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100 Famous Royal Last Names: From Across the World

Bow down to the best royal last names, including the most recognizable to the lesser-known throughout history.

We can’t get enough of the various royal families in the world, no matter where they’re based. Royal last names are no different since they hold information about each noble family tree. There are so many royal lineages globally that you may miss out on many of the most interesting ones.

Grab your tiara while we look into 100 of the most intriguing royal surnames. You’ll discover facts about where these iconic family names originated, their proper pronunciations, and their popularity.

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100 Beautiful Royal Last Names

Take a seat on the throne and find your favorites among royal last names throughout history.


Abdulaziz is made up of the Arabic “aziz,” meaning “exalted,” and “abdul,” meaning “servant.” It often appears as Azīz and is the current surname of the Saudi Arabian royal family.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Servant of the giver
  • Pronunciation: Aab-DUWL-ah-Zeez
  • Variations: Abd al-Aziz
  • Namesakes: Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia from January to April 2015. Salman bin Abdulaziz, the prime minister of Saudi Arabia from 2015 to 2022.
  • Popularity: Abdulaziz is rare worldwide, mostly used in Egypt, and ranked 64th in Saudi Arabia in 2014.
Old, Current


Agilofings is one of the more difficult royal family names to pronounce. It’s the name of a German noble family ruling the Duchy of Bavaria from 550 until 788. Either Agilolfings is extinct today or simply has no popularity statistics.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Bavarian noble family
  • Pronunciation: Ah-gih-LAUL-fihngs
  • Variations: Agilofing
Rare, Unusual


Alawo means “born into royalty” in Nigerian Yoruba and often appears as Alawi. It might link to Alawi, the surname for the Moroccan royal dynasty.

  • Origin: Nigerian, Yoruba
  • Meaning: Born into royalty
  • Pronunciation: Aa-laa-WOH
  • Variations: Alawi
  • Popularity: Alawo is very rare worldwide and mostly used in Nigeria.
Strong, Uncommon

Al Hashim

Al Hashim denotes a member of the Arabic Banu Hashim clan. It means “crusher” and “breaker” in Arabic as the nickname of Mmohammed’s great-grandfather. He was named Al Hashim because he used to crumble bread and give it to Islamic pilgrims.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Crusher
  • Pronunciation: Ahl-haa-SHEEM
  • Variations: Al Hashimi
  • Popularity: Al Hashim is rare worldwide and mainly used in Lebanon, where it ranked 289th in 2014.
Strong, Unique

Al Maktoum

The House of Maktoum ruled the Emirate of Dubai, representing six ruling families of the United Arab Emirates. They are one of the branches of the Bani Yas clan, and Maktoum means “the one who establishes or consolidates.”

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: The establishing one
  • Pronunciation: Ahl-maak-TUUM
  • Variations: Maktoum
  • Namesakes: Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai from 1990 to 2006.
  • Popularity: Al Maktoum is very rare worldwide and primarily used in Saudi Arabia.
Unique, Rare


The Alpin royal family dates back to the Scottish clans of Dalriada. Alpin is the name of seven Scottish clans derived from Alpin, the first King of Scots. The seven clans’s last name often refers to those living in the mountains.

  • Origin: Scottish
  • Meaning: Son of the blond one
  • Pronunciation: AHL-pihn
  • Variations: Alpine
  • Namesakes: Alpín, son of Uuroid, king of the Picts from 775 until 778.
  • Popularity: Alpin is very rare worldwide, mainly used in Indonesia, and ranked 1,941st in Guyana in 2014.
Nicknames, Patronymic


The French royal house of Arlay is part of the House of Ivrea, founded by John I. Meaning “meadow,” it’s also the name of a commune in eastern France.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Meadow
  • Pronunciation: Ahr-LAEY
  • Variations: Arley
  • Popularity: Arlay is extremely rare worldwide, with 132 known occurrences in 2014, primarily in the Philippines.
Unique, Rare


The Artois family is descended from King Louis VIII and has been using the surname since the mid-13th century. It means “bear” in Breton-French and is the name of an area in northern France.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: Ar-TWAA
  • Variations: D’Artois, De Artois
  • Popularity: Artois is very rare worldwide, mostly used in Belgium, and ranked 194th in Saint Pierre and Miquelon in 2014.
Strong, Uncommon


Augustenburg is the royal-sounding “A” surname for a part of the German Oldenburg house. They have also ruled in Norway, Russia, and Denmark. Their surname derives from Augustus, meaning “esteemed” in Latin.

  • Origin: German, Latin
  • Meaning: Esteemed
  • Pronunciation: Aw-GUHS-stehn-Behrg
  • Variations: Augustenborg
  • Popularity: Augustenburg is extremely rare worldwide, with just three known occurrences in 2014, in the U.S.
  • Namesakes: Christian August II, Duke of Augustenburg, a 19th-century Danish/German prince of Schleswig and Holstein.
Long, Unusual


Baldwins is more commonly recognized for the Hollywood Baldwin family today than royals throughout history. It’s composed of the German “bald,” meaning “bold,” and “wine,” meaning “friend.” Baldwins also appeared in England and Ireland for various nobles.

