So the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have had a baby boy and named it George Alexander Louis. The name that was expected and, indeed, if you started working out all the possibilities - the only so-called 'royal' name that was really viable.
I wanted to see how their royal predecessors' name choice affected the popularity of the name. Are royal names copied? But for the recent generations of royals, the BBC got there first. Their graph is perfectly adequate and going from my title, it seems that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were traditionalists, and Prince Charles and Princess Diana were trendsetters. By that, I mean that the names chosen by Elizabeth and Philip were already fairly popular when chosen by them, and did not increase substantially in popularity, despite being given the seal of approval. William and Henry - or Harry - however, grew in popularity following their births. You could say that Charles and Diana tapped into the zeitgeist of the age, or that they did set a trend.
To me, it seems clear that baby Prince George has a name that is traditional. It is yet to be seen whether the choice will be a trendsetter - it has risen in rank over the past ten years but decreased in the actual percentage of people who bear the name (see the ONS's Name Comparison tool and Anna Powell-Smith's England and Wales Baby Names visualisation site). If anything, at the moment, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge seem to be trend-followers rather than trendsetters.
So the modern royals are traditionalists and trendsetters. How about Queen Victoria? I'd like to suggest that she was both, and a trailblazer as well.
I talk about where my data comes from at the end of the post.
Queen Victoria the Traditionalist
My data was gathered in the same method as my Victorian Smiths study, using FreeBMD to find out how many people with NAME X Smith (eg Victoria Smith) were born every five years from 1840 to 1910. In a new development for me, I then worked out how many Smiths in total were born for each five year period. From this, I worked out the percentage of, for example, Victorias born for each period. For example, 5 Victoria Smiths were born in Jan 1840-Dec 1844, out of 40783 Smiths total for that period, so 0.01% of children were named Victoria.
In the case of Victoria, Helena, Louise and Leopold, the numbers of children born with those names were very small. Please look at the scales at the side of the graphs.