Arthur or Alice? If William and Kate need ideas here were the most popular names over the decades

William and Kate with their children
William and Kate with their children

As the bookies take bets on what the Duke and Duchess or Cambridge will call their third baby, we take a trip down moniker memory lane.

Ever since the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced their family's set to expand once again, we've been itching to find out what the royal couple will name their new baby.

Names through the years

Names through the years

Of course, we'll likely have to wait until the tot arrives (their third baby's due in April) to find out - but that doesn't stop us pondering. Their first two - George, four, and two-year-old Charlotte - both have very classic names (no surprise, given their royal status!) and the new baby probably will too, but there are still numerous options.

Bookmakers William Hill has, once again, been taking bets. So far, if it's a boy, the odds are: 9/1 for Arthur, 10/1 for Alfred, and 14/1 for Frederick (one of Queen Victoria's sons was called Arthur, and it's one of Prince William's middle names, hence why it's the bookies' favourite). And if it's a girl: 8/1 for Alice, 9/1 for Victoria, and 14/1 for Elizabeth.

"Queen Victoria's second daughter was called Alice, as well as Prince Philip's mother, William's great-grandmother," says Lucy Toseland-Bolton, blog editor at BabyCentre.

As BabyCentre points out, Alice is one of the most enduring baby names of the past century in the UK. What better choice for a new princess than a moniker which has defined the 100 years up to her birth?

But what about the other popular options? Here's a look back at the most-picked baby names through the decades...


One of the most popular boys names in the Fifties was David, a Hebrew name which means 'beloved'. And let's face it, we've all got an uncle or mate or two called Dave. For girls, Susan reigned supreme, another Hebrew name which means 'lily'.


Paul became very popular in the 1960s, a Latin name meaning 'humble', a trait befitting a future member of the Windsor clan. Although, it's probably a safe bet that the royal couple will not be calling any future son Paul - it's just not all that regal. Julie was very popular for girls, a French name which means 'youthful'.


Richard became very popular in the Seventies, an English name meaning 'brave ruler'. However, the new royal baby is highly unlikely to ever become king or queen. Once born, they'll be fifth in line to the throne, behind their grandfather, father, and two older siblings. Sarah was also a popular choice in this decade, a Hebrew name meaning 'princess'; very fitting indeed if the new baby is a little girl.


The name Michael became a favourite choice in the Eighties, which many attribute to the influence of 'King of Pop' Michael Jackson. However, this unofficial monarch is quite unlikely to be a royal namesake. The name Emma was also very popular for girls, a Latin name which means 'universal'. Well, the royals are tasked with the duty of seeming relatable to all sections of society, so this might be a name William and Kate could consider...


Thomas was extremely popular for boys in the Nineties, a Greek name which means 'twin'. Megan also topped the baby name charts in this decade, a Welsh name meaning 'pearl' - but Prince Harry's recent engagement to Meghan Markle means this one's probably off the cards for the new royal tot.


Although it's actually quite an old name, Harry became extremely popular in the Noughties. This was likely due to the influence of the then-teenage prince Harry, who had become something of a heart-throb, combined with the Harry Potter franchise blossoming into a staple of British culture. The name Harry is English, and means 'army ruler' - a wild coincidence, considering Prince Harry's stint in the military. That said, his name is actually Henry, with Harry being a diminutive. For girls, Olivia became very popular, an English name meaning 'descendant'.

Present day

Ella Joynes, author of Baby Names 2018, predicts that gender-neutral names will be big this year. "Names like Max, Alex, Charlie and Andy are all going to be big winners in the coming years, as parents move towards more fluid notions of gender and identity," she writes. There's also a predicted rise in feminist names. Ella believes the current political climate will be prompting expectant parents to reach back into the history of women's suffrage for baby name inspiration.

Names also tend to cycle in popularity every 100 years or so, so keep an eye out for names that were popular during the First World War - there's already been a large surge of Elsies and Georges (again).