It occurred to me that I haven’t done a feeling-sorry-for-Kate-Middleton column in quite a while, so if you don’t mind I’m going to address that now.
Aside from the obvious potential sympathies – the heavy sense of duty under the critical gaze of the public, the pressure to cart one’s eight-months preggo frame around on a pair of nude stilettos, the constant worry that it might come out already earing a crown (ouch) – I got thinking the other day about the names.
One of the most exciting bits of having a baby, I’ve always imagined, is the naming. Oh the possibilities! You have a veritable rainbow of colourful options to dip your parental paintbrush in. And despite knowing you’ll probably plump for ‘Emma’ or ‘Jack’ in the end because of mutterings about tradition from the grandparent camp, and about playground bullying from the judgemental friend camp, how blissful to read the baby names book from cover to cover and imagine for a few exhilarating weeks that you’re going to have progeny called Xavier and Persephone.
I once read about a woman in a magazine who called her son ‘Ritz’ because she found an old box of the crackers in her pantry a week before the birth (not a euphemism). That’s how free the naming game is these days - you can just walk into the kitchen, pick your favourite product and spend 18 years running around after a human called “Dairylea”.
But Will and Kate, we can safely assume, won’t have this freedom. When we’re talking about future monarchs, apparently, it has to be a name that wouldn’t look amiss in a neck ruff.
William Hill have placed 4/1 odds on Charlotte, 5/2 on Alexandra, 5/1 on Elizabeth, 6/1 on Diana and 7/1 on Victoria. Anne, Mary and Catherine all follow (giving one’s child your own name is truly the selfie of parenting, isn’t it?) with kingly standards George, Charles, James, Edward and John on the boys’ list. Yawn.
If I were the Duchess, I would compromise with what I like to call ‘The Jonathan Ross school of naming’, or ‘business in the front, party in the middle’. Give them a sensible first name, pour all your wacky urges into the middle name, and then they have the option of using either, depending on whether they grow up to be an accountant or a pottery café proprietor.
**BREAKING** As I write this, I’ve also just read that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s baby are calling their baby ‘Kai Georgia Donda West’. If the royal couple were to follow that lead and christen theirs Donda too, it would be as thought the national anthem were starting up every time it was called.
Just a thought.