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: Brave friend
  • Pronunciation: BAALD-wihns
  • Variations: Baldwin
  • Popularity: Baldwins is extremely rare worldwide, with just three known occurrences in 2014, in Australia, the Dominican Republic, and the U.S.
Nicknames, Rare
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Banfi is the name for a Croatian commune inspired by the Banfi noble family. They ruled nearby the Croatian-Slovenian border during the 17th-century, while Banfi derives from the Croatian “banffy,” meaning “hills.”

  • Origin: Croatian, Italian
  • Meaning: Hills
  • Pronunciation: BAAN-fiy
  • Namesakes: Emilio Banfi, an Italian track and field athlete who competed at the 1900 Summer Olympics. Karina Banfi, the Argentine National Deputy since 2015.
  • Popularity: Banfi is rare worldwide and mainly used in Italy, ranking 801st in 2014.
Unique, Old


Though considered English, Barclay is made up of the French “beau,” meaning “beautiful,” and “leigh,” meaning “meadow.” It dates back to Roger de Berchelai, who arrived in England with William the Conqueror in 1066. Barclay also refers to someone “from Berkeley” in Gloucestershire, England.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Beautiful meadow
  • Pronunciation: BAAR-Klee
  • Variations: Barclaye
  • Namesakes: Liz Barclay, a Northern Irish broadcaster for the BBC. Edwin Barclay, the 18th president of Liberia from 1930 until 1944.
  • Popularity: Barclay is rare worldwide, primarily used in the U.S., and ranked 132nd in Liberia in 2014.
Geographical, Common


Berenguer is one of the most unusual-sounding royal last names and dates back to the Middle Ages. The Berenguer family were nobles in France, Germany, and Italy. Berenguer means “bear” in German but originally appeared as the Latin Berengarius.

  • Origin: French, German
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: BEH-rehn-Gehr
  • Variations: Berengueras
  • Namesakes: Casimiro Berenguer, a Puerto Rican nationalist with the Cadets of the Republic. Dámaso Berenguer, the prime minister of Spain from 1930 to 1931.
  • Popularity: Berenguer is rare worldwide and mostly used in Spain, where it ranked 630th in 2014.
Traditional, Uncommon


The House of Bolkiah is the royal family of Brunei Darussalam, descended from Sultan Muhammad Shah. He was also known as “Nakhoda Ragam,” meaning “singing captain” in Malay.

  • Origin: Malay
  • Meaning: Sultan of Brunei
  • Pronunciation: BOHL-kee-Ah
  • Namesakes: Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei since 1967 and the prime minister of Brunei since 1984. Jefri Bolkiah, a Brunei royal and finance minister from 1986 to 1997.
  • Popularity: Bolkiah is extremely rare worldwide, with 168 known occurrences in 2014, mainly in Indonesia.
Unusual, Rare


Borghese comes from the French “bourgeois,” meaning “free man.” It’s known for the noble Italian family prominent in Italy from the 16th- to 19th-centuries.

  • Origin: Italian, French
  • Meaning: Free man
  • Pronunciation: Bohr-GEH-see
  • Variations: Borgesio
  • Namesakes: Lorenzo Borghese, an Italian-American businessman appearing on the ninth season of The Bachelor. Scipione Borghese, an Italian aristocrat and winner of the 1907 Peking to Paris race.
  • Popularity: Borghese is very rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy.
Old, Uncommon


The French Bourbon dynasty ruled from the 16th- to 18th-centuries as descendents of King Louis IX of France. It’s the name of a French village in Allier, plus other locations named Le Bourbon in the south of France.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Of Bourbon, France
  • Pronunciation: BUHR-bann
  • Variations: De Bourbon
  • Popularity: Bourbon is rare worldwide and primarily used in France, ranking 964th in 2014.
Geographical, Famous


Bruce is the surname of a Scottish royal family with French origins and was the name of two kings of Scotland. It’s associated with Bruis or Brix, the location of a Norman castle in France, and means “of Braose.”

  • Origin: Scottish
  • Meaning: Of Braose
  • Pronunciation: BRUWS
  • Variations: Bruis
  • Namesakes: Jack Bruce, a Scottish musician and member of the rock band Cream. Ken Bruce, a Scottish radio presenter with BBC Radio 2.
  • Popularity: Bruce is rare worldwide, mainly used in the U.S., and ranked 77th in Scotland in 2014.
Geographical, Old


The House of Burgundy ruled France from the 10th- to 15th-centuries when their rule ended with Philip de Burgundy. Other than a deep red color, Burgundy is the name of a province in east France.

