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Royal newlywed tour inspires Alberta baby names in 2011

There will be no shortage of royalty in Alberta playschools a few years from now.

Eight Princes. Six Princesses. And one Princewill.

Also a Queen, a Lady, a Duke and a Lord.

Vital statistics for 2011 show the royal visit by William and his bride Kate inspired a lot of baby names in the province.

Many were monarchy-related monikers such as Sovereign, Reign and Royal for girls, and Dominion and King for boys.

There were also some regal tags extending beyond the British Royal Family such as Mirza, Emir, Kaiser, Malik and Sultan.

Enough newborns were christened William and Kate to move those names up on the most-popular list.

One little girl was even named Pippa, presumably after Kate’s younger sister, Pippa Middleton, who made a fashion splash as a bridesmaid at the royal wedding.

Will and Kate visited Alberta in July as part of a cross-Canada tour. They made an unscheduled visit to Slave Lake to bolster the town’s spirit after a devastating fire, spent some private time at a lodge near Lake Louise and took in the hoopla at the Calgary Stampede.

“I think they really connected with Albertans, so we see Albertans have chosen a lot of Williams and Kates, and they’ve also chosen names that are related to the monarchy,” said Manmeet Bhullar, minister of Service Alberta, which administers vital statistics.

But there’s more at play, Bhullar suggested.

“I think there’s always excitement about newlywed couples for starters. And the coverage their wedding had and the fairy-tale life that most people believe they get to live is something that I think all parents wish their children get to enjoy at some point in their lives,” he said.

“All parents would wish that their children get to live as a prince or a princess.”

Perennial top-finishers Olivia and Liam were still the overall favourites, however.

Rounding out the Top 10 for girls were Sophia, Emma, Emily, Ava, Chloe, Abigail, Lily, Brooklyn and Sophie.

Following behind Liam were Ethan, Mason, Lucas, Jacob, Benjamin, Alexander, Noah, William and Logan.

Preliminary figures show that 50,592 babies were born in Alberta in 2011 — just 10 less than in 2010 and 906 fewer than 2009’s record-breaking number.