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10 Times the Royals Surprised Us With Unusual Baby Names

Popsugar logo Popsugar 27/02/2018 June Woolerton

a group of people posing for the camera © Getty William and Kate's third baby is due in just a matter of weeks now, and everyone's trying to guess whether we're getting a prince or princess and just what the Cambridges will call the latest addition to their family. The duke and duchess haven't really pulled any shocks in the baby name game, so far, as both George and Charlotte were favourite picks during Kate's previous pregnancies. But there are plenty of royals who have made us all sit up and listen with their choices. Here are 10 times the royals surprised us with baby name choices . . .

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a group of people posing for the camera: Estelle © Getty / Luca V. Teuchmann Estelle

You can search those royal history books and family trees as much as you like, but you won't find another princess called Estelle anywhere. It's possible that her parents, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden, named their firstborn after New York-born Estelle Manville, who married a distant royal cousin, Folke Bernadotte, and was known for her humanitarian work. This future queen's name is a royal rarity you won't find in any recent top 100 baby names countdown, although a related name, Stella, hit the top 60 last year.


a man holding a fish: Zara © Getty / Chris Jackson Zara When Princess Anne presented the queen with her first granddaughter in May 1981, everyone knew the baby wouldn't get a royal title. What they weren't expecting was for her parents to take a swerve on the traditional royal names, too. Zara, an Arabic name meaning bright or shining, was reportedly the pick of her uncle Prince Charles and had never been used by Britain's royals before. Zara was one of just 116 babies given the name that year, but its royal associations have seen it grow in popularity ever since.


a person wearing a hat: Eugenie © Getty / Chris Jackson Eugenie The surprising pick of the Duke and Duchess of York for their second daughter came most definitely from the box marked "royal names we had all forgotten." Princess Eugenie, born in March 1990, shares her name with Queen Victoria's youngest granddaughter, who was named after her own godmother, Empress Eugenie of France.


a person standing in a room: Leonor © Getty / Carlos Alvarez Leonor Once upon a time, about 600 years ago, Leonor (and its English translation, Eleanor) was the go-to royal name for most of Europe's ruling houses. But when Felipe and Letizia of Spain chose it for their first baby, born in October 2005, it was a shock as it hadn't been popular in royal circles for decades. Since then, the name has had a bit of a royal revival. Queen Mathilde of Belgium had an Eleonore in 2008, and in 2014 Princess Madeleine of Sweden chose Leonore for her first child.


a person wearing a costume: Savannah © Getty / Chris Jackson Savannah Savannah has been a popular pick for baby girls for the last 20 years or so, which is perhaps how the name ended up on the radar of Peter and Autumn Phillips. Their daughter, born in December 2010, was the queen's first great-grandchild, and she got the new generation off to a surprising royal start with her name pick. Her little sister, born in 2012, also brought a new name to the royal family when she was christened Isla.


a group of people in a park: Vincent © Getty / Alexander Koerner Vincent When Denmark's Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary welcomed twins in 2011, the proud dad joked he might name his new son Elvis as he shared a birthday with the king of rock and roll. The actual pick was no less of a surprise. Vincent gets his name all to himself in royal circles. It's a more popular choice in Australia, but if we're honest, we're all still getting used to a prince called Vince.


a person wearing a red shirt: Jacques © Getty / Pascal Le Segretain Jacques There was huge interest in what Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco would call their twins when they arrived in December 2014, and their choice of Jacques for their son surprised plenty. It's the French version of Jack, and while that name has been topping boys' names lists for over a decade now, it's not been used by royals recently. Charlene said she chose Jacques as it was popular in her home country of South Africa. Monaco last had a prince called Jacques in the 18th century, but we're guessing he wasn't on anyone's mind as an inspiration — he was so unpopular, he ended up having to abdicate.

Angelica, Isadora, and Tallulah

a group of people wearing costumes: Angelica, Isadora, and Tallulah © Getty / Ragnar Singsaas Angelica, Isadora, and Tallulah If you were asked to dream up some royal baby names, this trio probably wouldn't come close, but they're actually the middle names chosen by Norwegian Princess Martha Louise for her three daughters, born between 2003 and 2008. Maud Angelica, Leah Isadora, and Emma Tallulah don't have royal titles, although they are in line for Norway's throne. Their middle names are pretty unusual all around, making them real royal standouts.


a man wearing a suit and tie: Liam © Getty / Handout Liam Liam might have ended up among the top boys names for the past few years, but it hadn't been seen in royal circles until November 2016, when the super stylish Prince Felix and Princess Claire of Luxembourg (pictured here at their wedding) chose it for their little boy. Prince Liam, who is fourth in line to his country's throne, also got the rather unusual middle name of Hartmut in honour of one of his granddads.


a close up of a man: William © Getty / Chris Jackson William Prince William is so well-known that it seems strange to think that his name was a real surprise when Charles and Diana picked it back in 1982. It hadn't really been talked about as a possibility for their royal baby, so it made a real splash when it was confirmed as the name of this king in waiting. Fast forward to 2018, and the name isn't in the running for a new Cambridge prince, either, so if William and Kate do have a boy called Billy, then we can be surprised by it all over again.

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