Monday, March 3, 2014


NPG D9089; Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz 
Queen Charlotte (UK)

Charlotte ranked at #19 in 2012 (7418 girls given the name in 2012) with an expected rise for 2013. It has risen dramatically in recent years - for example, it was #289 in 2000. As the French feminine take on Charles, meaning "free man," Charlotte has been used in literature and media for years. Charlotte's Web will bring memories to mind, while many women today look to the character Charlotte from Sex in the City. There are nearly 100 variants and alternate spellings of this name, from Carla to Cheryl. Charlotta is a more rare and romance-language take on the name - it's been pretty much ignored since 2000 and was never given more than 22 times a year since records started being kept. Charleta, an even rarer variant, was only given to about 30 girls ever (in the U.S.).

Charlotte has been used since at least the 17th century. In the 19th century, Queen Charlotte made the name even more well known. She was the wife of King George III and they ruled over Great Britain and Ireland until the United Kingdom formed. They had fifteen children together, and one of her sons became Prince Regent. She was a patroness of the arts and had a green thumb, but she also founded orphanages and a hospital. She lived during the French Revolution and knew Marie Antionette, sharing a love of music and art.

There have been other Queen Charlotte's, including Charlotte of Cyprus, Charlotte of Spain, Charlotte of Savoy and Charlotte of Tona. Many princesses have had this name, as well as duchesses and archduchesses.

Charlotte Bronte is another well known namesake, writing classics (along with her sisters) such as Jane Eyre.

Nicknames can be Charlie, Lottie or Char. However, other variants can have different nicknames, such as Letty for Carletta, Leta for Charleta, Carly for Carla, etc.

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