Meghan and Harry's shortlist of royal baby names

Ever since Kensington Palace revealed that Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, were expecting a baby, we've been patiently waiting for baby's arrival. The announcement, which came in October 2018, informed the public that the newlyweds would be welcoming their first child in the spring. The duchess' exact due date is unknown, but, according to royal expert Emily Nash, Meghan was overheard telling well-wishers in January that she's due between late April and early May 2019. We also don't know for sure if the couple is expecting a boy or a girl, as it is customary for royals to find out the sex at birth. And, since none of us know the sex of the baby, that makes it hard to rule out any baby names — but don't think that stops people from guessing.

As Forbes reported, gamblers had already spent more than €9 million (about $10.1 million) betting on their favorite names — and that number is expected to grow. Are you curious to know what royal experts, gamblers, and even some members of the royal family think the couple will name their little one? Here are the top contenders.

Eleanor: A "powerful and influential name"

If Meghan and Harry have a girl, royal expert Victoria Arbiter has good reason to believe that Eleanor could be her name. Eleanor of Aquitaine was, as the expert explained in an article for 9Honey, the wife of King Henry II. Back in the 1100s, Eleanor was revolutionary. In fact, Arbiter dubbed her "one of the most powerful and influential" people of her time. During her life, she ruled over both England and France. According to history.com, she is "credited with establishing and preserving many of the courtly rituals of chivalry." It's possible she even came up with the idea for built-in fireplaces after experiencing cold winters in the south of France. 

In addition to being the name of a queen, Eleanor was also the name of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's wife, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Because of this name's significance in both royal and United States history — and because both women were quite frankly pretty badass — Arbiter believes this name is high up on Harry and Meghan's shortlist. 

Diana: A moniker in memoriam

When speaking with Time, royal expert Katie Nicholl revealed that she expects Harry and Meghan to follow in Prince William and Kate Middleton's footsteps when it comes to naming their baby. "If you look at the names of royal children," she told the publication, "they are quite traditional names." All three of William and Kate's children — George, Charlotte, and Louis — are named after members of the royal family. Nicholl thinks "Harry will be keen to honor" the tradition of picking a name that reflects "the family tree." The majority of betters agree. As of this writing, the name Diana sits at the top of Ladbroke's list, the British-based online gambling and betting company's website reveals.

Diana is, as you well know, the name of Harry's mother, the late princess. Since Meghan and Harry began dating, Meghan has paid homage to the mother-in-law she never had the privilege to meet — and not just once or twice. From wearing similar outfits to carrying Diana's favorite flowers at her wedding to Harry, Meghan often honors her husband's mother. As naming your child after someone is the ultimate honor, you can see why this name is a contender.

Rose: By any other name

Although you might not immediately think of Rose as a royal name, royal expert Victoria Arbiter revealed on 9Honey that it's the middle name of Queen Elizabeth's younger sister, Princess Margaret. Whether intentional or not, Margaret earned herself the title of "rebel princess." Margaret's biographer, Christopher Warwick, told USA Today that although she'd been labeled a troublemaker, "She was also incredibly thoughtful, very generous and a lot of fun." Hmm, now that sounds like someone else we know, doesn't it? In her article, Arbiter also described the princess as "fun, spirited, and independent." You could see why Harry — and especially Meghan — would want to honor this royal by bestowing one of her names to their own child.

Rose could also work as a tribute to Harry's late mother. At Diana's funeral, Elton John performed the song "Goodbye England's Rose." Additionally, Arbiter revealed that Meghan's own mother had nicknamed her "Flower." Rose might just end up being the perfect name for baby Sussex.

Henry: A junior

If Harry and Meghan's first child is a boy, what are the odds that the couple names him after his father? Betters think it's a possibility. Both Harry and Henry are possible monikers for the new baby, according to Ladbrokes. Though, as of this writing, betters think Henry is a much likelier option.

Oh, and if you're wondering what the name "Henry" has to do with Prince Harry, you'll be surprised to learn that Henry is actually the prince's real name. However, he is almost always referred to by his nickname: Harry. When People announced the royal's birth in October 1984, the publication ran a headline using his given name: Prince Henry. In the article, however, it was revealed that "the infant… would be known officially as Prince Henry Charles Albert David … and just 'Harry' to his family and chums." Since then, all of us non-chums call him Harry, too.

It might get confusing to have another Harry in the house, but Henry remains a perfectly good option. Plus, it's a name that will "reflect the family tree," as royal expert Katie Nicholl noted was customary.

