Sunday, May 3, 2015

Still Life With Robin: Name That Princess

Princesses, via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by Zanimum
by Peggy Robin

Happy birthday to the newborn Princess _____ of Cambridge. We’ll know in a day or two, maybe three, what name will fill in the blank. Until then, British bookmakers are giving odds on the following choices: Charlotte 3/1; Alice 4/1; Victoria 5/1; Elizabeth 6/1; Olivia 6/1; Alexandra 8/1; Diana 10/1; Mary 12/1; Frances 25/1; Grace 25/1. As you get past the top ten and go farther down the list, the odds get higher and you start getting into some rather fanciful possibilities. Like Leia, at 100/1. As in Princess Leia, of the famous double-doughnut hairdo. I suppose it could happen, if Wills and Kate are both complete Star Wars nerds. Or --if the parents are Friends fans-- there’s Rachel at 50 /1, or Monica or Phoebe, each at 100/1.

Much longer odds –200/1– are given to Chelsea, which hardly seems right for a name good enough for Bill and Hilary’s own princess. But Jasmine, best known as the name of the princess in the Disney version of the Aladdin tale, is ranked twice as likely at 100/1. Then there’s Daisy (the flower? The duck? The girl on the bicycle built for two?) – coming in at an almost plausible 50-1 shot. All of the above and more are ranked at Ladbrokes: (It’s not too late to place your bets!)

Now that you have finished laughing over the prospect of a member of the stodgy old British royal family getting a Disneyfied name, a name from the planet Alderaan, or sharing the name of Donald Duck’s girlfriend, you should take a look at actual names given to three of Queen Elizabeth’s previous great-grandchildren. There’s Savannah, and Isla and Mia (numbers 14, 15, and 17 in line to the throne, respectively. They’re all right here in the British Royal Family Tree:  If you can stop thinking of the scope of the catastrophe that would have to happen to take away the numbers one through fourteen in succession, then you have room in your brain to imagine Queen Isla, who otherwise would be found only in some far-out sci-fi/fantasy realm.

Personally, I’m hoping they go off in some new direction entirely, choosing something that hasn’t made any of the oddsmakers’ lists. What about Bao Bao? It was the voters’ choice for the cuddly little princess produced by our own Zoo royalty, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian. It means Precious-Precious in Chinese. It’s worked out well for DC’s cutest little tourist attraction. Think about it, Kate and Wills. Everyone bow, bow to Bao Bao, Princess of Cambridge….


Still Life with Robin comes out on the Cleveland Park Listserv and All Life Is Local on Saturdays. (Oh, OK, technically it’s Sunday already!) 

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