Choosing a name for a child is no easy feat. While Australians gather inspiration from names within their own families and those who have been of great personal significance to them, it is without doubt that celebrities, and what they name their children, have a significant influence on Australian baby name trends.
The original category of celebrities – the royals – have not only captured the loyalty and affections of modern Australians but have significantly influenced their choices of baby names. In fact, 1 in 10 of the current Top 100 girls’ names and 1 in 8 of the current Top 100 boys’ names are linked directly to British royal names.
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Royal names peak at Queen Elizabeth II's inauguration
In the 1950s, the era of Queen Elizabeth’s inauguration, the names Margaret, Anne, and Elizabeth topped Australia’s names of choice, all ranking in the Top 5 women’s names. Males had an even a stronger royal connection. The top boy’s name in the 1950s, John, as well as 4 other names in the Top 10, can all be linked to British royalty. Philip was a common name of the royals, starting with Prince Philip, then his son Prince Charles (full name Charles Philip Arthur George), and then grandson Prince Williams (full name William Arthur Philip Louis).
Royal presence amongst current top baby names
In recent years, the royals continue to influence baby name trends. Prince William’s popularity first placed William in the Top 10 in 2001, growing in popularity ever since. In 2011, the year of the royal wedding, William became the most popular boy’s name Australia-wide, and has maintained this position ever since. William is the most popular name in New South Wales, Tasmania, and Northern Territory, and is in the Top 3 in all the other states and territories.
Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, is slowly have an impact on baby name trends, with Kate entering the current Top 100 list in Tasmania, featured 90th, and in Queensland, featured 96th. Her middle name Elizabeth, already features at number 46 in the Top 100 girls’ list. The top girl’s name, Charlotte is also linked to royal heritage, stemming from the name Charles.
Top 5 most popular Australian royal names
|46||Elizabeth||Queen Elizabeth II|
|52||Charlie (Charles)||Prince Charles|
|29||Henry||King Henry I - VII|
|71||George||King George I - VII
A name is one thing, a title another
While Australians have done well to adapt British royalty names, there is one thing that they can’t do. Of the number of rules in effect prohibiting certain names across the states and territories, naming a baby cannot include or resemble an official title or rank recognised in Australia such as King, Lady, Duke, Prince, or Princess.