Celebrity Names Blog

Will Chelsy Davy's Name Keep Her from Becoming a Princess?

Will Chelsy Davy's Name Keep Her from Becoming a Princess?
BARM/Fame Pictures

On TV last night we heard the opinion that Prince Harry is "the most desired husband in the world," his shirtless military hijinks and life-of-the-party vibe having propelled the tall red-haired younger brother past the future king as the most eligible of bachelors. Once he broke up with his girlfriend, that is. Unlike Kate Middleton, Harry's on-again off-again girlfriend wasn't marriage material. You could tell by her unsuitable name: Chelsy.

You know the advice: dress for the job you want. By all accounts, Kate Middleton has done this in spades, dressing like a prim Royal long before she was sure to become one, while Chelsy Davy has not. But there's a name version of the rule, too: name for the job you want your baby to have. (The baby name message-board version of this is dictum is Can you imagine that name on a doctor/lawyer/the President? ) To Royals and Royal-watchers, this means that names of princesses-to-be must be sufficiently "royal" as well as sufficiently "Christian."

In this regard, too, Kate Middleton came amply prepared. Notes the British Baby Name Blog, Kate has not just one sainted, queenly name, but two: Catherine Elizabeth. Her parents, covering all bases in case any of their kids should marry into the royal family, also gave her siblings all-royal names: Philippa Charlotte and James William.

Then there's Chelsy Davy. (Middle name: Yvonne.) It isn't just that she was born in Zimbabwe and is a notorious party girl; it's her name. Writes the Daily Beast:

The name Chelsea/Chelsy was intended originally to reflect the old-fashioned class and rich sophistication of the London district of Chelsea, but something, somewhere went horribly wrong. Now the name Chelsea--or even worse, 'Chelce'--is synonymous with the flash but low-rent tracksuit-toting, chain-smoking, welfare-check-cashing lifestyle usually referred to in the U.K. as 'chav culture.'

In other words, in the UK, Chelsea is kind of like Brooklyn or Astoria, a place name that turns some people off, and kind of like Diamond or Lexus, a luxury name that some see as resolutely downscale. And this declasse name has confirmed people's impression of Chelsy Davy: "Princess Chelsy? Even for the most forward-looking courtier, that might be a modernization too far." Chelsy Davy's name isn't just a name, it's a personality profile. And that personality is way too "trashy" to belong to a princess. (So the reports say.)

Do we have a different view of Chelsy's name here in the US? Name Enthusiasts might deduct points for deviation from the standard spelling, Chelsea, though perhaps judgement will reverse when we point out how Chelsy mashes up her parents' names, Charles and Beverley. And Chelsea is still a neighborhood in New York (next door to Hell's Kitchen, we believe), so it doesn't entirely lose its place name feel. 

But Chelsea is also the name of Chelsea Clinton, former First Daughter, whose marriage last year offered our homegrown version of a royal wedding, complete with frenzied speculation about the dress and hopped-up hoopla about The Wedding of Century. (Sorry, Chelsea, you have to give that sash to Kate now.) So we tend to think Chelsea sounds restrained and quite respectable.

On the other hand, there's Chelsea Handler, a comedian in the gossip headlines this week because on her show she got Gwenyth Paltrow to call her grandmother a "c***." So actually, we're not sure respectable is the exact right word.

Either way, Chelsy Davy can take heart: even The People's Princess also got teased for her name. At the time of her wedding, Diana was not seen as sufficiently royal or Christian. According to the British Baby Names blog, "Some suggested that, when queen, she should go by her middle name, Frances." Perhaps it is the challenge Chelsy Davy poses to just such upper-crust uptightness that led a reporter for The Observer to observe in 2007, "She may be the least likely royal bride Britain has ever seen, but she just might prove to make the better modern-day princess." And after all, she's invited to the wedding. As the date of the Most Desired Husband in the World.

What does Chelsea/Chelsy say to you? Could it work on a princess, or is it too "trashy"?

--L.R.

Comments

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April 28, 2011 5:13 PM
By Missy (not verified)

I don't think Chelsea is trashy, but Chelsy is. The bad spelling and combination with her last name makes it sound horrible. Chell-see Day-vee.

It's interesting how Brits view the name Chelsea though. I had no idea it had such a different impression. For those who don't hear it often, Chav is a word to describe white urban young people in the lower socioeconomic class who like brands, bling, and making babies.

April 28, 2011 6:15 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Chelsea is only trashy when misspelled. (see, this is why you can't use "creative" spellings, your child might one day be discussed on a blog as having an unfit royal name!)

April 28, 2011 6:34 PM
By Elsa (not verified)

I personally love Chelsea, and don't think of it as trashy or down-market at all. I think it is rather elegant, in fact.

However, that opinion changes when it is spelled Chelsy, Chelsi or Chelsey. Nothing ruins a name faster than a cutesy misspelling.

April 28, 2011 8:41 PM
By JB (not verified)

Interesting note from @babynamewizard on Twitter:
Kate would be the 6th Catherine married to a King of England. Oddly, all but 1 of the others married a Henry. #RoyalWedding

April 29, 2011 10:07 AM
By elleireland (not verified)

As I watched the wedding, I was struck by the beauty and appropriateness of the name Catherine Elizabeth.

Chelsy is a terrible name. If she does marry into the royal family, she should change her name to Charlotte. That's what her parents should have named her, after her father.

