The Queen's great-granddaughter gets a royal middle name

The royal family has expanded in recent months, with the birth of little Prince Louis and the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, but the tiny prince and the very recently crowned Duchess are not the newest members of the royal family.

Prince Louis lost his spot as the youngest royal on June 18 when Zara Tindall, the Queen's eldest granddaughter, gave birth to a daughter.

Royal watchers have been eagerly waiting to hear what Zara (who is not only a royal, but an Olympic silver medalist as an equestrian) and her husband, former rugby player Mike Tindall, have named their second child, and on Wednesday the news was finally announced.

The Queen's new great-grandchild is called Lena Elizabeth Tindall. But it's not pronounced like Lena Dunham, it's pronounced "Lay-na" according to proud father Mike Tindall. He settled the matter on Twitter after royal correspondent for Hello!, Emily Nash broke the baby name news.

Little Lena shares her middle name with her great-grandmother the Queen, as well as with her mother, whose full name is Zara Anne Elizabeth, after her mother, Princess Anne, and her grandmother the Queen.

Lena may seem like an untraditional choice for a family with such recent royal roots, but the short, moden name goes well beside her sister's. The Tindalls welcomed their first daughter, Mia Grace, on January 17, 2014. Her dad couldn't help making a joke about her simple name today after Twitter erupted in confusion about how to pronounce her sister's.

So if Tindall is, like Harry and William, the Queen's grandchild, why are her daughters not little princesses? Well, the title of princess is not inherited, and Tindall herself is not one, at her mother's choosing. Because William and Harry were born to the Queen's son, Charles, they got titles automatically, but in Tindall's case, because she was the Queen's descendant through a daughter, Princess Anne, the title of princess was a matter of courtesy, not automatic.

The Queen offered Princess Anne titles for both Tindall and her brother, Peter, but Anne didn't want her children to be called prince and princess.

In a 2015 interview Tindall explained that she was glad her parents didn't take the queen up on her offer, as royal titles can be a heavy burden on a child. "I'm very lucky that both my parents decided to not use the title and we grew up and did all the things that gave us the opportunity to do," Tindall told The TImes.


Lena may not have a royal title, but she may have the title of trendsetter if her name becomes popular. The name Lena did not chart in the 100 for the most recent ranking of baby names in England and Wales by the Office of National Statistics, and it is ranked down in the 304 spot stateside. Thanks to the Tindalls though, those numbers could climb.

Congrats to the happy family and little Lena.

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