate to name their little princesses after Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge?
The royals have always influenced baby names, said royal historian Carolyn Harris, in a phone interview with Yahoo Canada.
Long before Canada became a country, British royalty were marrying royalty from nearby European countries and the new names would instantly cause a stir. For instance, when Henrietta Maria of France married King Charles I there was a surge of interest in the name Henrietta, explains Harris, who teaches history at the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies.
Robert Finch, dominion chairman of the Monarchist League of Canada, said there’s sure to be a surge of little Charlottes running around in the years ahead.
“The Royals - especially the younger ones - seem to set trends,” said Finch in an e-mail interview. “I think people like to tell their friends that their child is named after a princess. And, I am sure a little girl growing up would get quite the kick out of knowing she shares the same name of Princess Charlotte. It's the magic of the monarchy; it begins at a very young age.”
While we are now the True North strong and free Canada has very deep ties with Britain. Canada is still a constitutional monarchy and our head of state is technically Queen Elizabeth. The popularity and influence of the royal family here, and around the world, has ebbed and flowed over the years.
Back in the late 1920s there was a spike in the number of Elizabeth’s in British Columbia after Queen Elizabeth was born, according to the province’s Vital Statistics Agency. Then there was another spike in the years after she became queen, peaking in 1958 with 202 B.C. babies given the same name as the new queen. There was a surge yet again after her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
When Diana, Princess of Wales married Charles, Prince of Wales, in the early ‘80s there was a more modest jump. Her name peaked in 1982 in Ontario with 218 babies named Diana, according to the government of Ontario. When the princess died in 1997 there was a smaller bump in Ontario, rising from 69 Diana’s in 1996 up to 91 in 1997.
The choice of name for Diana’s first-born son, William, has proved a popular choice over time. While it was more popular in B.C. in the ‘40s and ‘50s there was a rise after he was born in 1982. In more recent years, William has been in the headlines with his marriage to Kate Middleton, the birth of two children and a tour of Canada. All of this happy news seems to have inspired Canadian parents to name their sons after the man who is currently second in line to the throne.
jumped 15 places to number five in 2014. The name William has been a top boys name for years here, according to BabyCentre Canada. William
The Duchess of Cambridge has been credited with reinvigorating and modernizing the monarchy, yet neither Kate nor Catherine cracked the top 20 on BabyCentre Canada’s top names list last year. While Will's younger brother Prince Harry (who is officially Prince Henry of Wales) is arguably the more popular prince his name has been nowhere near as popular with Canadian parents. Harry was not on the top 100 list for 2014, though Henry did come in at number 53.
The Duke and Duchess’s first child, Prince George of Cambridge is undeniably adorable, but his name did not crack BabyCentre Canada’s list of top 100 boys’ names last year. Jackson, Liam, Lucas and Logan were the top four boys’ names in 2014. Will George’s little sister have better luck? Probably.
Charlotte was at number 12 of top girls’ names last year. Ann Elisabeth Samson, the editor of BabyCentre Canada, said she expects Charlotte will continue to be popular. While the royals are on a bit of an upswing lately she said a cartoon queen may have more influence – Elsa from the Disney movie Frozen.
These days, Canadian parents are influenced by pop culture, and like Wills and Kate by family tradition. Unique spellings and going back to more traditional names are both in style, said Samson in a phone interview.
“In Canada we see a lot of place names and nature inspiration,” she said. “You’ll see Bear, Ocean, Oak … Maple always pops up.”
Parents are influenced by many things and the popular young royal family is just one influence. Take Finch for example, he is the head of the monarchist league, but did not name his daughter after a royal.
“I consider her to be a princess in her own way,” he said. “So no need to name her after an actual princess.”
Watch the video below to see five ways the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have paid tribute to Princess Diana.