Sunday, 24 July 2016

Themed Names - Fit for a Queen (or King)

Throughout history, royalty has had an annoying habit of using the same names over and over and over and over and over and over again. England alone has had three Richards, six Georges, and EIGHT Edwards. 

Royal names tend to be quite traditional, so they work well for characters from all walks of life, especially in Historical fiction. 

Historical Royals


Elizabeth - A Greek name meaning 'Oath of God'. The name of the current British Queen, and the last Tudor monarch.

Mary - A biblical name worn by Mary I, the first child of Henry VIII.

Victoria - The Roman name of the Goddess of victory. The longest reigning British monarch to date (though maybe not for much longer).

Catherine - Catherine of Aragon, Catherine Howard, Catherine Parr... The name Catherine means 'pure', and hails from France.

Jane - The feminine form of John. Jane Seymour was the third wife of Henry VIII. Lady Jane Grey is known as the Nine Day Queen.

Anne - There have been many many royal Annes. In 1702, Britain was ruled by Queen Anne, then there's Anne of Cleves, who divorced Henry VIII and gained the title 'Sister of the King', and Anne Boleyn, who is suggested by history to have been a highly intelligent young woman.

Matilda - During a civil war (no, not the famous one where King Charles I lost his head) in the 1100s, Empress Matilda fought to be crowned Queen of England.

Charlotte - The name of the fourth in line to the British throne.

Anastasia - A Grand Duchess, and daughter of the last Russian Tsar.

Tatiana - A Grand Duchess, and daughter of the last Russian Tsar.

Maria - A Grand Duchess, and daughter of the last Russian Tsar.

Olga - A Grand Duchess, and daughter of the last Russian Tsar.

Marie - Marie Antoinette lost her head during the French Revolution.

Antoinette - Her surname can also be used as a first name.

Isabella - Isabella of Castile married Ferdinand of Aragon and bore Catherine of Aragon. Her marriage helped to unify Spain and, under her, a number of reforms were passed that dramatically reduced the crime rate among other things.


William - The name of the French King who conquered the English in 1066. This name is also shared by his son, William II, and a much later king who was married to Mary II.

Henry - England has had EIGHT of these. The seventh defeated Richard III in the War of the Roses, and the eighth is known for having an unusually large number of wives and for creating his own church so that he could grant his own divorce.

Stephen - Grandson of William the Conquerer. Fought against Matilda in a civil war.

Richard - Richard I was known as Richard the Lionheart. Richard III lost the War of the Roses and some people believe that he murdered his nephews to gain the throne in the first place.

John - Famously signed the Magna Carta.

Edward - England has had eight Edwards. 

George - England had an entire Georgian era.

James - The Scottish King James VI became the English King James I after Elizabeth I passed away.

Francis - Francis I of France fought against (and with) Henry VIII on various occasions during his reign.

Louis - Louis XVI was execuated during the French Revolution. Louis XIV was known as 'Louis the Great' and 'The Sun King'.

Mythical Royals 


Penelope - Famous for her loyalty to her husband Odysseus (loyalty that was not returned, I should add).

Ariadne - Assisted Theseus by giving him the ball of string so that he could find his way back out of the labyrinth.

Andromeda - Chained to a rock as a sacrifice to Cetus, a sea monster, because her mother boasted that she was more beautiful than the nereids. Rescued by Perseus.

Cassiopeia - Mother of Andromeda. Deserves an award for being the worst mother ever.

Helen - Princess of Sparta, but better known as Helen of Troy for running off there and causing a war that famously involves a wooden horse.

Hermione - Daughter of Helen and Menelaus.

Clytemnestra - Sister of Helen. Wife of Agamemnon. Had an affair with Aegisthus whilst her husband was fighting in the Trojan war. In some versions of the myth, she murders her husband upon his return and, in others, Aegisthus does it for her.

Electra - Daughter of Clytemnestra, who supported her brother Orestes in taking revenge for their father. 

Guinevere - Arthur's Queen, who fell in love with Sir Lancelot.  


Dion - Laconian King whose daughters were blessed with the powers of prophecy by Apollo. Things did not end well for them.

Arthur - Legendary English King who was betrayed by his wife Guinevere and slaughtered by his son/nephew Mordred.  

Fictional Royals


Briar - As in Briar Rose, the original name of Sleeping Beauty. Briars are prickly plants.

Belle - Disney's name for the beauty in Beauty and the Beast.

Aurora - The name given to Disney's Sleeping Beauty. Also the Roman name for the Goddess of the Dawn. The Greeks called her Eos.

Rapunzel - Princess who was locked up in a tower by a witch.

Tiana - Disney's name for the Princess in The Princess and the Frog.  

Titania - Shakespeare's fairy queen in A Midsummer Night's Dream. 


Oberon - Shakespeare's fairy king in A Midsummer Night's Dream. 


Ariel - The name of the Princess in Disney's The Little Mermaid is actually a unisex name meaning 'Lion of God' in Hebrew.

Can you think of any great royal names that I've missed? Do you tend to name your royals after real royals, or do you pick a name of your own?