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European Royal Names

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Yah, from Sveden

Another granddaughter of Queen Victoria, Margaret, married Gustavus VI of Sweden. Today, Sweden has a constitutional monarchy in place, headed by King Carl XVI Gustav. Names from this royal family include:

  • Oscar: The name of an early king, Oscar appears frequently in both Swedish and Norwegian lineage. It means “divine spear.”
  • Gustavus: A Scandinavian name meaning “staff of the gods.” This royal name appears frequently in Sweden but hardly ever anywhere else.
  • Bertil: This variant of the Old German name Bertilde means “bright warrior woman.”
  • Birgitta: This pretty name is a variation of the Norwegian Birgit, meaning “splendid.”
  • Desiree: This name, which comes from the French for “much desired,” was famously borne by Desiree Clary, who rose from poverty in France to become the wife of the Swedish King Charles XIV.

Names with a Flamenco Beat

Victoria, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, married Alfonso XIII of Spain. Names from the current royal family, whose rule over the country was re-established in 1947, include:

  • Juan: King Juan Carlos I is the handsome and affable grandson of Alphonso XIII. He became king in 1975 following the death of General Francisco Franco, who had been Spain's chief of state for many years. Juan is the Spanish form of John (“God is gracious”). Carlos is the Spanish form of Charles and is common among Spanish royalty. The king traces his ancestry back to that most famous Spanish queen, Isabella.
  • Sofia: Queen Sofia is Juan Carlos I's wife. Sofia is a variant spelling of the Greek Sophia (“wisdom”). This Greek name shows up in the Spanish royal family due to Queen Sofia's heritage; she is from Psychiko, Greece.
  • Elena: This very pretty name is the Spanish version of Helen (“light”) and also the moniker of Princess Elena.
  • Christina: The feminine form of Cristián, the Spanish form of Christian (“follower of Christ”), and the name of Princess Cristina.
  • Felipe: The Spanish form of Philip and the royal name of Crown Prince Felipe.


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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Baby Names © 1999 by Sonia Weiss. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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