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France & Europe

France & Europe

France & Europe


Tracing the blue blooded line: History of names of European Princes and Princesses

Posted by John Haynes on February 19 2016, 16:34pm

Europe has a rich monarchical history and has seen a number of Kings and Queens through the years. One would assume that with such a rich history spanning a thousand years, the royal family would produce a rich directory of names. Not to be so. The royal family has always tended to name princes and princesses after their ancestors, so most of the royal names are repetitive and passed down through generations.

British royals

George, Elizabeth, William, Edward, Henry, John – These are names that come to mind when we think British Royalty. History is strewn with George (I, II, IV, V, etc.). Almost every generation of the royal family has seen a Prince George. So is the case with Elizabeth. These two can be coined as the most popular names in British History. George, the name is derived the Greek word ‘Georgos’, which means farmer. However, a popular reason to retain this name could be St. George, a patron saint of England, who was rumoured to have slayed a dragon.

Elizabeth, like George is a Greek name. The Hebrew version of this name is Elisheba and it means God’s oath. The name has biblical origins as well, as Elizabeth was St. John the Baptist’s mother in the Old Testament. But more popular is, of course, Queen Elizabeth II.

French Royalty

France also has a collection of names relating to their own royalty whether it was a French boys name such as Louis or Charles or French girls names such as Anne or Marie. . The monarchs of France ruled from the establishment of the Kingdom of the Franks in 486 to the fall the Second French Empire in 1870.

Danish royalty

Among popular names in Denmark’s royal history, the common ones are Josephine, Vincent, Magnus, Christian, Isabella, Frederick, and Margaretha.

Of these, Josephine is perhaps the most popular, although the Danish usually spell it as Josefine. This name is the feminine name form of Joseph, which literally means Lord Increases. Among royal prince names, Vincent and Frederick, or for that matter Christian, have historically been more favored by Danish royalty. Vincent is also a very popular name in France, and not just for royalty.

In Denmark, princes are more commonly either named Frederick or Christian; such is the popularity of those two names. Frederick is appropriate for royalty as it literally means peaceful ruler and Christian literally means follower of Christ.

Spanish royalty

Spanish royalty tend to have names that are derivatives of popular English names. For example, Pablo is a popular name for a prince and Pablo is the Spanish version of the English name Paul. Yet another popular royal choice is the name Juan, the Spanish form of the name John.

As for princesses, names like Sofia and Leonor have been popular. Sofia is the more popular version. The name Sofia is a Greek word and means wisdom. In other parts of the world, this name is spelt as Sophia. Leonor is a variation of the name Eleanor and means compassion or a shining light.

Norwegian Royalty

The name Sverre is very popular for princes in Norway. A total number of 7 Norwegian kings were named Sverre. Likewise a popular name for princesses in Norway is Ingrid. It means Ing’s beauty. And according to Norse myth, Ing was supposed to be the God of fertility.


The list of royal European names might be sparse, but it’s definitely interesting and is embedded in history.

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