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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Are royal baby names copied by the public?

So asks Vanessa Barford in the BBC Magazine

It would certainly be nice, if so.  Bizarre names make me cringe, particularly when they have been popularized by pop stars and television soaps.  Most of them, in fact, would belong better to pets. 

And George, Henry et al have the ring of tradition.  As do Mary, and, for that matter, Catherine.  No bearer of a name like that is likely to be embarrassed in the future.

However, as Vanessa Barford points, it ain't necessarily so.

Baby name trends are influenced by an eclectic range of sources, says she. In 2001, the girls' name Chardonnay was nowhere in the names chart, only just creeping into the ONS's top 5000 for England and Wales.

In January 2002, Footballers Wives - with a central character named Chardonnay - started on British television. For 2002, the name hit 519 in the charts and by 2003 Chardonnay was at a respectable 372.

Royal names, especially British monarchs, are less varied. The last 11 monarchs have been Elizabeth, George, Edward, George, Edward, Victoria, William, George, George, George and George.

George was also the bookmaker's favourite for the royal family's latest addition. Tradition usually plays more of a part for those who are future monarchs, says Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine.

But whether that means that a raft of babies will be christened George this year is a very moot point.

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