So. Alexandra is the odds-on favourite name for the imminent royal baby. It’s beaten royal classics like Charlotte, Diana, Victoria and Elizabeth to the number one spot.
Can I just say, I really, really hope Kate and Wills decide on Alexandra? You see, it’s the Queen’s middle name – but it’s also my own.
I’ve been an Alex most of my life, but I haven’t always been happy about it. While other girls got pretty names – like Emma, Claire, Rosie or Poppy – I was stuck with Alex. By the age of ten I’d lost count of how many people had said, “But that’s a boy’s name!” Combine it with an unusually masculine surname, and you’ve got a case of mistaken gender identity every time somebody meets me after learning my name.
I’ve toyed with changing it in the past. In Year 3, I made my entire school call me Jo. Yes, it was another boy’s name, but I’d just finished reading about a gypsy-girl called Jo in The Famous Five, okay? Jo was cool.
I moved to America the following year, and left Jo behind with Australia. To the American’s I was this strange English/Australian creature, and exotic enough that I didn’t need another name. I went back to being Alex, although I was never fully satisfied.
When I moved back to Australia four years later, I experimented with the more feminine sounding Lexi. That lasted approximately 30 minutes. Now, I’d love to be an Alexa, and take on my mother’s maiden name. It’s a far better name to say. (Is it weird if I tell you my mother’s maiden name? I’m not sure. I won’t for now.) Alex Bruce-Smith is difficult on the tongue. My new name would roll right off it. It would be feminine and powerful. The perfect journalist name. As it is, I doubt I could ever be a radio journalist because my name is just too damn difficult to say.
The trouble is, Alex is powerful. Strong. Masculine. No one wants (or needs) to protect an Alex. Combine that with being taller than average and the eldest of three, and I’ve never gotten to be the young, cute one. And I really want to be the young cute one.
But let’s get back to Royal Baby Alexandra. (Look, I know we don’t know yet if it’s a boy or a girl, but for argument’s sake let’s go with it being a girl.)
It’s no secret that we go through waves of popularity with names. (Alexandra was the 13th most popular name in 1990 Australia, which explains why I’ve come up against so many in my life. I was once in an English class with six Alex’s and one Alexis.) And it’s no secret that celebrities and pop-culture have masses of influence when it comes to naming our children. There’s Bella and Jacob from Twilight, Arya and Khaleesi (yes, really) from Game of Thrones, and no doubt we can thank Poppy Delevingne, Sienna Miller and Chloe Sevigny for the rise in popularity of their first names.
And Kate Middleton has turned out to become the biggest trendsetter the world has ever seen. Every single item of clothing she’s been snapped in has sold out in seconds (with the added advantage that’s it’s mostly high street and therefore affordable). Even her blue engagement ring inspired fakes within days.
If Kate was to name her baby Alexandra? Thousands would follow. Literally, thousands. Her influence on the rest of the world is out of this world.
And if Alex became a popular girls name it would change people’s perception of it. All these cute little babies called Alex? People would start to go goo-gah at the name. Alex would forever be associated with a baby princess. (Actually, my parents supposedly named me after a Russian princess. But it’s not quite the same, is it.) The name would be more attractive. More feminine. More liked.
So Kate, if you could just go ahead and name your baby daughter Alexandra, that would be great. I’ll be celebrating with the other Alex’s of the world (we meet up once a month). And maybe one day, I won’t despise my own name so much.
Either that or I’ll legally change it to Poppy.
William and Kate – eonline
Kate (polka dotted dress) – Pop Sugar