Choosing a name for your child is one of the most important things you'll do as a parent. You want to get it
right. Maybe you're looking for a name that sounds powerful and regal — royal, even. If so, there are baby names inspired by princesses from both real life and from fiction that can give you that panache you're looking for.
The thing about many of these names is that you're going to have to separate the history of the person from the name itself. Royalty are many things, and often, those things aren't great. Colonization, war, famine, and despotism are all hallmarks of royal lineages. That's not to say there aren't fantastic examples — hello, Princess Diana — but for every Diana, there's a
Joan of Burgundy. However, Joan is still a perfectly lovely name, and I've met many a nice, and not at all evil, Joans in my day.
The fictional princesses follow much the same route. Seriously,
Daenerys is a really pretty name — as is Khaleesi. And for a while, we all thought things were pretty OK. She had a small penchant for torture and wholesale slaughter, but only for those who deserved it. It was just that last season that sullied it for everyone. That doesn't make the name less pretty. (OK, maybe that one is too soon. But don't feel badly if you already used it, no one saw the dragon devastation coming.) 1 Sofia Princess Sofia of Sweden is actually volunteering in Swedish hospitals right now as support staff. A solid choice and a great name as she lives up to her duty of helping others in her community. Sofia with an F is also a sweet way to spell this darling name, and the moniker also means wisdom. 2 Tamar
Princess Tamar, who later became Queen Tamar of Georgia, also known as Tamar the Great, is known as Georgia's only female king. According to Culture Trip, she was a part of the Bagrationi Dynasty and the only daughter of George III, King of Georgia, and
Tamar was born in the year 1160. She was never a dictator, but instead built coalitions and ushered in a cultural renaissance in Medieval Georgia. 3 Belle
I am only going to say this once: It is absolutely more than OK to name your child after a Disney princess. Don't let anyone shame you out of your choice. Does Belle have a bit of an issue with Stockholm Syndrome? Maybe. Does she think she's better than all the villagers? Perhaps. But she's a reader and is very kind to talking pottery.
The legend of Makeda,
The Queen of Sheba is fairly contested. However, she is always described as very wealthy, very shrewd, and very beautiful. Makeda is perhaps the most regal of names. Add Elizabeth as a middle name for a double whammy of girl power and royal prowess. (And who doesn't love Mak as a nickname?) 5 Leia Sunset Boulevard/Corbis Historical/Getty Images
Princess-turned-General Leia. Defender of the Rebellion. Loving mother and sister. All-around bad*ss. I mean, what more is there to say? The name is also still pretty popular,
and is of Hindu origin. This is the name to whip out when someone dares to make an assumption about a princess being a damsel in distress. 6 Aminah Tunku Tun Aminah Maimunah is Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar’s only daughter. The princess of the Johor people in Malaysia, she is beloved by many. "Aminah" is a sweet name, and I think it will become more and more popular. There are some cute nicknames you can make from it as well, like Minnie. 7 Adriana
From Shakespeare's play
A Comedy of Errors, Adriana plays a key role in reuniting the long-lost pairs of twins. One of Shakespeare's funniest plays, Adriana is a great choice for any baby, and has a soft, Italian feel. You can share the literature connection with others, but let's just hope your babe doesn't marry Antipholus. 8 Mako Princess Mako is the eldest daughter of Crown Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko of Japan. She's been in the news lately for her engagement to a commoner, which may force her to relinquish her title. It's all very controversial, reported Nippon, but hey: true love holds no title, am I right? 9 Clara Clara Ward, also known as The Princesse De Caraman-Chimay, began her life as a socialite, but then managed to snag a prince, have a king fall hopelessly in love with her, and make serious bank at the same time. She is #goals, and the darling moniker also means "bright and clear." 10 Tiana
She actually got the frog thing to work. That is worth it on its own. However, Tiana's also a self-starting hard worker who kicked life in the teeth. Thanks, Disney. Bonus:
the name means fairy queen. I mean, come on. 11 Diana Princess Diana Archive/Hulton Royals Collection/Getty Images
Lady Di. What is there to be said that hasn't been? She was exactly what you think royals should be, and
the name means divine. She was known as the people's princess for a reason, and any little baby with the same moniker is sure to steal the hearts of their own fans. 12 Moremi
Queen Moremi Ajasoro was the wife of Oranmiyan, the heir to the King of Ife, making her in truth a princess first. Her husband's father was Founding Father of the Yoruba tribe, Oduduwa. She is depicted
in the tallest statue in Africa, and she is credited with helping to liberate the Yoruba people of Nigeria. 13 Anastasia
Daughter of the Czar, Anastasia has fueled legends for over a hundred years now. She also inspired a sweet movie and Broadway show. It is a
very popular name in my neighborhood, and I can't say as though I blame the parents. It's gorgeous, and the name Anastasia also means resurrection. 14 Mia
Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo, of
The Princess Diaries, also known as "Mia." But feel free to use Amelia or Netty, or even just Nette. Heck, you could go with the actress and name her Anne, which is also a popular name with royals. But for Amelia, the name means "work," so just wait to see what your girl does. 15 Eleanor Eleanor of Aquitaine had quite the storied history. Daughter of William X of England and Queen Consort of King Louis VII, and mother to three different kings after she annulled the marriage to Louis and wed King Henry II of England. Follow all that? She was pretty exciting. There's also the American "royalty" of Eleanor Roosevelt to think about, and the name itself has no known meaning, which makes it feel very mysterious and fun. 16 Xena
Possibly my biggest high school crush — she was a
warrior princess, after all. Xena held her own and everyone feared her. She was amazing, and you can't go wrong starting a name off with an X. The name also has a Greek origin and means "guest." I guess a baby is just a guest you have forever. 17 Dahteste Dahteste (pronounced Ta-DOT-se), wasn't a princess, but she was an absolute warrior queen and champion for the Apache people. Dahteste was an Mescalero Apache woman, and fought and was arrested alongside Geronimo. The name also has some wiggle room as far as nicknames or shortened versions go, and it's one heck of a story to share when people ask you. 18 Cordelia
Cordelia was the youngest and most favored of Shakespeare's King Lear's daughters. Now, there wasn't a high bar for this, but she managed. A gorgeous name, it would eventually appear in
Buffy, but if those princess pop culture references aren't enough for you, the name also means "heart, daughter of the sea." Very sweet. 19 Meghan DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images
Do you need a reason beyond her awesomeness? Her charitable endeavors? Her honest realness? Meghan Markle has faced her share of criticism and love, much like her mother-in-law Princess Diana, so it's a noble choice for your own little girl. The name has also faded in popularity a bit, so it can be considered a little more unique than you'd think.
was the daughter of Ratan Singh a descendant of Rao Rathor, who was the founder of Jodhpur. She is a literal saint, devoted to the worship of Krishna, and she is perhaps best known for her mystic poetry. As far as princess names go, this one is pretty bold and adventurous.