Elizabeth: A name fit for a queen

There's a very real possibility that Harry and Meghan could end up naming their little girl Elizabeth. That is, if they have a little girl, of course. As of this writing, the name is currently tied with Diana as the frontrunner on Ladbrokes' site. However, Wendy Bosberry-Scott, spokeswoman for Debrett's etiquette training, said she could see the name Elizabeth used in a different way. In an interview with CNN, she explained, "[Harry and Meghan] will most likely honor the grandparents within the middle names of the child. If the child is a girl, Elizabeth is a favorite for a middle name and it would be a lovely idea to honor the Duchess's mother with a middle name."

Royals often have more than one middle name, so it's certainly possible to use both. That said, the couple could also use Elizabeth as a first name, as many betters feel will happen, and use Meghan's mother's name, Doria, as a middle name.

Alexandra: Another queenly moniker

If Meghan and Harry decide they still want to honor Harry's grandmother, but don't want it to be quite so obvious, the couple could easily choose one of Queen Elizabeth's middle names. As her biography states, the Queen of England's full name is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor. In an article for 9Honey, royal expert Victoria Arbiter predicted that Harry and Meghan could choose the name Alexandra for their first child.

In addition to being one of Queen Elizabeth's middle names, the queen's great grandmother also held the moniker. According to the expert, Elizabeth II was named after Queen Alexandra, who was "Edward VII's wildly popular consort." She continued, writing, "A devoted mother, Alexandra poured herself into charitable work and she was considered something of a fashion icon in her day." 

Arbiter revealed that Alexandra is also the name of one of Harry's former nannies, more commonly known as Tiggy Legge-Bourke. The expert dubbed that connection a "long shot tribute," but Harry was close to Legge-Bourke.

Victoria: A "feisty" name

While most bets are on Diana and Elizabeth, the name Victoria is not trailing far behind. As the baby-naming site Nameberry reveals, Victoria is a more popular choice in the United States, but it still ranks in the top 100 names across the pond. And, as you may have guessed, Victoria means "victory" — which certainly isn't a bad thing for which to name your baby.

This name also has a whole lot of significance in the royal family. From the mid 1800s to 1901, Queen Victoria reigned over the UK and Ireland. Prior to Queen Elizabeth II's reign, she was the longest-reigning monarch. She was not quite five feet tall, but her biography reports her as having had a "feisty temperament." As a child, she was also "said to be warm-hearted and lively." If those weren't enough reasons to go with the name Victoria, her biography reveals that her mother was also named Victoria. If Meghan and Harry picked this name, they'd certainly be following in the tradition of using family names.

Albert: "A name positively dripping in royal history"

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were quite the couple. Victoria's biography revealed that because she was ruling as queen, Albert was unable to propose to her. But she didn't let that stop her. Instead, she proposed to him. And this was back in 1839! According to royal expert Victoria Arbiter's 9Honey article, Albert was not only Victoria's "beloved consort" but also "the mastermind behind the Great Exhibition of 1851." If Harry and Meghan don't end up having a girl and naming her Victoria, couldn't you picture them having a little boy and naming him Albert?

Additionally, Albert was the birth name of Queen Elizabeth's father and Prince Charles and Diana later bestowed the name Albert to Harry as one of his middle names — but the connection doesn't end there. Princess Diana's grandfather was also named Albert. You can see why Arbiter labeled Albert as "a name positively dripping in royal history" and why she thinks Meghan and Harry might choose to use it.

Kylie or Shane: A modern twist?

When Harry's father, Prince Charles, was giving a speech for the Australian High Commission in London in November 2018, the news about Meghan's pregnancy had only recently been revealed. He revealed to the audience, "Incidentally ladies and gentlemen my son Harry tells me that during their recent tour of Australia, he and his wife were offered countless thoughtful suggestions for the naming of their forthcoming baby." He continued, saying, "Just between us, I suspect that Kylie and Shane may possibly make the shortlist." This was likely meant to be a joke, of course. As Insider pointed out, they are the first names of two of the biggest celebrities in the UK: singer Kylie Minogue and cricket player Shane Warne. 

While it seems quite unlikely that these names are actually on the shortlist, it is possible that Meghan and Harry will choose something that doesn't have royal roots. "There's a lot of speculation that Meghan's going to want to go for something quite untraditional, possibly an American name or a modern name," royal expert Katie Nicholl revealed to Time. "It's possible."

