French Parents Aren't Allowed to Name Their Babies After Prince William

It may be a free and liberated country, but France has zero tolerance when it comes to naming your child after a monarch. Parents are not allowed to name their baby "Prince William" in France — but the reason has nothing to do with insulting the future king.


French officials reportedly got involved when they learned parents in southern France wanted to name their son "Prince William" and their daughter "Mini Cooper." Both monikers were rejected on the basis that officials fear they will lead to the children being bullied for their unusual names. The names haven't officially been banned, but the deputy prosecutor is calling on court judges to make them illegal "in the interests of the child."

Apparently, names are a huge deal in France. In 1993, a change was made to the law, allowing parents to name their children almost anything they wanted — prior to that, they actually had to select names from a list of "acceptable" suggestions. Some parents have gotten quite creative — and, as a result, names like Nutella, Manhattan, MJ (short for Michael Jackson), and Fraise (which means strawberry) have been deemed unacceptable, even after parents protested to keep them.

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I think it's odd for a government to dictate what you can and cannot name your child, but I have to admit: I think it's just as strange to want to name your baby Prince William. There's only one real Prince William — why wouldn't you give your child his own identity? All anyone is going to say when you introduce yourself as "Prince William" is: "Uh, you, sir, are not Prince William."

Maybe France is doing this child a favor. As for his disgruntled parents: They could always try their luck with "King William" and see if it flies. By the time their son is 20, chances are the "Prince" in "Prince William" will no longer apply.


Image via James Whatling/Splash News

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