Royal baby boy name odds: what will Harry and Meghan call their first child - and when will they announce it?

Telegraph Writers
The Duke and Duchess are forward-thinking royals and may choose a name that surprises everyone - or will they? - WireImage

The Duke of Sussex announced yesterday that his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, had given birth to a baby boy in the early hours of Monday morning.  

In an Instagram post, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's account read: "Their Royal Highnesses’ son weighs 7lbs. 3oz.

"The Duchess and baby are both healthy and well, and the couple thank members of the public for their shared excitement and support during this very special time in their lives."

The baby is understood to be around a week overdue, with royal watchers keenly awaiting the announcement of the name. From Arthur to Alexander, speculation is mounting as to what the child could be called - and whether the Queen will allow the child to become a Prince.

Latest predictions on what the Royal baby will be called

The duke and duchess may decide to go with a traditional name like James, Philip or Arthur.

However, the pair are forward-thinking royals and may decide to surprise everyone when naming their first child. Canadian-born Autumn Phillips, and husband Peter Phillips, opted for a non-traditional name for their daughter Savannah - the Queen's first great-grandchild - in 2010.

Today, William Hill have a new favourite name - Spencer at 4/1 - the maiden name of Prince Harry's late mother Princess Dianna. Other top picks for the royal baby boy are James and Alexander, both at 5/1.

Princess Charlotte stands next to Savannah Phillips and Prince George at Trooping The Colour 2018 Credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage

The Duchess may also seek inspiration from her friends. Her confidante and stylist Jessica Mulroney has twin boys called Brian and John, who were pageboys at the royal wedding. 

In the US, the most popular name is Liam for a baby boy. In the UK, the most popular name for a boy is Oliver.

Harry and Meghan's child, who will be seventh in line to the throne, is extremely unlikely ever to be king, meaning the couple have more freedom with their choices. In comparison, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose to give their children traditional names, picking George for their firstborn, who is likely to one day be king.

What are the Royal baby name odds?

These odds from William Hill were last updated on May 8, 2019.

  1. Spencer 4/1
  2. James 5/1
  3. Alexander 5/1
  4. Arthur 6/1
  5. Philip 6/1
  6. Albert 8/1
  7. Theodore 12/1
  8. Gregory 14/1
  9. Oliver 16/1
  10. Grey 20/1

What title will the Royal baby have (and why the baby won't necessarily be a Prince)

The firstborn son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is expected to be given the title of the Earl of Dumbarton, unless the Queen makes an unexpected last-minute intervention. The baby boy, who has been nicknamed Baby Sussex by fans in a moniker later adopted by his parents, will not automatically be a prince or have the style "His Royal Highness".

The Queen intervened for Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, the children of a future king, in order for them to inherit the titles in a public announcement published months before George's birth. It is considered unlikely, although not impossible, that the Sussexes son will be styled similarly.

He is expected to be known formally as the Earl of Dumbarton, because a first son of a duke is allowed to use one of his father's other lesser titles as a courtesy title.   The Scottish title - which refers to Dumbarton on the north bank of the River Clyde, to the west of Glasgow - was given to Prince Harry by the Queen on the morning of his wedding.

A daughter would have been Lady [firstname] Mountbatten-Windsor, rather than the Countess of Dumbarton as daughters are not allowed to take on such titles due to the longheld convention of primogeniture in hereditary peerages. As a boy, Baby Sussex will one day inherit the title the Duke of Sussex from his father. 

The tradition dates back to a 1917 decree made by George V, which specified that the style "HRH" and the title "prince" or "princess" can be borne by children of the sovereign, children of the sovereign's sons, and the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales.

Of the Queen's grandchildren, Prince William, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, the children of her two elder sons, have the HRH title, while Peter and Zara Phillips, children of her daughter the Princess Royal, do not. When Prince Edward - the youngest of the Queen's children - married, he was named as an Earl rather than a Duke, and it was made clear that his children would be styled as Earl and Lady without an HRH title.

In December 2012, before the sex of the Cambridge's first child was known, the Queen issued a Letters Patent to extend the title to all of Prince William's future offspring to avoid the difficulty of a firstborn girl not being styled as Princess despite being a future queen.

A formal announcement in the London Gazette read: "The Queen has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm dated 31 December, 2012 to declare that all the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales should have and enjoy the style, title and attribute of Royal Highness with the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their Christian names or with such other titles of honour."

No such Letters Patent has yet been issued for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's children. The new arrival is seventh in line to the throne and moves Prince Harry's uncle, the Duke of York, down into eighth place in the line of succession. Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie shift into ninth and 10th place, and the Earl of Wessex - the Queen's youngest son - drops out of the top 10 for the first time to 11th in line.      

When will Meghan and Harry announce their baby's name?

The name of the Sussex's son will likely be announced tomorrow, with Buckingham Palace due to clarify the title at the same time. 

William and Kate took five days to announce the name of Prince Louis last year, while Prince George and Princess Charlotte's names were announced two days after birth.

History behind the favourite baby names

George and Charlotte were both favourite names for the young Prince and Princess

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex may call him Arthur - a name with a similarly impressive heritage. The most recent royal Arthur was Queen Victoria's son, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn. Before him, there was Henry VIII's elder brother, Arthur, who tragically died at the age of just 15. The most famous Arthur, of course, is the one we aren't sure existed: romantic hero King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

Edward and James have been popular names for kings in the past, but Philip is more of a rogue contender. The first royal Philip was James VII's brother-in-law Prince Philippe I, Duke of Orleans. Since then, there has not been another royal Philip - until Queen Elizabeth II's husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Naming their child Philip may be a way for the Duke of Sussex to pay tribute to his grandfather. 

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