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Kate 'to become popular baby name'

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The royal wedding could see more newborns named after Kate Middleton next year, a report says

The name of royal bride-to-be Kate Middleton is expected to become one of the most popular ones for newborn girls in 2011, according to research.

Thousands more baby girls are due to be christened after Prince William’s fiancee, or something very close, repeating the trend seen following past royal weddings.

The number of babies with a derivative of the name Kate – Cate, Catherine, the fiancee’s full name, Katie and Katy, totalled 2,466 in 2009.

If this number doubles as predicted to 4,932 in 2011 it would come second, if last year’s figures for England and Wales remain static, behind the top name of Olivia (5,201) and ahead of third place Ruby (4,555).

The family history website Ancestry.co.uk has mapped the popularity of names in the year of royal nuptials from millions of birth records.

The data reveals that when William’s mother Lady Diana Spencer married his father the Prince of Wales in 1981 the popularity of her name doubled from 36 to 72.

A spokesman for the Ancestry website said: “This may not sound a lot at first glance, but to use a recent example, in 2009 there were around 313,000 births of baby girls and 5,556 different girls names registered, so there are actually much fewer girls born with each name than you’d think.

“The most popular names always dominate the name count, usually with a birth count of 4,000 to 5,000-plus.”

The effect royal brides have on naming trends can be seen in the years when the Queen Mother and the Queen both walked down the aisle.

In 1923 when the Queen Mother married George VI, an additional 846 Elizabeths were born, a 14% increase compared with the previous year, and when the present monarch wed the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947 there were a further 124 Elizabeths that year compared with 1946, up 10%.

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