I’m writing this article so a local talk show producer will think I know something about naming British royalty. I hope she’s not turned off by my iconoclastic approach to a subject that has already motivated thousands (or tens of thousands) of pundits, commentators, and self-proclaimed experts to ramp up the speculation about what William and Kate will name their royal baby.
My plan is to bring you up to date on some of the ideas flying through cyberspace and then come up with an angle that might get me on TV.
Some experts point out that the next royal highness diapered by the royal nanny will be third in line to inherit the throne, so William and Kate will have to stick closely to royal “protocol”—meaning they’ll have to use names previously used by royals, like William (the Conqueror), Arthur (of “Round Table” fame), Alfred (the Great), George (who wasn’t invited to the Boston Tea Party), Henry (VIII and all the other Henrys), Victoria (who gave us the Victorian era), Mary (who gave us a transatlantic luxury liner), and two Elizabeths (the latest of whom seems to have been queen for several centuries).
Other experts and bookmakers suggest Kate and William should stick with “relatives.” That opens the door to the names of commoners who married into the royal family, such as William’s mother Diana, Sarah (aka Fergie), Anthony (a photographer who took naughty photos after marrying Princess Margaret) and many others, including Eleanor of Aquitaine, Wallis Simpson, and Camilla Parker-Bowles).
Now that you know what just about everyone else knows about the name to be given to the future king or queen (if Queen Elizabeth ever decides to vacate the well-padded royal throne), here’s something of value: a way for Yanks, Canucks, Aussies, Kiwis, and Brits completely out of the know, to “bet” on the name William and Kate will select, without risking either your money or your reputation should you fail to select the correct name (which is pretty much a foregone conclusion).
I’ve created two pages on Ranker.com (“What Will William and Kate Name the Royal Baby Boy?” and “What William and Kate Name the Royal Baby Girl?”) that provide the top twenty boys’ and girls’ names based on the current betting odds in London. When you go to the lists, you can bet on (vote for) the boys’ and girls’ names you like best, in the privacy of your bedroom, office, car or wherever you and your laptop, tablet, or mobile phone happen to be. You can also re-rank the entire list and add any names you think English betters should choose—solidly British names like Jack (the Ripper) or Bridget (Jones).
Your bets or votes will change the rankings on the list, as if by magic. Cool, huh? (This is called “crowd-sourcing,” a way to tap into the wisdom of the masses—as though any of them know a thing about how royal names are really selected).
The only thing I could accomplish by hazarding some predictions myself would be sullying my dimming reputation as an expert on baby names. But I’m happy to give you some advice (which is what I do best): Stick with the well-known English kings, queens, princes, princesses, and those parvenus who were beautiful or handsome and well-connected enough to have married into a life of luxury, leisure, and boredom.
Be conservative. Very conservative. Who do you think will have the last word on the royal baby’s name? William? Kate? Me? Think again. Who refused to let Prince Charles marry the love of his life, until he showed her the AARP card he had received in the mail?
Now that you know who’s in charge of most things “royal” in Britain, you’ve got a chance to pick a winner. As they used to say in Chicago when Mayor Daley was running that town: “Vote early and vote often.”
© 2013 Bruce Lansky
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