26 February 2011

Royal Baby Names for Frederik and Mary

With only six weeks remaining until the christening of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary’s adorable twins [view their official photos], I’ve been weighing their baby name choices in case they log on to the Princess Palace looking for ideas. On April 14, the names of the little prince and princess will finally be announced, so here are some names to consider:

Family Names

It’s possible, the little prince could be named John, in honor of his maternal grandfather, but unlikely to be named Henrik in honor of his paternal grandfather since Frederik’s brother Prince Joachim gave that name to his third son last year. They might also choose to step back one more generation and select Andre for Frederik’s French grandfather, Count Andre de Laborde de Monpezat or Peter for Mary’s Scottish grandfather, Peter Donaldson. Henri and John, however, are already among the names given to the couple’s firstborn child, Prince Christian Valdemar Henri John.

For the little princess, the most likely family names might be Margrethe for Frederik’s mother the Queen, Ingrid for Margrethe’s mother or Henrietta for Mary’s late mother. However, Frederik and Mary gave all of these names to their first daughter Princess Isabella Henrietta Ingrid Margrethe, so maybe not. Since the royal family recently celebrated Queen Ingrid’s centenary year, I would not rule it out entirely. Other family names include Renee for Frederik’s French grandmother and Jane or Patricia for Mary’s sisters. As a long shot, I will also mention Alexandra for Frederik’s popular ex-sister-in-law, the former Alexandra Manley, who is now Countess of Frederiksborg.

Royal Names

As the oldest monarchy in Europe, Denmark offers scores of possibilities in its long history. The names of the couple’s first two children came from Danish royal history. Prince Christian got his name because for centuries, the crown was past from Frederik to Christian to Frederik in a loop that was only broken when King Frederik VIII had no sons. As for Princess Isabella, Frederik and Mary selected it after perusing their royal history. It was a rather surprising choice because there has really only been one other Isabella in all of that history, a 16th-century queen consort known as Isabella of Austria, daughter of the Spanish Queen Juana the Mad and therefore granddaughter of Ferdinand and Isabella as well as niece of Henry VIII’s first wife Catherine of Aragon.

With these choices for the first two children, don’t be surprised if they follow the same pattern in naming the new babies. For girls, this list includes Feodora, Marina, Cecilia, Thyra, Mariane, Louise, Charlotte, Juliana, Amalia, Ulrika, Christina, Eleonore, Augusta, Philippa, Martha, Adela, Emma and Catherine. Since another prominent royal event is taking place elsewhere in April, I would eliminate Catherine and Philippa from this list (to avoid concerns that the princess is being named for either of the Middleton sisters.) Eleonore seems to be popular among current European royals: Princess Leonor of Spain, Princess Eleonore of Belgium and Countess Leonore of Orange-Nassau in The Netherlands. I don’t know whether this popularity makes the name a more or less likely choice. I personally am a fan of Charlotte, Helena, Emma and Cecilia, while Mariane could pay tribute to the baby’s mother the Crown Princess, her aunt Princes Marie and her great-aunt Queen Anne Marie of Denmark.

The list of royal boy names offers many, many Nordic choices like Eric, Knud, Olaf, Haakon, Valdemar, Niels and Harald as well as possibilities like Christopher, Carl, George, Adolf, Jacob and Abel. For some reason, Jacob and Abel seem attractive to me; perhaps because they have been rarely used, just like Isabella. They also work well in Princess Mary’s mother tongue of English. I think Harald and Haakon are unlikely since these are the names of the current Norwegian king and his heir and Christopher would seem odd for a boy with a brother named Christian. Or, perhaps in honor of the Disney version of the Danish story, “The Little Mermaid,” the baby will be christened Prince Eric.

Australian Names

Another possibility is that Mary will reflect her Aussie upbringing by selecting names that are popular in Australia, which could lead to the rather informal choice of Prince Jack or the very surprising Princess Madison and Prince Cooper. However, the top ten list of most popular Australian baby names also includes the potentially appropriate-enough Olivia, Lily, Chloe, Grace and Amelia as well as William, Thomas, Max, James and Alexander.

Greenlandic Names

Another option might be to honor the people of Greenland who are also subjects of the Danish queen. Popular names there include Karen, Johanna, Helene and Anna for girls and as well as Peter, Lars, Soren and David for boys. Of course, the couple could choose to celebrate the Greenlanders by selecting ethnic Greenlandic names such as Princess Allinna, Ivi, Paarma or Usinna and Prince Atoq, Manu, Peri or Tavik.

My Choices

Based on nothing more than my own intuition, I’m placing my top five choices for each baby as Ingrid, Margrethe, Helena, Louise or Henrietta for the little princess and Andre, John, Jacob, Eric or Peter for her brother.


  1. I like Alexandra, which was the name of Edward VII's wife, as well as Margarethe. What about George, or Andrew for the boy?

  2. I like Alexandra too, but I really don't think it's likely that they'll give her the name of Frederik's ex-sister-in-law. George is a possibility and Andrew/Andre is one of my top picks, too.

  3. I hope the name the little princess helena. it is so beautiful, and not as common between royals, just like Isabella. Personally I would love if they names their son Ferdinand. It is sooo much fun, and it would reflect on Frederik. The same way Mariane would be nice to honor Mary herself. They´ll probably give them 4 names like Christian and Isabella, and a repeat of names in the danish family is not uncommon so I wouldn´t rule out Frederik, Joachim, John and Henrik/Henri as middle names atleast

  4. I adore the name Helena for a little princess. I always that it was awful that Queen Victoria called her daughter Helena "Lenchen," not nearly so beautiful. As for the little prince, when I was researching this post, I had a really strong feeling when I saw the name Jacob in the family tree. Like "Isabella" it goes way back in the family and has not been used recently and it has biblical significance, which seems to be popular with boys' names in English-speaking countries at the moment.

  5. I can't wait for the christening; I like Helena too but hope that they'll have Dagmar because it is kind of unique. and Jacob would be nice for the boy.

  6. If only they had listened to you. Ingrid was my top choice, also. Then it could have been Izzy and Inga. I know Ingrid is one of Izzy's four names, but like you pointed out they often repeat names. Also it would have paid tribute to Fred's grandmother, someone that was very special to him.

    But Prince Vince and Princess Joey? Did they choose those to be oh-so-hip (using known but older names), cause a bit of a stir, or as an attention grab? It got my attention. Like babies do they will probably grow into their names and enchant us all. As for me, I was hoping for FIRST names with a traditional nod towards the monarchy.

  7. Maybe Mary read this post and decided specifically to choose names that weren't mentioned. ;) Ha!

  8. George is a possibility and Andrew/Andre is one of my top picks, too.

    Thanks for sharing, I will bookmark and be back again

  9. I really appreciate this post. I’ve been looking all over for this....