  • Origin: French, Latin
  • Meaning: Dark red
  • Pronunciation: BUUR-guhn-Dee
  • Variations: Bourgogne
  • Namesakes: Anton Eshon Hairston (known as Eshon Burgundy), an American Christian hip-hop musician known for the 2012 album Blood Rushing to My Head.
  • Popularity: Burgundy is extremely rare worldwide, with 84 known occurrences in 2014, primarily in England.
Rare, Unique


Like many royal surnames, Byron is topological and means “of Byram” in Yorkshire. Other meanings include “at the byres” or “place by the cowsheds,” referring to a cowherd. Byron is most famous for Lord Byron, the English nobleman and poet.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: At the cowsheds
  • Pronunciation: BAEY-ruhn
  • Namesakes: Fergal Byron, an Irish Gaelic footballer for Laois. William D. Byron, U.S. Congressman for Maryland from 1939 to 1941.
  • Popularity: Byron is rare worldwide, mostly used in the U.S., and ranked 618th in Trinidad and Tobago in 2014.
Traditional, Geographical


Cambridge originally described those living near “the river Cam,” which became the name for Cambridge, England. Prince William’s children use the surname Cambridge since one of his titles is Duke of Cambridge.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Of Cambridge
  • Pronunciation: KAEYM-Brihj
  • Namesakes: Asuka Cambridge, a Jamaican-Japanese track and field sprinter and silver medalist at the 2016 Olympic Games. Alyson Cambridge, an American opera singer who won the Régine Crespin Award at the 2008 Elardo International Opera Competition.
  • Popularity: Cambridge is rare worldwide, mainly used in the U.S., and ranked 287th in the Bahamas in 2014.
Current, Famous
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Carafa originated in the Italian town of Naples. It’s based on the Italian “caraffa,” meaning “carafe” or “jug,” and may be an occupational name.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Carafe jug
  • Pronunciation: Kaa-RAA-fah
  • Variations: Caraffa
  • Namesakes: Tony Carafa, an Australian rules footballer for the Fitzroy Football Club.
  • Popularity: Carafa is very rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy.
Rare, Old


The Carolingian dynasty was a Frankish noble family named after Charlemagne, also known as “Charles the Great.” Its root can be found in Carolus, the Latin version of Charles.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Descendents of Charles
  • Pronunciation: Kaa-rah-LIHN-gee-Ahn
  • Variations: Carlovingians
  • Popularity: Carolingian is extremely rare worldwide, with just one known occurrence in 2014 in the U.S.
Patronymic, Rare


Charlemagne is probably the best-known royal ruler on our list of royal family names. It means “Charles the Great” for the Frankish king and holy Roman emperor.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Charles the Great
  • Pronunciation: SHAAR-leh-Maeyn
  • Popularity: Charlemagne is rare worldwide, primarily used in Ethiopia, and ranked 34th in Saint Lucia in 2014.
Famous, Strong


Cobenzl is named after a noble family in Carinthia, Austria, who influenced modern-day Slovenia. They date back to the 13th-century, but few are named Cobenzl these days.

  • Origin: German, Austrian
  • Meaning: Austrian noble family
  • Pronunciation: Kow-BEHN-zuhl
  • Variations: von Cobenzl
  • Popularity: Cobenzl is extremely rare worldwide, with 31 known occurrences in 2014 in Croatia.
Unusual, Rare


Cromwell can refer to someone “of Cromwell” in Nottinghamshire, England. It’s best known for Oliver Cromwell and is composed of the Old English “crumb,” meaning “bent,” and “well,” meaning “spring.”

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Crooked stream
  • Pronunciation: KRAAM-wehl
  • Namesakes: Oliver Cromwell, the English Lord Protector from 1653 to 1658. Townsend Cromwell, an American oceanographer who discovered the Cromwell current in the Pacific Ocean.
  • Popularity: Cromwell is rare worldwide, mainly used in the U.S., and ranked 1,652nd in Ghana in 2014.
Famous, Geographical


Dassanowsky is the name for Polish royals who ruled in Vienna, Austria, in the 17th-century. It’s also the name of a village but is so rare that Dassanowsky’s popularity is uncharted.

  • Origin: Polish
  • Meaning: Village name
  • Pronunciation: DAAS-ah-Noh-skee
  • Variations: Dassanofsky, Dassanovsky
  • Namesakes: Leopold Dassanowsky, the Polish Director of the Imperial Court Postal Service in the 18th-century.
Traditional, Rare


Dlamini is the name of an African clan in South Africa and Eswatini. Its first namesake was Dlamini I, also known as Matalatala, who moved from the Great Lakes Region of East Africa. Dlamini also ranked number one in Swaziland in 2014.

