William and Kate announced Monday that their new daughter will be known as Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.
Palace officials announced she officially “will be known as Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge.”
That’s three folks honored in one mouthful for the most senior royal British princess born in decades.
Charlotte is a French feminine diminutive of Charles, the name of the baby’s paternal grandfather. It is also the middle name of Kate’s sister Pippa Middleton.
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Royal aides told The Daily Mail that the baby’s second and third names would “speak for themselves.”
Charlotte is the second child of Prince William and his wife, the former Kate Middleton. She was born Saturday in London.
Charlotte was a hugely popular name for girls in the United Kingdom back in the 1980s; not so much anymore.
According to the website BehindTheName.com, which offers the etymology of first names, Charlotte ranks No. 21 in popularity for girls’ names in England. It’s much more popular in the United States — No. 11 — and is the most popular girl’s name in Australia and New Zealand.
As soon as the name was announced, royal watchers and British media began pointing out other Charlottes in the country’s history:
▪ Queen Charlotte (1744-1818), an amateur botanist, was married to “mad king” George III and helped establish the famous Kew Gardens in London by making sure that new plants and species discovered by British explorers were added to the gardens. The daughter of a German duke, Charlotte was 17 when she married George. They had 15 children. They named their first daughter Charlotte (born in 1766).
▪ George IV and his wife, Caroline of Brunswick, named their only offspring Princess Charlotte of Wales (1796-1817). She could have been queen of England if she had outlived both her grandfather, George III, and her father. Her death at age 21 after giving birth to a stillborn son led to a nationwide outpouring of grief.
▪ Charlotte is also the name of the daughter of William’s uncle Earl Spencer, Princess Diana’s brother. On Monday, Spencer tweeted: “Perfect names. My 2-year-old Charlotte Diana will be thrilled at cousinly name-sharing.”
The new royal baby isn’t the only princess Charlotte in Europe. Charlotte Marie Pomeline Casiraghi, 29, the second child of Caroline, Princess of Monaco, is eighth in line to the throne of Monaco.
And Will and Kate’s daughter isn’t the only famous Charlotte born recently. Chelsea Clinton named her first baby Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky last September. She has been dubbed the “Clinton baby.”
A few other famous Charlottes that spring to our mind:
▪ Charlotte Rae, the actress who played Mrs. Garrett on “The Facts of Life.”
▪ Charlotte the spider in E.B. White’s classic children’s tale, “Charlotte’s Web.”
▪ Actress Charlize Theron, a native of South Africa. Charlize is a form of Charlotte.
▪ Fashion designer Carolina Herrera. Carolina is a Spanish form of Charlotte.
▪ Former Victoria’s Secret model Karolina Kurkova. Karolina is a Czech version of Charlotte.
And don’t hate us, but when we hear Charlotte we think first of Kristin Davis’ character, Charlotte York, on “Sex and the City.”
ThinkBabyNames.com lists 99 various forms of Charlotte, including Carla, Carly, Char, Charleen, Charo, Lolita, Sheri and Tottie. That’s a lot of fodder for a royal nickname.
But we’re giving her this one: Princess Charli.