Noble names - Dukes, Kings and Queenies

  • McClatchy News Service
  • November 14, 2012 - 2:45 PM

There was a time when the titles of nobility seemed to be reserved strictly for the canine world, as in "Here, Prince!" "Here, Duke!" But that seems to be changing.

When Giuliana and Bill Rancic recently named their son Edward Duke, the Edward was for family members on both sides. But they always intended to call him by his middle name, because, said E!'s Giuliana, Duke is such a strong name. She's not the first celebrity to think so. Diane Keaton bestowed it on her son in 2001.

In fact, several of these blue-blood titles have been more popular than you might think.

King: King was in fashion at the turn of the last century, when captains of industry might be referred to as King Such-and-Such and musicians had royal nicknames such as King Oliver. Today King might still be used on its own -- as more than 700 American parents did last year.

Prince: Yes, the singer's birth name is really Prince Rogers Nelson (and yes, Michael Jackson's sons are named Prince Michael Joseph Jackson and Prince Michael Jackson II). Prince ranks at No. 481, the highest it's been since 1910.

Marquis: A marquis is a nobleman ranking between a duke and count. Rapper 50 Cent named his son Marquise.

Count and Countess: Rarely heard, though Danny Bonaduce used both for his son and daughter -- followed by strings of middles.

Knight: It was chosen by musicians Kelis and Nas for their son in 2009.

Queenie: Queenie was a turn-of-the-last-century fave, inspired by Queen Victoria. Lisa Bonet, Rachel Ward and Taraji P. Henson have all played characters named Queenie.

Royal: Royal and Loyal are two lost names from the last century. Not heard from since 1972, the regal Royal ranked at No. 283 in 1892. Could either of these names make a comeback?

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