  • Origin: African, Bantu
  • Meaning: African clan name
  • Pronunciation: Dlaa-MEEN-iy
  • Variations: Dhlamini
  • Namesakes: Sindiswa Dlamini, a Swazi beauty pageant contestant crowned Miss Cultural Heritage 2016/2017. Sotsha Dlamini, the Prime Minister of Swaziland from 1986 to 1989.
  • Popularity: Dlamini ranked 900th worldwide and is primarily used in South Africa, ranking number one in 2014.
Popular, Traditional


The Greek “doukas” and Latin “dux” mean “leader” and “general.” The House of Doukas was a Byzantine Greek noble family ruling during the medieval era.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Leader
  • Pronunciation: DOO-kaas
  • Variations: Dukas
  • Namesakes: Ektor Doukas, a Greek painter of the Munich School known for impressionism. Doukas, a Byzantine Greek historian under Constantine XI Palaiologos.
  • Popularity: Doukas is rare worldwide and primarily used in Greece, where it ranked 233rd in 2014.
Strong, Unique


Ernušt is the surname of Hungarian-Jewish nobles originally from Vienna who also ruled in the Kingdom of Croatia in the 16th-century. Ernušt means both “diligent” and “hardworking.”

  • Origin: Hungarian
  • Meaning: Hardworking
  • Pronunciation: EHR-Noost
  • Variations: Ernst
  • Popularity: Ernušt is extremely rare worldwide, with just three known occurrences in 2014 in Canada, Indonesia, and Pakistan.
Rare, Nicknames


The House of Estridsen consists of multiple kings of Denmark ruling from 1047 to 1412 and is named after Estrid Svendsdatter. The same royal family includes three rulers in Sweden and one in Norway.

  • Origin: Norse
  • Meaning: Divine beauty
  • Pronunciation: Ehs-TRIHD-sehn
  • Popularity: Estridsen is extremely rare worldwide, with just one known occurrence in 2014, in Norway.
Beautiful, Rare
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Ferdinand is associated with a Visigothic given name, made up of “farthu,” meaning “journey,” and “nanths,” meaning “brave.” It’s best known for Franz Ferdinand, the Duke of Austria, whose assassination helped usher in World War I.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Brave
  • Pronunciation: FEHR-dih-Naand
  • Variations: Ferdinande, Ferdinnande
  • Namesakes: Kane Ferdinand, an Irish footballer for Maidenhead United. Rio Ferdinand, an English footballer and TV commentator for TNT Sports.
  • Popularity: Ferdinand is rare worldwide and mainly used in Chad, ranking 71st in 2014.
Famous, Common


Fouad is based on the Arabic “fū’ād,” meaning “heart,” but also relates to “mind and spirit.” It’s most recognized as the name of two kings of Egypt.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Heart
  • Pronunciation: FUW-Ahd
  • Variations: Fuad
  • Namesakes: Hala Fouad, an Egyptian actress known for The Barefoot Millionaire (1987). Yasmine Fouad, the Egyptian Minister of Environment since 2018.
  • Popularity: Fouad ranked 1,880th worldwide and is primarily used in Egypt, where it ranked 40th in 2014.
Beautiful, Common


The Grimaldi family comes from 12th-century Genoa, Italy, and is the current royal family of Monaco. Grimaldi means “bold” or “brave” for those sharing its royal blood. The current head of the family is Albert II, Prince of Monaco.

  • Origin: Italian, German
  • Meaning: Bold
  • Pronunciation: Grih-MAAL-diy
  • Variations: Grimaldo
  • Namesakes: Martina Grimaldi, an Italian distance swimmer and bronze medalist at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Dan Grimaldi, an American actor appearing on the TV series The Sopranos.
  • Popularity: Grimaldi is rare worldwide and is mostly used in Italy, ranking 142nd in 2014.
Strong, Unique


Grosvenor traces back to Hugh Le Grand Veneur, whose Norman-French family assisted William the Conqueror in 1066. It means “great hunter” and relates to the Latin “venator,” meaning “hunter.”

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Master huntsman
  • Pronunciation: GROWV-nehr
  • Variations: Gravener
  • Namesakes: Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor, the first full-time editor of National Geographic magazine from 1899 to 1954. Catherine Grosvenor, a Scottish playwright known for the 2008 play Cherry Blossom.
  • Popularity: Grosvenor is rare worldwide, mainly used in the U.S., and ranked 302nd in Barbados in 2014.
Strong, Unusual


Gusić is linked to the Slavic “guska,” meaning “goose.” It’s the name of one of 12 noble tribes of the Kingdom of Croatia that originated in the 11th-century.

