Let’s talk royal baby names for boys. Some of these are royal boy names meant to rule, worn by kings across generations.
Americans tend to think of the British monarchs when we talk royalty. The House of Windsor commands headlines in the US, too, from the beloved Diana, Princess of Wales to her daughter-in-law, the former Kate Middleton, and, of course, the drama behind Harry and Meghan’s decision to leave the UK.
Of course, plenty of European countries still have a monarchy. Norway, Sweden, and Denmark all do, along with Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Monaco. They range from high-profile royalty to under-the-radar rulers.
That means that a few of these names have occupied other thrones across the continent. The deeper we explore their royal families, the more unusual gems we can add to this list.
But it’s the British throne that dominates this list, from Arthurian legend to the headlines of today.
A Top 100 favorite in England & Wales, Albert nickname Albie is even more common. It makes this list, of course, thanks to Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria. It’s appeared in nearly every generation since then. Prince Harry’s full name is Henry Charles Albert David.
Alexander rules in other royal houses, but it’s mostly a middle name for the Windsors. Prince George’s full name is George Alexander Louis.
The disgraced Prince Andrew makes this name far less appealing. But the father of Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie isn’t the first royal bearer of the name. In fact, the prince is likely named for his paternal grandfather, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark.
The firstborn son of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, he started life as Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. That’s because the current rules only grant the title of prince or princess to the children and grandchildren of the monarch. (The rules are different for Prince William’s kids.) Now Archie’s grandfather is king, he’s known as Prince Archie. Casual Archie isn’t typical for royal boy names, but more casual picks have been standard for children unlikely to inherit the crown, from Zara Phillips Tindall to Princess Eugenie’s son, August.
This name might be a lot to live up to, what with the legendary kingdom of Camelot and all. But the British royal family has used the name Arthur over the years. Henry VIII’s older brother was Arthur, but he passed away before inheriting the throne. Queen Victoria’s seventh child was Prince Arthur, too.
Prince Eugenie named her son August Philip Hawke Brooksbank. He’s not a prince, but he is the great-nephew of the King of England. Plenty of German princes answer to the name, but it’s not really used by the Windsors. Still, it’s traditional and quite stylish at the moment – a winning combination.
In England, Carl becomes Charles. But elsewhere, this classic name is Carl, often used in combination, like Sweden’s current monarch, King Carl XVI Gustaf, or his son, Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland.
King Charles I lost his throne and his life during the English Civil War. But in 1660, his son, Charles II, returned to reign. It’s called the Restoration. Without it, there might never have been a Charles III. But all these centuries later, the longest-serving Prince of Wales is now about to be crowed King Charles III.
Again, there’s never been a British prince by the name. But it features in many a European royal house. Prince Christian of Denmark is the eldest son of Crown Prince Frederik and will presumably inherit the throne one day. The name also appears as a second or third middle for a number of Windsor family members.
The future King Edward VIII was born Prince Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, but he was always known to family and friends as David – his sixth middle name, if you’re counting. The eldest son of the future King George V, David rocked the monarchy with scandal when he abdicated the throne to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson in 1937. The most famous King David remains Biblical.
We’d have to go all the way back to 959 to find a King Edgar, but there’s no question that this name has royal roots.
Perennially popular with British royals, Edward has been worn by eight kings, as well as the current Duke of Edinburgh, youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II.
Another name that first appears in the early Middle Ages, Edmund hasn’t featured as a first in generations – but it’s still a steady, regal possibility.
A name with Germanic roots meaning “peaceful ruler,” Frederick is wildly popular across Europe. England almost had a King Frederick, too – but Frederick, Prince of Wales predeceased his father, meaning the throne skipped to Frederick’s son, who eventually became King George III.
Prince George of Wales is the future king, next in line behind his dad and grandfather. It will be up to him if he reigns as King George VII. It’s a solid citizen of a name, long associated with monarchy. And, of course, Saint George is the patron saint of England. Literature has reinforced that for generations; in Shakespeare’s Henry V, the famous line is “Cry God for Harry, England, and Saint George!” But it’s a humble name, too; after all, George means farmer.
It’s easy to forget that Prince Harry was born Henry. A long line of kings have answered to the name, including the much-married King Henry VIII. And it’s popular throughout Europe, though it’s Henri in France, and sometimes Heinrich in German. That puts it on this list of royal boy names, though it’s popular well beyond the ruling class.
The current Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Edward, named his son James Alexander Philip Theo. He’s now the Earl of Wessex, inheriting the title from his dad. While there have been kings named James, in England, Scotland, and elsewhere, King James brings to mind either the Bible – commissioned by King James VI and I – or NBA star LeBron James.
Another name more common on the continent than in England, but sometimes heard as an extra middle. It’s a cool Leo name, an alternative to Leonardo or Leonidas.
Popular with kings of France, Louis is undeniably a royal choice. That’s even more true now that Will and Kate named their youngest son Louis Arthur Charles. It’s also part of his brother’s name, George Alexander Louis.
This name makes the list because of Zara Phillips Tindall’s youngest, Lucas Philip, born shortly after the Duke of Edinburgh’s death. Neither Lucas nor Luke are common in royal circles, but both names feel nicely traditional. No question that the lack of royal titles and relative remove from all things related to the throne gave Zara far more freedom to choose names she loved. (His older sisters are named Mia and Lena.)
