The Newest Royal Baby Has a Name (Three, Actually)

Here’s the meaning behind all of them.

Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

Royal Baby Watch is behind us—the newest member of the family was born Saturday, May 2, and will officially be named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, or Her Royal Highness Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge. Already the 11th most popular girl’s name in the U.S. as of 2013, Pam Satran, co-creator of Nameberry, predicts Charlotte will soon become the most popular name.

“Charlotte is a name that combines a lot of qualities that are appealing to different kinds of parents,” says Satran. “It’s got deep history, it’s a strong female name, but it also was not used that much for the last generation, so it sounds fresh again for parents today.”

Charlotte has a strong history in the royal family—it’s seen as the feminine form of Charles, a nod to the princess’ grandfather, and is also Aunt Pippa Middleton’s middle name. Several other royal Charlottes come before her, including Princess Charlotte of Wales, Queen Charlotte of Wurttemberg, and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who became Queen of Great Britain in 1761. Some sources say the name translates to “freedom.”

Her two middle names—a typical British convention—pay tribute to two important women in the family: Queen Elizabeth, and her late grandmother Princess Diana. Royal children usually have four names according to Satran, but Kate and William seem to be breaking the rules and choosing only three for their children—George’s full name is George Alexander Louis.

“The middle name has become a place that people like to invest with a lot of meaning,” explains Satran. Diana, meaning “divine,” was Prince William’s late mother. Elizabeth has much significance as well—the baby shares the middle name with her mother. It’s also, of course, the name of her paternal great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and Elizabeth I, one of England’s most important queens. The name has Hebrew roots, and translates to “pledged to God.”

The royal baby joins several famous Charlottes, including Sex and the City’s Charlotte York, poet Charlotte Brontë, educator Charlotte Mason, and Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky, daughter of Chelsea Clinton, born last September.