“I hope it will be a girl this time,” remarked Prince Charles upon learning that he would be a grandfather for the second time. Many royal watchers have since echoed the Prince of Wales’ sentiments, longing for the Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, to give birth to a little princess come spring.
If so, what will the royal couple name Prince George’s little sister? While many have speculated that the duke and duchess will pay tribute to Prince William’s late mother, Princess Diana, others are betting on more traditional names like Victoria or even Elizabeth, after the Queen herself.
One thing is certain: William and Kate have plenty of names to choose from if they welcome a daughter, each with unique relevance to the Royal Family’s storied lineage. Here, Hello! lists some possible royal baby girl names, including their meaning and historic significance, from A to Z.
ALICE, Of a noble kind. Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice (1885-1969), lives up to the meaning of her moniker: she was Queen Victoria’s great-granddaughter.
BEATRICE, Bringer of joy. This traditional name has had resurgence in popularity thanks to William’s cousin Princess Beatrice, who shares her name with Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter.
CHARLOTTE, Free, strong. A feminine spin on Charles, this has been the name of numerous nobles, including glamorous Princess Charlotte (1796-1817).
DIANA, Goddess of the moon, divine. The mother of princes William and Harry, later called the “People’s Princess,” wasn’t the first Lady Diana Spencer. The artist daughter of the Duke of Marlborough (1734-1808) shared the name.
FIONA, White, fair. Like Shrek’s modern princess bride, the name Fiona is an updated version of the original Scottish and Irish eponyms Finola and Finnuala.
GABRIELLA, God is my strength. Prince and Princess Michael of Kent gave this name to their daughter. Lady Gabriella, now a journalist, is 40th in line to the throne and is called Ella.
HELENA, Light. Commonly used as a tribute to Roman empress St. Helena, its variants are Helen and Ellen. It was the name of Queen Victoria’s third daughter.
ISABELLA, God’s promise. The Spanish form of Elizabeth, this name has been given to more than 20 international queens and other royal women.
JANE, Gracious. Lady Jane Grey (1536-1554) is called the nine-day queen – the length of her reign before being supplanted by Queen Mary.
KATE, Pure. There are no “Kates” in royal history, but five Catherines have been queen, including Catherine of Aragon, whose marriage with Henry VIII sparked the Protestant Reformation.
LOUISE, Famous warrior. William’s cousin Lady Louise, 9, may be named after Queen Victoria’s feisty fourth daughter, Louise (1848-1939). She raised eyebrows when she married a commoner.
MARY, Strong waters. Her Majesty’s grandmother Mary of Teck was engaged to Prince Albert. After he died of the fl u, she wed his younger brother, the future George V.
NOOR, Light. The Jordan beauty Queen Noor comes to mind when we think of this name; however, Noor, which is of Arabic origin, is actually a unisex title.
OLGA, Holy. Derived from the Scandinavian “Helga,” Olga is a popular name in Russian aristocracy.
PHILIPPA, Lover of horses. The feminine form of Philip, this Greek name – derived from Alexander the Great’s father – is also the name of Kate’s younger sister.
QUINN, Wise, queen. Perfect for a born ruler, Quinn, which means fifth-born, would also be ideal for a family’s fifth infant
ROSE, Rose. Princess Margaret’s lovely middle name was at the insistence of George V. His wife had wanted to call her “Ann Margaret”
SAVANNAH, Treeless plain. The Queen’s eldest grandchild, Peter Phillips, and his Canadian wife, Autumn, gave their first daughter this name, which has native American origins.
THYRA, Thor’s struggle. Two Danish princesses had this name, pronounced “Tara.” The elder Thyra’s sister, Alexandra, married Queen Victoria’s eldest son, Edward VII.
URSULA, Little female bear. St. Ursula, a Roman-British Christian saint, was, legend has it, the daughter of a king, who was martyred after she refused to marry.
VICTORIA, Victory. Many princesses in the past several generations have been named in honour the stalwart queen.
WANDA, Slender, young tree. The story of Polish Queen Wanda – who drowned herself to avoid marrying an enemy – is a legend in Poland.
XENIA, Hospitality. Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia was a muse to Danish composer Valdemar Vater. He wrote the “Xenia Polka Mazurka” for her.
YASMIN, Jasmine flower. Hollywood royalty meets the real thing in Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, the daughter of Rita Hayworth and Prince Aly Khan.
ZARA, Bright as the dawn. It’s thanks to her uncle, Prince Charles, that the Queen’s granddaughter got her name. “She made a sudden and positive arrival and my brother thought it was an appropriate name,” says Princess Anne.