Dear Prince William and Kate Middleton,
Baby is on the way! Congratulations! In just over a week, July 13th to be exact (according to your pros), you’re expected to be first-time parents, and to the next King or Queen of England no less! Coincidentally, in about a week I expect to be the first-time owner of a juicer I bought off Kijiji. Big weeks for both of us, it looks like!
I have a small request, and even though I’m sure you’ve already made up your minds, I’d like you to consider this from my point of view before you get out the old fountain pen and start marking up that birth certificate. Here it goes: Please don’t name your child Victoria. This will be easy if it’s not a girl, but I’ve heard that it’s one of the names you’ve been tossing around in the idea bank. In fact, many Royal baby name betting websites have ranked it pretty high as a likely choice. After all, Queen Victoria was obviously the longest reigning monarch in the history of the UK, so it makes sense that maybe you’d want to name your little one after her.
Sure, she was a polarizing figure, but I suppose that’s what makes the name so cool. By reclaiming it, the same way feminists are all about the biblical name Magdalene, Victoria could be a beloved name again instead of being so controversial. Problematically, it’s the controversy that keeps the name unpopular, and this is why you naming your baby Victoria will ruin my life. Think about it: Everyone is going to love your baby even before it has any remotely likeable qualities of its own. It will have you two as parents – two of the most likeable people in the whole world – and it will lead to a slew of copycat baby namers. No offense to the Jennifers of the world, but I like how semi-unique my name is for the time being. It’s all I’ve got. That, of course, and a used juicer on the way.
I know what you’re going to say: Having the same name as a public figure can’t ruin your life. That’s not true. I’ve met enough Mike Jacksons and Phillip Collins who have unsuccessfully tried to alter their unfortunate names to know that having the same name as a famous person leads to tons of money spent in the therapist’s chair. When I was about 19-years-old, I went on a Contiki trip of Europe, like most North Americans do in some capacity or another. Guess who was on the trip with me? Jennifer Lopez! Can you believe it?! Sadly, it wasn’t the Jennifer Lopez you’re imagining right now. This Jennifer Lopez was from a small town in California. When she introduced herself to the bus load of international travelers, she self-consciously said, “Yes, my name is Jennifer Lopez, but I’m not the Jennifer Lopez. This is not what J.Lo looks like without her makeup. I’m just one of the unfortunate Lopez’s of the world who was named Jennifer in the pre-Selena era.”
But it’s only going to be a first name, right? Well, that didn’t stop Ross and Rachel on Friends from destroying the once beautifully antiquated name Emma for generations to come, did it? These days, the once old school British name is as popular as Brittany and Amber in the United States. Besides, do you guys even really have a last name? Your baby would end up being the Cher or Madonna of Victorias, and I just don’t think I’m emotionally stable enough to deal with that right now.
I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’m sure Victoria Beckham would be none to thrilled to be the second most famous Victoria in the UK. I also know a lot of friends of mine are secretly terrified you’re going to choose one of their names, too. Why not follow Kim and Kanye’s lead and go crazy original? Or how about something we already anticipate like Diana? To quote the greatest British scribe of all time, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” So please, just don’t name that English rose Victoria.