  • Origin: Croatian, Slavic
  • Meaning: Goose
  • Pronunciation: GUW-Sich
  • Variations: Gušić
  • Namesakes: Ivan Gušić, a Croatian geologist and member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts since 1999. Dora Gušić, a Croatian pianist and recipient of the 1980 Vladimir Nazor Life Achievement Award.
  • Popularity: Gusić is very rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S.
Unusual, Unique


Gustav is composed of the Old Norse “gutar,” meaning “goths,” and “stafr,” meaning “staff.” Eight Swedish kings have been named by some version of Gustav, from the 16th-century Gustav Vasa, to the current Carl XVI Gustaf.

  • Origin: Swedish
  • Meaning: Staff of the Geats (or Goths)
  • Pronunciation: GUW-Staav
  • Variations: Gustave, Gustaf
  • Popularity: Gustav is very rare worldwide and mostly used in Ghana.
Famous, Rare


Radbot of Klettgau is the first member of the famous Habsburg royal family from the 10th-century. Its most famous site is the Habsburg Castle in Switzerland, also called “Hawk’s Castle.”

  • Origin: Swiss
  • Meaning: Hawk’s castle
  • Pronunciation: HAABS-behrg
  • Variations: Von Habsburg
  • Popularity: Habsburg is extremely rare worldwide with 110 known occurrences in 2014 when it ranked 1,439th in Liechtenstein.
Geographical, Rare


Hardrada goes back to Harald Sigurdsson, the 11th-century king of Norway. He was given the title “hardrada,” meaning “hard ruler” in Norwegian. Hardrada is super rare today, with no information on popularity available.

  • Origin: Norse
  • Meaning: Stern counsel
  • Pronunciation: Haar-DRAA-dah
Strong, Rare


Harviala represents more than one Finnish noble landowner based in the province of Vanaja. Harviala village is near the Hiidenjoki River in Finland.

  • Origin: Finnish
  • Meaning: Finnish royal clan
  • Pronunciation: Haar-vih-AH-laa
  • Popularity: Harviala is extremely rare worldwide, with 25 known occurrences in 2014, in Finland.
Geographical, Rare


Henikstein is the surname for Jewish merchants who converted to Catholicism and became Austrian nobility. “Henik” means “brilliant” in German, while “stein” means “stone.”

  • Origin: Jewish-Austrian
  • Meaning: Brilliant stone
  • Pronunciation: HEH-nik-Staeyn
  • Variations: von Henikstein
Unique, Rare
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Herbert relates to St. Haribert, the archbishop of Cologne in 1,000. It’s also a given name composed of the Germanic “heri,” meaning “army,” and “berht,” meaning “bright.”

  • Origin: French, German
  • Meaning: Son of Herbert
  • Pronunciation: HUHR-buhrt
  • Namesakes: Brian Herbert, an American writer known for Man of Two Worlds (1986). Leon Herbert, an English actor known for Batman (1989).
  • Popularity: Herbert is rare worldwide, mainly used in the U.S., and ranked 304th in New Zealand in 2014.
Patronymic, Common


The Hohenstaufen noble family ruled within the Holy Roman Empire from 1138 until 1254. It was used during the 14th-century to describe a “hohen” (high) hill called Staufen in the German town of Göppingen. “Staufen” means “chalice” and eventually replaced the longer Hohenstaufen, which has no known occurrences.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: High chalice
  • Pronunciation: Hoh-ehn-STAUW-fehn
  • Variations: Staufen
Long, Rare


Horn refers to “the son of Horn,” also an old personal name. It was an occupational name for someone who “carved objects” and represented members of the Finnish monarchy from the 1300s through the 1800s.

  • Origin: Finnish, English
  • Meaning: Son of Horn
  • Variations: Horne
  • Namesakes: Andrew Horn, an American producer and winner of the 2004 Teddy Award for The Nomi Song. Gyula Horn, the Prime Minister of Hungary from 1994 to 1998.
  • Popularity: Horn is rare worldwide, primarily used in the U.S., and ranked 89th in Germany in 2014.
Patronymic, Common


Howard is linked to the German Hugihard, meaning “heart-brave” or “chief guardian.” It has also appeared in Old English as Hayward and Hereward, including the Duke of Norfolk.

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: High defender
  • Pronunciation: HAU-Wuhrd
  • Variations: Harward
  • Namesakes: Traylor Howard, an American actress appearing on the series Monk. Daniel Edward Howard, the 16th president of Liberia, who served from 1912 to 1920.
  • Popularity: Howard ranked 1,179th worldwide and is mostly used in the U.S., ranking 70th in 2014.
Traditional, Common


The House of Kantakouzenos was a Greek noble family ruling over parts of the ancient Byzantine Empire. Their family included two Byzantine emperors, though Kantakouzenos doesn’t have a specific meaning.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Byzantine royal family
  • Pronunciation: KAAN-taa-KOUW-zeh-Nows
  • Variations: Kantakouzene
  • Namesakes: Demetrios I Kantakouzenos, a Byzantine governor of the Morea in 1343. Thomas Kantakouzenos, a 15th-century Byzantine-Serbian general who served Despot Đurađ Branković.
Long, Old


King derives from the Old English “cyning,” meaning “tribal leader.” It refers to the title of “king” and was a nickname for those playing a king in a pageant. King was even used for someone acting regal or working in a royal household.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: The king
  • Namesakes: Larry King, an American TV host and winner of 10 Cable ACE Awards. Stephen King, an American horror author who has sold 350 million copies.
  • Popularity: King ranked 592nd worldwide, is mainly used in the U.S., and ranked 18th in Australia in 2014.
Nicknames, Popular


The House of Knýtlinga ruled over Denmark and England in the Middle Ages. The most famous Knýtlinga was Cnut the Great, but is so rare as a surname that it seems extinct today.