What a relief that Kate's name wasn't Ashley....or Megan.....or Carissa.....or Stacy.....or Lexi. Maybe she wouldn't have been princess, if it had been.

Stick with the classics, people. (Gwyneth, there's still time for a name-change for your daughter).

April 29, 2011 12:08 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I don't like the spelling, but Chelsea is a perfectly fine name and I imagine most people would get over it.

And Kate would have been just as beautiful a person if she had been named Megan, Ashley, etc.

May 2, 2011 7:29 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

While the spelling is strange and definately not royal, it is her behavior and worn out appearance that is most offensive, not her name.

May 3, 2011 11:58 AM
By Juanaquena (not verified)

Not keen on the name "Chelsy" for the name of a princess, but only time will tell regarding the popularity and sophistication of that given name. The public concept of given names changes over time. Just think about the name "Bertha," which was popular during the Victorian age.

May 3, 2011 12:13 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Then again, the Norwegian crownprincess (married into the family) is about as inappropriate as they come:

- unwed mother
- used drugs at parties
- father an alcoholic
- brother a convicted felon
- baby-daddy also a convicted felon
- and her name, Mette-Marit, is the equivalent to something like Bobbie Jean.

It caused huge waves when the prince decided to marry her, yet, she has done great!

May 3, 2011 12:23 PM
By Jennie

If you were looking for the Lauren Bush Lauren story, it is here: http://www.namecandy.com/celebrity-baby-names/blog/2011/04/26/lauren-lauren-10-ways-bushs-married-name-dreams-could-come-true

May 3, 2011 12:27 PM
By Elisabeth (not verified)

I'm personally not a fan of Chelsy/Chelsea, precisely because of its chavvy vibe (although I'm Canadian, my extended family is English, so I have a very clear picture of the chav culture). However, should Chelsy Davy become princess, there are ways around the name problem. They could simply call her something else. Queen Elizabeth's father, King George VI, was actually named Albert (anyone who has seen The King's Speech will know this!), but they decided "King Albert" sounded too German, considering what was going on politically in Europe at the time of his accession. So they grabbed one of his middle names instead, and went with that. Why not do that for Chelsy?

May 3, 2011 1:05 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

"Trashy," really? What a mean, classist little article. Just because other sources are insultingly snobby doesn't mean Name Candy has to follow suit. I'm really disappointed.

May 3, 2011 1:41 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I like the name Chelsea, but despise names with "creative" spellings. However--knowing the name's association in England would deter me from ever using it....and I will think of it any time I hear the name from now on!

May 3, 2011 1:42 PM
By Azure (not verified)

I do think this article is bit cruel to all the Chelseas out there.

May 3, 2011 1:48 PM
By Jiminy (not verified)

But then Queen Elizabeth's new great-grandchild is named Savannah, which is far from a typical "royal" name.

May 3, 2011 6:08 PM
By jennie w. (not verified)

The name Chelsy is tacky. "Princess Chelsy"??? Sounds like a Bratz doll.

May 4, 2011 12:48 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I was under the inpression that Kate was born Kate Elizabeth, and had it legally changed to Catherine. I could be wrong, but it sets precedence if Chelsey does marry Harry.

May 6, 2011 9:08 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

You may be thinking of Kate Elizabeth Winslet.

I think this is only offensive to other Chelsys... offensive in that it's accurate: their names are trashy. Chelseas are safe.

May 9, 2011 2:02 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Chelsy is a bad spelling for Chelsea in my mind, but it does have a visual balance if you write it in cursive- that is a plus to my mind. If you just listen to the name it doesn't sound particularly bad or good, so nothing to worry about there. Paired with her last name, it is a little upsetting, but that would change when she got married to Prince Harry, who is actually Henry Charles, whatever whatever Wales. Chelsy Yvonne Wales actually has a nice ring to it, if the spelling is off- she might be able to change the spelling of her name without the sound and be alright. To be perfectly honest, Harry has a reputation for partying, so it would make sense that the woman he falls in love with does too. Just saying.

June 20, 2012 1:40 PM
By Incredible Discoveries (not verified)

It really made me think after I read your thought about the statement that there's a name version of the rule: name for the job you want your baby to have. Is that for real?

December 4, 2012 9:31 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

@Casey Smith- you mean besides hundreds upon hundreds of years of tradition? Royals stick with the classics for a reason- they're always classy, they don't ever sound "dated", and you avoid the whole cutesy "misspelling" of names. That is never cute. Just like in America, certain names create certain images- the name Chelsea is not exactly classic, but common enough to be acceptable, but the misspelling with the "y" on the end drives it straight into chav territory. Chav= tacky, low-brow and low-bred, with a propensity for fake tans, extensions, velour track suits and the like- Jordan (Katie Price) is a great example of this.
A name is everything, people. Maybe don't reach as far as royalty, because lets be honest, if you marry royal, you give up any sense of privacy you may have ever had for a full time job as a voiceless mannequin- but appropriate enough to get a good job or one they won't have to change because of bullying or comparisons to strippers is a good start.
I also have to agree that while Chelsy's name is like nails on a blackboard, her worn out appearance and wild-child ways are far more offensive. If you want a career, then focus on your career and not your fake orange tan, and start dressing appropriately for public and royal functions should you be invited. If you don't want to marry royal, then stop wasting Harry's time, and yours. Put your (daddy's) money where your mouth is and stop faffing about. You're a grown-a$$ woman, start acting like it and stop acting like a spoiled little rich girl.

September 26, 2017 3:55 AM
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