The late Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin, Prince Michael of Kent, puts this name on the British royal family’s roster. The name appears in other European ruling families, too. It’s also the name of Kate Middleton’s dad. Despite this, it hasn’t been used by the current generation – at least not yet.
There’s a Prince Patrick Island in the Arctic, first spotted by two Irish explorers. The name honors Prince Arthur William Patrick, Duke of Connaught, seventh child of Queen Victoria and Governor-General of Canada. It’s among the most subtle of royal boy names.
Peter appears as a regal name elsewhere in Europe, including Bulgaria and Portugal, as well as Russia’s Peter the Great. In England, it’s the name of Princess Anne’s firstborn, Peter Phillips. Anne opted to decline courtesy titles for both of her children, and they grew up (mostly) outside the spotlight. That doesn’t diminish the name’s status as a long-time classic. It’s Greek origin is well known, thanks to the Biblical passage: Peter means rock.
Classic and regal, Philip has become a favorite middle for this generation, thanks to the late Duke of Edinburgh. His great-grandsons August and Lucas both bear the middle name Philip. It’s among the go-to royal boy names of the moment.
King Richard is familiar. There’s Richard the Lionheart, a twelfth century king widely admired for his military prowess. But then there’s King Richard III, long suspected of having murdered his young nephews to seize the throne. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the name remains out of use, but it’s also worth noting that classic Richard is generally out of favor in the English-speaking world today – villain or not.
The firstborn son of then-Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Prince William has been a celebrity since his earliest moments. Now the Prince of Wales and heir to the throne, he remains world famous. Among the causes he champions are mental health and the environment, the latter via the Earthshot Prize. Most of the notable kings named William are far in the past – from William the Conqueror to the nineteenth century William IV. The name is enjoying plenty of popularity at the moment, ranking in the US Top Ten – though Irish nickname Liam holds the #1 spot.
What are your favorite royal baby boy names?
First published on March 12, 2018, prior to the birth of Prince Louis, this post was revised and updated on May 2, 2023, in time for the coronation of King Charles III.
Why do you think Spencer or Francis would completely off the table for middle names.
I don’t think they’re COMPLETELY off the table. But I do think they’ve honored Diana directly with one of Charlotte’s middles, so I’d guess they’d want to honor the Middletons. And I’ll be pretty surprised if Philip isn’t in the name somewhere. So … those probably take up the middle spots: Philip Michael. And I can’t see Spencer as a first name. Francis would be a maybe, BUT it’s fairly obscure in England right now. And my gut is that they’ll choose something mainstream, almost certainly Top 100. So that makes Francis a long-shot, too. But hey … I am prepared to be wrong, and would be delighted if they surprised us!
Philip could also be a way to honour Pippa Middleton, whose given name is Philippa. Though I suppose they’ve already done that with Charlotte (Pippa’s middle name). Similarly, James would be a way of honouring Kate’s brother.
I think I agree with your prediction for either Albert or Arthur, though. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Philip and/or James as middles, though.
William Philip really has a great ring to it for middle names. I have no idea what they’ll choose for a first name! Arthur William Philip maybe? Arthur definitely feels right for them stylistically. It kind of bothers me that Charlotte and Arthur both have the “ar” sound though.
I hope it’s a girl 🙂 Charlotte is just tooo cute!
Coming back here to add, I think that if it’s a boy, they’ll follow the middle pattern they set for Charlotte. Elizabeth (Great-grandma) and Diana (Grandma). So I’m going to say his middles would be Philip Charles.
I love Albert, and all it’s possible nicknames – but *Prince* Albert? I feel that has connotations that might, uh, pierce its chances of success as a royal choice!
Hmmm … I wonder if they’ll think about it? I’m trying to decide what I would tell them if they wrote in for #namehelp …
Albert is my favorite here.
If the Duke and Duchess follow the lead set by Charles and Diana then one of the middle names of the new addition to the family (if it is a boy that is) will be William, as for the first name I’d like to think Thomas, Rupert and Ernest are on the list. Prince Thomas William Michael has a certain ring to it, doesn’t it?
Good point about William – I didn’t even consider the possibility of William as a middle. I figured if they skipped it for George, surely they wouldn’t consider it for a younger son. It seems like the kind of thing you might just rule out for good, right? But maybe not. And great boy names are in short supply!
It is more common in the UK (particularly in the upperclass) fo younger sons, again particularly the second son to get the father’s first name as a middle name. It’s probably due to the fact that juniors are so uncommon over here or maybe it’s because it’s the tradition to give second sons the fathers’ first as a middle that juniors are so uncommon, I don’t know?
Interesting, Lauren – thanks for the insight!
I love your ideas, Abby!
Yet, remember that the queen’s husband is Philip, so that would mean repeating names.
And naming this baby Frederick would mean Will and Kate would have a Fred and a George. To me, the Harry Potter reference is too strong.
Oh, good point about Philip! And yes, the Weasley twins! I guess that makes it a no … too bad!
British American says
I’m going to go with Frederick. Mostly because that’s my favourite and I already used it as my George’s middle name. Then I can tell my son that they named both of their sons after him! 😉
I also really like Albert, especially after watching the drama “Victoria” where her husband and one of her sons is named Albert. Bertie is adorable for a nickname.
I think Philip definitely needs to be used as an honor middle name. I don’t know about a second middle name. I’d hope by their 3rd child they would be able to choose something more unexpected and a little less traditional. Something with personal meaning or just a name they really like.