  • Origin: Scandinavian
  • Meaning: House of Cnut’s Descendants
  • Pronunciation: KNEET-lihng-Gaa
Patronymic, Rare


Komnenos dates back to the Komne village in Thrace, known as the “fields of Komnene.” The Komnenos family ruled during the Byzantine Empire from 1081 to 1185, and its earliest leader was Manuel Erotikos Komnenos.

  • Origin: Greek-Byzantine
  • Meaning: Fields of Komnene
  • Pronunciation: Kohm-NIY-nohs
  • Variations: Comnenus
  • Namesakes: Isaac Doukas Komnenos, the ruler of Cyprus from 1184 to 1191. Alexios II Komnenos, the Byzantine emperor from 1180 to 1183.
  • Popularity: Komnenos is extremely rare worldwide, with just four known occurrences in 2014 in the U.S.
Old, Geographical


Kulinić refers to Kulin, the Byzantine ruler of Bosnia from 1180 to 1204. The House of Kulinic then passed to his son, Stephen Kulinic. The meaning of Kulinić is unknown, and it’s hardly used today.

  • Origin: Bosnian
  • Meaning: Unknown
  • Pronunciation: KUW-lih-Nitch
  • Variations: Kulinich, Kulynych
  • Namesakes: Stephen Kulinić, the last ruler of the House of Kulinić in Bosnia from 1204 and 1232.
  • Popularity: Kulinić is extremely rare worldwide, with just 14 known occurrences in 2014, primarily in Belarus.
Traditional, Rare


Lekapenos is one of many royal last names with zero popularity statistics. It’s used for a Byzantine-Armenian family who became part of the Macedonian dynasty during the 10th-century. Lekapenos, as a name, is also associated with the island of Lakape.

  • Origin: Byzantine-Armenian
  • Meaning: Of Lekape
  • Pronunciation: Leh-KAA-pih-Nohs
  • Variations: Lekapene
  • Namesakes: Christopher Lekapenos, co-emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 921 to 931. Constantine Lekapenos, the Byzantine co-emperor from 924 to 945.
Long, Unusual
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Lombards traces back to the Latin Langobardi and also relate to the Germanic Longobards, meaning “long beards.” It refers to someone “from Lombardy” in Italy. The Lombards were a Germanic tribe who ruled most of Italy from 568 to 774.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Long beards
  • Pronunciation: LOHM-baards
  • Variations: Lombard
  • Popularity: Lombards is extremely rare worldwide, with just ten known occurrences in 2014, mostly in South Africa.
Nicknames, Geographical


The House of Loredan was based in Venice and peaked around 1100 CE. It refers to the town of Loreo, also based on the Latin Lauretum, meaning “laurel” and “victory.”

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: Victory
  • Pronunciation: LOHR-eh-Dohn
  • Variations: Loredano
  • Namesakes: Francesco Loredan, the 116th Duke of Venice from 1752 to 1762. Andrea Loredan, a 15th-century Venetian nobleman who commissioned the Ca’ Loredan Vendramin Calergi palace.
  • Popularity: Loredan is rare worldwide and mainly used in Italy.
Strong, Rare


Lorraine is best known as a region in southeastern France and was first named for the kingdom of Lotharingia. Its original leader was Lothar, whose name means “famous army.”

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Famous army
  • Pronunciation: Laa-REYN
  • Variations: Lorrain
  • Namesakes: Louise Lorraine, an American actress known for The Radio King (1922). Andrew Lorraine, an American baseball player for the California Angels.
  • Popularity: Lorraine is very rare worldwide, primarily used in the U.S., and ranked 1,733rd in New Zealand in 2014.
Unique, Strong


Lothbrok is the most storied of royal surnames and is the best choice for characters who need a cool name. Ragnar Lothbrok was a Viking king whose name means “hairy or shaggy breeches.” He was an infamous warrior during the 9th-century with plenty of adventures under his belt.

