Charlotte Elizabeth Diana: what’s in a Royal Name?

Congratulations to his current Royal Highness and future Britannic Majesty William, Duke of Cambridge, Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, Baron Carrickfergus, and future king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, the fifth of his name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, on the birth of his daughter!

And of course congratulations also to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, who seems to have handled matters ever so well for a commoner. She is now Mother of Heir and Spare, having admirably prolonged the House of Windsor into yet another generation, unlike newfangled dynasties like the House of Cards, which sank into mediocrity in only its third year.

Especial congratulations too to the family on the choice of the child’s name, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge. It’s a fine choice, full of heraldic significance. A name befitting a princess, really, which is lucky, because unlike your computer-animated Disney versions, this is an actual, proper princess, with access to castles and everything.

Those of you who are not long-term royal watchers, and, some have suggested, trusted confidants of the royal family – although of course I would never be so uncouth as to confirm that – may not understand the full significance of the three names, so let me enlighten you.


Principally, of course, Charlotte refers to a dessert, popular in the very finest of English stately homes such as Downton Abbey. It includes trifle, which symbolises the trifling matters which will regrettably distract any young royal throughout much of her life, and custard, because this is a British princess who will inexplicably love the stuff.

Charlotte is also a city in North Carolina famous for its basketball team, the Hornets. Could William have chosen such symbolism as a rebuke of those buzzing irritants in the press whose sting his family has felt many times before?

Famous Charlottes who may have inspired the name of the little princess include the professional wrestler Charlotte the Southern Belle, Charlotte the Spider and of course Charlotte McLeod from McLeod’s Daughters.

While my sources indicate these are the principal reasons, or rather the princessipal reasons, for the choice of name, Charlotte is also named after Prince Charles. The family will be hoping that she merely derives her name, and not her ears, from the heir to the throne.


My exclusive sources tell me that Elizabeth is a feminine given name derived from the Greek Ελισάβετ, which is a form of the Hebrew name Elisheva (אֱלִישֶׁבַע), meaning “My God is an oath”. The name remains popular with the royal family despite its sweariness.

While on one level the name is derived from Elizabeth II, the baby’s great-grandmother, it’s my understanding that the primary reason for the choice of name is the Royal couple’s hope that their daughter will be a Betty, as opposed to a Veronica. In other words, one need not act like a total princess merely because one is born one.

Elizabeths are often known for being the most admirable members of their family, such as Elizabeth Olsen. This is in no way intended as a slight on Princess Margaret, but let’s just say that her face was never on the coins, was it?

Other well-known Elizabeths include Elizabeth I, who famously never married, and Elizabeth the Queen Mother, who famously did.


Finally, there is Diana, who is of course the Roman goddess of the hunt, reflecting the Royal family’s centuries-old devotion to exterminating grouse. She is also associated with the moon, reflecting the traditionally round faces of the royal family, currently well illustrated by her brother George.

It’s also likely that Diana refers to Diana Prince, the secret identity of Wonder Woman. This little princess will certainly need to be a Wonder Woman to put up with the endless scrutiny from the army of dronebots that are tipped to replace paparazzi by 2018!

Of course young Princess Charlotte’s grandmother was Diana, Princess of Wales, but this is probably a coincidence, as it would be a lot of pressure to put on the little girl, given her rampant popularity and ‘People’s Princess’ title. Prince Charles should be a great deal easier to live up to, as long as little Charlotte likes watercolours and writing letters.

Charlotte Elizabeth Diana

Some have asked why all three of the royal baby’s names have arguably been derived from William’s immediate relatives, and none of the Middletons. I hope I have amply demonstrated that there is more to the names than just William’s two parents and the Queen, but if not, then let’s not forget that the Middletons should consider themselves lucky just to be there.

Finally, because no detail is too trivial for a veteran royal-watcher to analyse, consider the poignant order of the names. Many sources have suggested that it was the Queen who ultimately asked Charles and Diana to divorce. And indeed, Elizabeth is there in the princess’ name, keeping Charles/otte and Diana apart all over again.

I’m sure you will agree that the Cambridges have chosen the best possible name for their new daughter. Let’s not forget, though, that the younger sibling of the monarch is only really required to muck about having a good time, like Margaret, Andrew and of course Harry. If George ascends the throne and reproduces, Charlotte will have fulfilled her Royal purpose as long as her inevitable scandals are relatively minor, and she doesn’t try to bring back It’s A Royal Knockout.


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