Don’t you just love a royal family, especially one with elaborate, language-spanning names?
Few family trees are as satisfying than as Grimaldis, originally from Genoa, but most closely associated with the tiny, unbelievably prosperous principality of Monaco.
Their roots trace to the twelfth century, and the family intermarried with royals from all across the continent – and Hollywood, too.
This list is far from exhaustive, and there’s no particular criteria used to determine which make the list and which were left behind. Scanning the family tree over the years, these are simply the names that seem most interesting, from the very wearable in English to the not-so-much.
Anastasia – Thanks to Russian imperial grand duchess, there’s an air of tragedy surrounding Anastasia. But she’s been reclaimed in recent decades.
Anna Hippolyte – Hippolyte was an Amazon queen in Greek myth. Too bad that she reads “hippo light” in phonetic English – though the correct pronunciation is closer to heh PAHL eh tee.
Antoinette Ghislaine – Two gorgeous French names for girls, together.
Antoinette Louise Alberte Suzanne – Is it me, or is Alberte far more elegant than Alberta?
Aurelia – Golden.
Christine Alix – More proof that Alix had history aplenty as a girls’ name before the 1990s.
Claudine – All of the Claud- names are out of favor, but this one could be genius in the middle spot.
Elisabetta Charlotte – While most of the Monegasque royals wear French names, here’s a good example of Italian influence.
Florestine – A nineteenth century rarity probably inspired by dad’s name – Florestan.
Ghislaine Marie Françoise
Ippolita – Hippolyte made it onto the family tree via the even more obscure Italian Ippolita.
Louise Félicité Victoire – Felicity is an American girl, but Félicité is a mademoiselle.
Marguerite Camille – French + French = serious style.
Maria Devota – Remember the story of Sophia, a word misunderstood as a given name? Devota is the same story. An early martyr named Julia was described as Deo Devota – devoted to God. She’s known as Saint Devota, the patron saint of Monaco.
Maria Paolina – More attractive Italian influence.
Pauline Grace – A modern member of the family, Pauline Ducruet is Princess Stephanie’s daughter. Her middle name honors her legendary grandmother, Grace Kelly. Stephanie has another daughter named Camille Marie Kelly.
Pomellina – The original form of Pomeline, as imported from Genoa by marriage.
Tedise – This names takes us back to the 1300s. The bride of a younger brother, Tedise is barely a blip in historical records. Is she a misprint, a fleeting rarity, a once-common name now forgotten? I’m not certain, but she’s definitely intriguing.
Andrea Albert Pierre – Princess Caroline’s son, and the likely heir to the throne should Albert II die childless. He’s also a handy reminder that elsewhere in the world, Andrea is a boys’ name.
Augustine – This serious, saintly name gets a boost in the 21st century thanks to potential nickname Gus.
Catalan – A masculine form of Catherine? A reference to Spain? Or something else? The fifteenth century name seems surprisingly wearable, those perhaps a smidge more likely to be understood as a variation of Caitlin.
Charles Honoré – The tiny principality embraced Honoré for their sons’ names.
Florestan – Possibly related to the Roman name Florus – flower.
Gaspard, Gaspare – The -d ending is French; the -e, Italian. Either way this makes for an exotic spin on Jasper.
Girolamo – Find Jerome a smidge too ordinary? Put his Italian equivalent on the birth certificate.
Hercule, Ercole – Okay, it might be tough to live up to the name of legendary strongman Hercules. It is tough to hear the French Hercule and not add “Poirot” automatically. As for the Italian Ercole? Reminds me of Family Matters’ Steve Urkel. Still, this is one that surfaces on the Grimaldi family tree, and could be great in the middle.
Honoré – Like Hippolyte, this name has been more than one royal, even if it is rare outside of Monaco.
Rainier – A common name for Monegasque men, and once fairly common throughout Medieval Europe.
Rainier Louis Henri Maxence Bertrand – My favorite formal name combination featuring Rainier, worn by the late Rainier III, husband of Princess Grace. Maxence is a favorite of mine, an obscure saint’s name and possible alternative to Maxwell.
Ruffo – Another rarity, possibly related to Rufus.
Tancrède Florestan Roger Louis – A Germanic name found in Spain as Tancredo, Italy as Tancredi, England as Tancred and France as Tancrède, this is one of those once-common names that has simply faded from use without explanation.
* While every name on this list belongs to a member of the extended Grimaldi family, not all of them were technically styled Prince or Princess.
What do you think of the names? Are you attracted to royal family trees, or do the Monegasque names strike you as too extravagant?