  • Origin: Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Hairy-breeches
  • Pronunciation: LOWTH-braak
  • Variations: Lodbrok
  • Popularity: Lothbrok is extremely rare worldwide with just four known occurrences in 2014, in Egypt.
Nicknames, Famous


The Luitpolding family ruled over medieval Germany and was founded by Margrave Luitpold of Bavaria. Luitpolding means “bold people” in German but is not found among name popularity statistics.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Bold people
  • Pronunciation: LUWT-pohl-Ding
  • Variations: Luitpold
Long, Rare


Mahlangu means “one who bears shields” when based on the Zulu “isihlangu,” meaning “shield.” Mahlangu is the name of the ruling Ndzundza Mabhoko royal house of the Ndebele clan in South Africa and Swaziland.

  • Origin: African, Zulu
  • Meaning: Shield-bearer
  • Pronunciation: Maa-LAANG-uw
  • Namesakes: Bongani Mahlangu, a South African boxer who competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics. Zena Mahlangu, a Swazi royal and the tenth wife of Mswati III.
  • Popularity: Mahlangu is uncommon worldwide and mostly used in South Africa, where it ranked 6th in 2014.
Strong, Traditional


Makedon is the original name of the Macedonians, also referred to as “the tall ones” or “highlanders” in Greek. In Greek mythology, Makedon is the ancestor of the Macedonians, appearing as a leader from the ancient Greek state of Epirus.

  • Origin: Macedonian, Greek
  • Meaning: Highlanders
  • Pronunciation: MAA-keh-Dahn
  • Variations: Macedon
  • Popularity: Makedon is very rare worldwide and mainly used in Ukraine.
Traditional, Unique


Mattei is a variation of Matteo, the Italian form of Matthew. The House of Mattei ruled in Rome during and after the Middle Ages. The Mattei family included Pope Innocent II, in office from 1130 to 1143.

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: Gift of God
  • Pronunciation: MAA-taey
  • Variations: Matteo
  • Namesakes: Janet Akyüz Mattei, a Turkish-American astronomer and director of the American Association of Variable Star Observers from 1973 to 2004. Peter Mattei, a Swedish opera singer at the Royal Swedish Opera.
  • Popularity: Mattei is rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy, ranking 381st in 2014.
Old, Common


Medici is the plural of the Italian “medico,” meaning “medical doctor.” The Medici family ruled over Tuscany during most of the period between 1434 and 1737.

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: Medical doctor
  • Pronunciation: MEH-dee-Chee
  • Variations: Medicis
  • Namesakes: Mita Medici, an Italian actress known for How I Learned to Love Women (1966). Emílio Garrastazu Médici, the president of Brazil from 1969 to 1974.
  • Popularity: Medici is rare worldwide and mostly used in Italy, where it ranked 932nd in 2014.
Famous, Old


Merovingian derives from the Latin Merohingii, meaning “sons of Merovech.” It originated with Merovech, king of the Salian Franks and part of the Merovingian dynasty between the 5th and 7th centuries.

  • Origin: German, Frankish
  • Meaning: Sons of Merovech
  • Pronunciation: Mer-uh-VIHN-jee-Ahn
  • Popularity: Merovingian is extremely rare worldwide, with just four known occurrences in 2014, mainly in the U.S.
Long, Rare
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Middleton describes someone “from Middleton,” meaning “middle town” in over 30 locations across England. It’s the surname for various English Barons of Barham and Earls of Middleton and has a whopping forty-two coats of arms.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Middle town
  • Pronunciation: MIH-dehl-Tahn
  • Variations: Middeltone
  • Namesakes: Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales and wife to Prince William, heir to the British throne. Darryl Middleton, an American assistant basketball coach for CSKA Moscow.
  • Popularity: Middleton is rare worldwide, primarily used in the U.S., and ranked 150th in Belize in 2014.
Geographical, Popular


The House of Mocenigo was a Venetian noble family originally hailed from the Lombardy region of Italy. Apart from the family’s great influence over late medieval Italian society, Mocenigo is quite rare these days.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Unknown
  • Pronunciation: Moh-seh-NEE-gow
  • Namesakes: Giovanni Mocenigo, an 18th-century ambassador to Pope Clement XII. Alvise Giovanni Mocenigo, the Duke of Venice from 1763 to 1778.
  • Popularity: Mocenigo is extremely rare worldwide, with 39 known occurrences in 2014, mostly in Italy.
Unusual, Rare


Moravia is a region in the eastern Czech Republic named after the River Morava. It refers to land containing “waters” or a “marsh” covering modern-day Austria, Poland, Croatia, and Ukraine areas.

