The British royal family touches on many aspects of culture – from style choices and toy trends to magazine features and hit TV shows. There is also evidence to suggest that the names of royals influence parents’ child name choices, even across the pond.
The name Diana gained a major popularity in the United States in the early 1980s, after Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles. In fact, Diana went from number 118 in 1980 to number 75 in 1981 and again to number 63 in 1982 on the Social Security Administration’s official list of popular baby names.
Similarly, the names of George, Charlotte and Louis appeared on the list in the years following the births of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. And recently another name from a royal family member has been climbing the popularity charts: Camilla.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (formerly Camilla Parker Bowles), hasn’t always been the most popular member of the royal family, but over the past seven years, her name has risen from number 374 in 2015 to number 257. 2020. The name dropped from the list of the top 1000 baby names in the US in 1979 and did not reappear until 2001, but since then, the trend has been generally upward.
But is this boost due to the Duchess being in spite or completely unrelated? We asked baby naming experts to share their thoughts.
The rise in popularity of the name Camilla may seem surprising to those who remember Camilla Parker-Bowles’ former reputation as “the most hated woman in Britain”, but it remains to the liking of most parents today. is not relevant.
Jennifer Moss, founder of BabyNames.com, said: “I believe the generation that is of childbearing age now has little or no memory of Diana and Camilla being the ‘other lady’ scandal.”
“Parents recognize her as the bearer of the name but are not taking the royal family into account when it comes to the name Camilla,” echoed Sherri Suzanne, a baby names consultant and founder of My Name for Life . “A whole new generation of parents has grown up since the passing of Princess Diana and the remarriage of Charles. When looking at Camilla as a name, my clients don’t talk much about the royal family in this matter is.”
Interestingly, Camilla’s name is less common in England and Wales (at number 446) than in America, so perhaps the union plays a bigger role in the Duchess’s homeland. Laura Watenberg, founder of namerology.com and author of “The Baby Name Wizard”, Noted that the British royal family has a greater influence on British baby names.
“For example, the names of the young princes, George and Louis, are many times more popular in England than in America,” she said. “Meanwhile, the name Camilla is twice as popular in America as it is in England, and I don’t think Camilla Parker Bowles factors into what most American parents think.”
Baby Names Consultant Taylor Humphrey explains that Camilla isn’t the only part of the popularity of the Camilla Parker Bowles moniker.
“Parker is also high and mighty in the Top 100 Most Popular Names, ranked 95th for boys and 128th for girls,” she said. “While Bowles has never been ranked in the top 1000, I am seeing a widespread new trend of ‘surnames’ first names, which include plural-sounding last names such as Towns, Rhodes, Collins, Briggs or Banks. “
reason for increasing popularity
“I think the name Camilla is growing in popularity due to the trend toward great surname choices with long, feminine names,” Humphrey said. “From the poetic, three-syllable Camilla, one can easily derive Cam, Cami, Ami, Mila or Millie.”
Watenberg said style was a major factor in Camilla’s rise in America
“It’s a light, elegant classic that was highly unusual among generations of parents and grandparents,” she explained. “It balances a fresh, contemporary sound with a grounding in tradition. It’s the same fashion recipe behind other fast-rising names like Amelia and Oliver.
The Amelia comparison was echoed by Moss.
“A lot of times names sound trendy — think Aiden, Brayden, Jaden trend,” she said. “Camilla has similar sounds to very popular names including Mia, Amelia, Emily, Mila, and Caroline.”
Even more popular than Camilla is the Spanish, Portuguese and Italian version of the name Camilla. In 2020, Camilla was the 11th most popular name for baby girls born in the US (Meanwhile, Camilla was ranked lower in England and Wales at number 974.)
“Names that work in Spanish and English have been on the rise in the US for some time, as we see with other popular Top 100 names like Luna, Isla, Mateo and Santiago,” Humphrey said. “It’s easy to see why Camilla has risen to the top of the charts: It’s versatile, multicultural, and delightfully melodious. It just rolls off the tongue.”
Moss pointed to pop culture as the reason for Camilla’s rise among parents today.
“I think for that age group pop singer Camila Cabello would have a greater influence,” she said. “Camilla with an L is more popular in Latinx culture, because the two Ls make a Y sound. And, yes, because of Camila Cabello’s influence, the A-L spelling is rising on the charts.
Pamela Redmond Satran, co-founder of the popular baby name website Nameberry, said Camilla Alves, wife of Matthew McConaughey, has also brought some attention to the name.
“Camila Cabello is definitely the star that propelled the popularity of the names Camilla and Camilla,” she said. “I would say most parents are choosing the name despite Camilla Parker Bowles and not because of her.”
If Camilla enters the top 10, perhaps Camilla will continue to climb in tandem, but either way, it looks like Cabello has more influence on parents these days than the future queen consort.