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Princess Madeleine of Sweden’s Baby Name Causes Surprise: Swedes React To Princess Leonore Lillian Maria, We Reveal The History Of The Name


Princess Leonore
(Photo : Facebook/Princess Madeleine of Sweden)

Princess Madeleine of Sweden caused surprise when the royal family announced that she had named her newborn daughter Princess Leonore Lillian Maria. Leonore is a very unusual name in Sweden and the princess shares her first name with only 35 other Swedes.

Royal Central writes that the name may have been chosen in homage to Ulrika Eleonora, Queen Regnant of Sweden from 1718 to 1720 and then Queen Consort until her death in 1741.

As we previously reported, the middle name Lillian was likely chosen to honor Princess Lilian, Princess Madeleine’s great-aunt who passed away in 2013 at the age of 97. Princess Lilian was popular amongst Swedes and, of course, her family loved her dearly as well. Princess Madeleine and her husband, American banker Chris O’Neill, sat front row at her funeral in March 2013.

Much of the discussion about the new baby has centered on how unusual her name is and how it fits her mulitcultural situation: Princess Madeleine, Chris O'Neill and baby Leonore live in New York.

"It's definitely something new," royal expert Roger Lundgren said after the announcement. "There aren't many Swedish girls called Leonore."

"It's cute and exciting," said Mistress of Robes Alice Trolle-Wachtmeister after the announcement. "Isn't it the trend in Sweden now to give unusual names Not everyone can be called Pelle and Lisa."

The Local talked with Swedes in Stockholm about the name to find out more opinions.

"Yes, why not. Leonore is a cool name with an edge that fits a world citizen," said Teresa Odu, 28, who works in the music industry.

"It's a little different than what you’d imagine. I would have guessed it would be Louise or Josephine, something traditional. But I think it's fine," said nurse Jaana Rostedt, 50.

“I thought Lilian was good, because that was the name of her great aunt but I think she should have had it as her first name. Leonore is so so, but it should work well in America too “ said Ulla Sandberg, 70.

“I cannot say that it is bad. It's OK, it's a nice name,” said Ulf Björkdahl, 67.

“It feels like a mixture of two names. I would been happy with something simple like Ellinor,” said Viktor Andersso, an 18-year-old student.

“It is really beautiful, it’s pretty. If [Madeleine] thinks it's pretty, then clearly that’s what she should be called.” said Per Svensson, 36, a lawyer.


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Reporter's Photo Mar 01, 2014 01:38 PM EST