Boys, Girls

Royal baby names still popular – but Meghan yet to climb rankings

Royal names feature near the top of the list of most popular baby names in England and Wales, but Meghan is yet to show a climb to the top, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Oliver and Olivia may have topped the baby names charts for the second year running, but George and Charlotte are consistently popular baby names, taking 3rd and 12th place on their respective lists.

George has seen a slight increase in popularity over the last decade, climbing nine spots up the rankings since 2007.

The Royals do seem to have an effect on baby names, as the birth of Princess Charlotte in 2015 demonstrated.

Top baby names
(PA Graphics)

Charlotte holds steady near the top of the list and sits in 12th place with 2,384 births in 2017 – the same position as 10 years ago. However, the name was dropping down the list before the birth of the Princess, reaching a low of 25th place in 2015 – before being propelled back up the rankings in the years since.

As the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child, Prince Louis, arrived in April 2018, will it have the same impact on naming trends?

Oliver and Olivia continue to rule the roost as the most popular baby names for both England and Wales in 2017 https://t.co/2EkmaW86BCpic.twitter.com/5MYP6MFrZd

— ONS (@ONS) September 21, 2018

Louis was the 82nd most popular boys’ name of 2017 with 819 babies born, a drop of 11 places on the previous year and down 22 positions on 10 years ago. Could it start climbing again in the years to come?

Meghan Markle was known to be in a relationship with Prince Harry throughout 2017, before announcing their engagement in November of that year. However, despite her prominence, Meghan was the 797th most popular girls name in 2017, with 49 baby Meghans born.

Prince Louis, born 2018
Will the birth of Prince Louis send the name up the rankings? (PA)

However, the more popular British spelling of Megan also dropped down the list and barely made it into the top 100. The name dropped 17 places to become the 100th most popular girls’ name of 2017.

The name has suffered a steep decline in popularity over the last decade, dropping 83 places in the rankings since 2007.

Elizabeth McLaren at the ONS said: “The name Louis has been declining in popularity so it will be interesting to see if the naming of the latest Royal baby will reverse this trend next year.

“Meghan and Megan have also become less popular as baby names in recent times, but again, the addition of a new Royal with this name might reverse this trend.

“Royal names are often traditional names which do seem to go in cycles of popularity, although Elizabeth has consistently been in the top 100 since records began.”

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