The big problem with potential royal baby name
The big problem with potential royal baby name

Big problem with royal baby name


Quick history lesson: Diana was the Roman goddess of the hunt and wild animals. (She was also a fertility deity who our ancient counterparts used to try and inveigle to help them get pregnant.)

But, unless you have leather patches on the elbows of your tweed coat, that's not who you think of when you hear 'Diana'. Because, there is only one woman associated with that name and she was a beguiling, complicated mother, wife, and friend whose life was marked by heartbreak and an endless search for love.

Still, if bookies are correct, there might be another royal Diana in the world soon. Currently, Ladbrokes in the UK has very short odds on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex naming their yet to arrive bambino after his mother. Throw in the title that this little girl would assume and it would mean Harry and Meghan's first born would be known as Lady Diana.

And that would be a huge mistake.


Prince Harry and Meghan are expecting to welcome the royal baby any day now.
Prince Harry and Meghan are expecting to welcome the royal baby any day now.

Eight and a bit years ago, Prince William got down on bended knee at a remote cabin in Kenya and FINALLY popped the question to his incredibly patient girlfriend of nearly nine years, Kate Middleton.

Rather than go to Garrard, pick out a stonking big diamond, throw down his titanium credit card and go home so he could watch snooker on the tele, Wills instead decided to recycle Diana's own engagement ring. He later said that he wanted his mother to be a part of that chapter in his life which is all lovely and sweet. But the reality is much more complicated.

Sure, he gave Kate an incredibly precious rock with enormous sentimental meaning. But he also psychologically and physically saddled her with the legacy of a woman who was globally beloved (well, at least outside Buckingham Palace gates). No pressure at all really! Just try and become the People's Princess 2.0!

(I also find it curious that he chose to lump her with a piece of jewellery so symbolically linked to her disastrous marriage to Charles.)


Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with Diana’s engagement ring.
Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with Diana’s engagement ring.

Which is exactly the reason the Ginger Charmer and Meghan need to steer clear of even considering the 'D' name should they have a girl. It would be a brief PR win for her parents but it would be a permanent blight on the poor kid's existence.

If they did go down that route, the new Lady Di would face a lifetime of relentless comparisons with her globetrotting sensation of a grandmother. Her clothes, her looks, her choices and her relationships would all be held up and parsed through the lens of the Princess of Wales.

I think Diana 2.0 would always feel like the slightly inferior version, a poor facsimile of a woman who touched millions of lives. It would mean the new Diana would be condemned to live her entire life in the shadow of a woman canonised by a grieving nation and whose name is synonymous with eternal style, charity and very bad luck in love.

Basically, it's a really terrible inheritance, like your great-aunt Pearls' Toby jug collection. No one wants it.


Princess Diana, the ‘People’s Princess’.
Princess Diana, the ‘People’s Princess’.

Should the Sussexes even contemplate 'Diana' as an option (rather than say, Aria, Riley and Layla, three of America's most popular baby names in 2018) they would be dramatically disadvantaging their bundle of joy's chances of living a life defined on her own terms and for her to be able to craft her own identity.

So, I really hope Harry and Meghan surprise us (and all those punters who have put their hard-earned pounds on this) and go with something totally unexpected.

Personally, I would love to see Lady Cayenne Breeze Mountbatten-Windsor on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the Trooping of the Colour: That girl is not going to flounder in anyone's wake.

Daniela Elser is a royal expert and freelance writer with 20 years' experience who has written for some of Australia's best print and digital media brands | Continue the conversation @DanielaElser

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