Historically in France, all monarchs were male and their wives were deemed queen consorts, which meant that while they shared in their husband’s rank and royal status they didn’t share in his military or political powers. Some women did govern as regents and empresses, but the majority ruled as queens consorts. Of the queens of France, many have held remarkably beautiful names, and like many queens, many of these names were repeated throughout the centuries.
If you’re looking for a regal, queenly-inspired name for your baby girl, here are eight beautiful choices:
1. Adelaide — Adelaide is a popular girl’s name in 2015, but it’s been around for centuries. Whether it was Adelaide of Paris or Adelaide of Aquitine, many of France’s queens bore the name, which is no surprise since it means “noble” or “nobility”.
2. Rozala — Rozala of Italy reigned as queen consort in France from 988-966. Upon her marriage to co-ruling King Robert of France, she took the name of Sussannah. While the meaning of Rozala isn’t entirely certain, it could be an early form and spelling of the name Rosalia which refers to “garlands of roses”. Sussannah is a more stylish form of the name Susan or Suzanne and means “lily”.
3. Bertrade — Bertrade de Montfort married King Philip I of France in what was a rather scandalous marriage at the time because both had living spouses. The King was said to be so enamored with Bertrade that he refused to leave her even after threatened with excommunication by the Pope. Bertrade might not sound like the most beautiful name, but its meaning is rich. Deemed an English name, Bertrade means “bright counselor.”
4. Isabelle, Isabella or Isabeau — The names Isabelle and Isabella have also made a comeback in recent years, however, Isabeau is a unique alternative similar to the two. In France, there was Isabelle of Hainaut, Isabella of Aragon, and Isabeau of Bavaria. Isabeau is the French variation of the Spanish Isabelle and Isabella, and all three names mean “pledged to God”.
5. Charlotte — Charlotte of Savoy was the second wife of King Louis XI, and was praised for the excellence of her personal library. The name Charlotte is the feminine diminutive of Charles and means “free man”.
6. Marie — The major historic figure, Marie Antoinette, known for her high glamour, lavish spending, and execution reigned in France from 1774-1792. Many French consorts—from Marie Josephine of Savoy to Marie Louise of Austria—were named Marie. Marie is the French variation of Mary which means “wished-for child”, “rebellion”, or “bitter”.
7. Josephine — Josephine de Beauharnais reigned in France from 1804-1810. She was the first wife of Napolean I and the first Empress of the French. Josephine is the feminine variation of Joseph and means “Jehovah increases.”
8. Emma — Another popular name today, Emma of France and Emma of Italy were two queen consorts who reigned from 923-934 and 965-986, respectively. Emma was the #2 baby name in 2013 and means “universal”.
These are just a few royal names of the queen consorts of France. If you’re looking for a queenly-inspired name, and have a love for the French culture, one of these names could be the perfect choice for your new baby princess.
By Holly M.