Alice: Bringing it back to the 21st century

Ahead of the birth of William and Kate's Middleton's second child, there was a ton of speculation about what the couple would name the baby. Many thought the couple would choose Alice if they had a girl. The couple did indeed welcome a daughter, but they ended up going with the name Charlotte. Then, when it was revealed that the Duchess of Cambridge was pregnant with her and Prince William's third child, the name Alice popped back up on the radar. Town & Country revealed that Alice was "an early favorite." The name was out, though, once it was revealed that the couple had a son.

Now that Meghan is expecting, the name has started making its rounds again. Royal expert Arianne Chernock confirmed to HuffPost it could "certainly" be the soon-to-be newest royal's name. As she explained, the name has a lot of "resonance." Queen Victoria was the first royal to use the name when she gave it to her third child. Since then, it's been passed to other royals, though mostly through middle names. It may sound a little obscure, but that might just make it a perfect choice.

Alexander: The "great" name

Just as royal expert Victoria Arbiter predicted that Meghan and Harry could choose Alexandra, she also think they might use the masculine form — Alexander — if they have a boy. The name exudes strength and, as she explained in an article for 9Honey, means "Defender of the People." The expert continued, writing, "Alexander the Great was considered one of history's most successful military commanders. Charismatic and brave, he inspired fierce loyalty from his men." Nameberry also reported that Alexander has remained in their "Top 25 names" list dating all the way back to 1991 and has gone on to inspire plenty of diminutives, like Zander and Alex.

Although Alexander the Great is probably the most famous of all the Alexes, Arbiter ranked it as a probable choice for Meghan and Harry because it also has American significance. As you no doubt learned in history class, Alexander Hamilton was a politician and one of the country's Founding Fathers. Perhaps soon Alexander will also be a royal.

Arthur: Roundtable optional

When Prince William and Kate Middleton were expecting their third child, bookies predicted that they'd name the baby Arthur. Although the couple went with Louis, the predictions weren't entirely wrong. The child was also given two middle names: Arthur and Charles. Although William and Kate have already used the name, that's not to say Meghan and Harry can't — or won't — use it. Royal expert Arianne Chernock told HuffPost that Arthur — much like Alice — could "certainly" be given to the newest baby.

Arthur is a name that has been around for a very, very long time. So long, in fact, that Arthurian legends exist. Outside of the fable of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Arthur was also the name given to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's third son. Much like Alice, this name bounced around through the 1800s and early 1900s, being used more so as a middle name. Arthur is about as old-fashioned as it gets, but we could see Meghan and Harry propelling it into en vogue status once again.

Gertrude or Ursula: Familial yet "funky"

Even if Harry and Meghan want to pick a traditional, family name for their little one, that doesn't mean that they'll necessarily pick something "safe." Russell James, a historian at the family history website ancestry.co.uk, revealed to The Telegraph that the name Gertrude appears on Meghan's side of the family. Both her paternal great-grandmother as well as her great-great-grandmother on her mother's side shared the name. Meghan, who has become known for her charity work, has a lot in common with her great-great-grandma as she too was charitable and a part of the Good Samaritan Aid Society. If Gertrude isn't the couple's jam, the historian revealed that Ursula is also a name from Meghan's side. 

Harry Aitkenhead of the online betting site Coral revealed, "Gertrude has entered our betting at 50/1 and certainly wouldn't be an enormous surprise given Meghan's links with the name." However, he's not as sure about Ursula. "There's a strong chance that some of these more funky names might appear as middle names, rather than the child's first name," he explained.

Ernest to Serena: All the underdogs

After Kensington Palace revealed the name of Prince William and Kate Middleton's third child, many people were surprised. As The Washington Post reported at the time, Louis was a "somewhat unexpected pick." Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could also end up picking something that surprises us.

Although names like Diana, Elizabeth, and Albert rank high on the shortlist, everyone still loves an underdog. In this case, there are plenty of underdogs. As of this writing, the least likely name the couple could choose is Brexit, according to Ladbrokes. Now, that would be interesting. Given the fact that royals do not get involved in politics, this is certainly a long shot. Some of the more obscure yet still potential contenders include names like Ernest, Alistair, Camilla, and Samantha. Even Serena, as in Serena Williams — the name of one of Meghan's besties — has made the list. Of course, we'll have to wait a little longer to find out what Meghan and Harry will actually choose.