Royal Baby: What Will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Name Their First Child?

There's a new royal baby on the way. The big question is: What kind of baby name will they pick?
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October 19, 2018

It's official: Meghan Markle is pregnant with her first child with Prince Harry. (Due date: spring 2019!)

But the big question (beyond the obvious—boy or girl? Or twins?): What will the royal baby name be? When questioned about potential options shortly after her pregnancy announcement, Markle politely denied giving up any hints: “We’ve been given a long list of names from everyone," she said according to People. "We’re going to sit down and have a look at them."

Bookies are already taking bets on what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will pick, with the current frontrunners drawn from the family's history: Victoria (after the long-reigning and popular 19th-century monarch) is currently in the top spot, according to betting houses William Hill and Ladbrokes. Alice (the name of several ancestors) and Elizabeth (after QEII herself) are tied for top, too.

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For a boy, Albert (the name of Queen Victoria's beloved spouse) and Arthur (as in the legendary king of the Round Table) are leading the pack of predictions. Also among top boys' picks, Alexander is a favorite. And of course, Diana, after Harry's mother, and Charles, after his father are also in the running.

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But based on the royal couple's penchant for bending the rules, even if they choose a name from that super short list of family names that William and Kate have drawn from for their three children (George, Charlotte, and Louis), they'll likely look at ways to make it more modern.

They'll look for something that might have a really great less formal nickname attached, to match Meghan's more casual style. Elizabeth could fit that bill, with its treasure trove of nicknames, including Eliza, Ella, and Betsy. But there's also Eleanor after the medieval grand dame Eleanor of Aquitaine, which comes with the same Ella/Ellie possibilities, along with Nora. Margaret, after Queen Elizabeth's late sister, could become a Maggie, Meg, or Daisy. Frances, Princess Diana's middle name, could be a dark horse option as well—though as a full name, without a nickname.

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Among the boys' picks, Alexander comes with the modern nickname Xander, along with the more traditional Alex. Albert is also one of Harry's middle names, and Bert or Albie (or even Albus?) can be nickname options. And of course, they could choose the always popular Henry (Harry's actual name) and simply call the boy Henry. (I doubt they'd go with the more American nickname, Hank.)

Even though Meghan and Harry's baby will be in line for the throne, it's highly unlikely he or she will get to be king or queen, with their grandfather, uncle, three cousins and dad all in line in front of them. So Meghan might get a little more freedom to pick something a little more creative and modern—such as a name inspired by a name from the list (like Francesca instead of Frances), or something classic, but new to the crown, like British favorite Oliver. Characters from William Shakespeare or Harry Potter could also be possibilities if they're willing to get a little more creative. I love Viola or Hermione for girls, for instance.

A royal source told PEOPLE that Meghan has had her 12-week scan and is "feeling well." That means even the royal couple still has a few more weeks to go before they even find out the gender which typically happens between 18-20 weeks. (Though if they take a page from William and Kate, they won't let us know the baby's gender until he or she arrives.)

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