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The remarkable reason the Queen rejected Princess Beatrice's original name

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 7/19/2019 Ben Rabinovich
a couple of people that are sitting on a table: Queen Elizabeth reportedly disliked her granddaughter Princess Beatrice's original name © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Queen Elizabeth reportedly disliked her granddaughter Princess Beatrice's original name

In Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, the lovestruck Capulet asked, ‘What’s in a name?’ 

In 1988, after the birth of Princess Beatrice, her second-oldest granddaughter, the Queen answered: quite a lot, when she reportedly rejected the original name Beatrice’s parents had chosen for her. 

The Princess, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson's first daughter, was born on 8th August, 1988, but her name was not revealed to the public for a whole two weeks. 

In that time, the nation waited with bated breath to discover the name of the new royal, who at the time would be fifth-in-line to the throne.

To put that in perspective, even the notoriously private Prince Harry and Meghan Markle revealed their son Archie’s name just two days after his birth.

However, just like Archie’s name ended up being a complete surprise, neither the bookies nor the rest of the nation expected the newest royal in 1988 to be called Beatrice.

In fact, many people were pretty sure as early as May that year that Beatrice would be called Annabel, after a newspaper quoted Andrew saying as much.

Some people also thought the names Charlotte and Victoria were in the running. Not a single bet was placed on the name Beatrice at two of the largest bookmakers at the time.

Prince Andrew, Duke of York wearing a suit and tie: Princess Beatrice was born on 8th Aug, 1988 but her name was not revealed for two weeks © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Princess Beatrice was born on 8th Aug, 1988 but her name was not revealed for two weeks

The Press Association quoted a William Hill bookmakers at the time as saying: ‘It’s terrific. We couldn’t have chosen a better name.’

Another bookmaker, from Coral, said: ‘It is a bit of a surprise for everybody. Victoria and Elizabeth were the two favorites.’

Just one newspaper, The Sun, ended up correctly choosing Beatrice, in the process explaining the remarkable reason for why it wouldn’t be Annabel.

The newspaper reported that it was indeed Prince Andrew and Sarah’s first choice. However, Princess Annabel was not to be, because the Queen disliked it. She rejected it, saying it was too ‘yuppie’.

Since the monarch has to approve royal names, Annabel was out. The report doesn’t explain why the Queen thought so little of the name.

The Queen ended up suggesting the name Beatrice, which was the name of Queen Victoria’s youngest child. It derives from the Latin for 'one who brings joy'.  

According to The Sun, the name therefore was royal enough for the Queen and, crucially, unusual enough to satisfy Fergie.


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