  • Origin: Czech
  • Meaning: Waters
  • Pronunciation: Moh-RAEY-vee-Ah
  • Variations: Morvia
  • Namesakes: Alberto Moravia, an Italian writer known for The Time of Indifference (1929). Charles Moravia, a Haitian writer who founded the periodical Le Temps in 1922.
  • Popularity: Moravia is extremely rare worldwide, with 201 known occurrences in 2014, mainly in Brazil.
Geographical, Rare


Mountbatten is one of the better-known royal family names that belonged to Prince Philip. It’s an Anglo variation of the German Battenberg, referring to the Batten mountain. Prince Philip and male descendents of Queen Elizabeth II used Mountbatten-Windsor as their official royal surname.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Batten mountain
  • Pronunciation: MAUWNT-baa-Tehn
  • Namesakes: Louis Mountbatten, the maternal uncle to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark (also Philip Mountbatten), the husband of Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Popularity: Mountbatten is extremely rare worldwide, with just 18 known occurrences in 2014, primarily in England.
Famous, Geographical


The House of Munsö is also known as the Swedish House of Björn Ironside, who ruled during the Viking Age. It refers to the island of Munsö, also known as Munsön, and a village in Sweden.

  • Origin: Swedish
  • Meaning: Island of Munsö
  • Pronunciation: MUHN-sow
  • Popularity: Munsö is extremely rare worldwide, with 152 known occurrences in 2014, mostly in Spain.
Geographical, Strong


Nassau is made up of the Old German “naz,” meaning “damp,” and “ouwa,” meaning “water meadow.” The Duke of Nassau title is now called the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, both used for the Dutch royal family.

  • Origin: German, Dutch
  • Meaning: Wet meadow
  • Pronunciation: NAE-Sauw
  • Variations: van Nassau
  • Namesakes: Charles William Nassau, a Presbyterian minister and the fourth president of Lafayette College from 1849 to 1850.
  • Popularity: Nassau is very rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S.
Unique, Geographical


Notthafft originated in the Czech Republic in the 12th century. The ruling Notthafft family held influence through the 18th century, though no evidence exists of anyone named Notthafft today.

  • Origin: Czech
  • Meaning: Unknown
  • Pronunciation: NAWT-hauft
  • Variations: Nothafft, Notthaft, Nothaft
  • Namesakes: Cajetan Anton Notthafft, the Prince-Provost of Berchtesgaden in Bavaria from 1732 to 1752.
Unusual, Rare


In southern France, Orange is a town on the river Araise, which inspired the royal House of Orange. Orange is also a Huguenot name in England linked to the Dutch House of Orange-Nassau.

  • Origin: English, French
  • Meaning: From Orange
  • Pronunciation: OWR-aanj
  • Namesakes: Rhasaan Orange, an American comedian and host of the podcast The Vale Tudo Hour since 2018. James Orange, an American civil rights activist and assistant to Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Popularity: Orange is rare worldwide, primarily used in the U.S., and ranked 1,038th in Haiti in 2014.
Geographical, Uncommon


Orléans might be best known for the Louisiana city of New Orleans, but it was first a French town in Loiret. The House of Orleans is a French noble family from 1661 inspired by the Roman Aurelian, meaning “golden.”

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Golden
  • Pronunciation: Ohr-LEENZ
  • Variations: Orlean
  • Popularity: Orléans is very rare worldwide and mostly used in Ghana, where it was slightly uncommon in 2014.
Famous, Geographical


Orsini derives from the Italian “orsi,” meaning “bears.” It described someone with “bear-like” strength and is the name of the House of Orsini who ruled in Renaissance Italy.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Bear-like
  • Pronunciation: Ohr-SEE-niy
  • Variations: Orsi
  • Namesakes: Umberto Orsini, an Italian actor awarded the 1969 Nastro d’Argento for Best Supporting Actor. Richard Orsini, the count palatine of Cephalonia and Zakynthos from 1260 to 1303.
  • Popularity: Orsini is rare worldwide, mainly used in the U.S., and ranked 1,663rd in the Dominican Republic in 2014.
Strong, Nicknames
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Pavlovich is a mostly Ukrainian and Belorussian patronymic name meaning “son of Pavlo” or “son of Paul.” Duke Dmitri Pavlovich is the best-known member of the Russian House of Pavlović, the traditional spelling.

  • Origin: Slavic
  • Meaning: Son of Paul
  • Pronunciation: PAAV-loh-Vich
  • Variations: Pavlovič
  • Namesakes: Veronika Pavlovich, a Belarusian table tennis player who competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Vladislav Pavlovich, a Russian fencer and gold medalist at the 1996 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Pavlovich is rare worldwide, primarily used in Russia, and ranked 54th in Belarus in 2014.
Traditional, Patronymic


Percy is a surname from Normandy to England with the House of Percy, best known for the War of the Roses. It’s linked to Percy-en-Auge in Normandy and is also a boy’s name, short for Percival.

  • Origin: English, French
  • Meaning: One who pierces the valley
  • Pronunciation: PUHR-see
  • Namesakes: Walker Percy, an American writer and winner of the 1962 National Book Award for Fiction. Alfred Percy, a Scottish footballer for East Stirlingshire.
  • Popularity: Percy is rare worldwide, primarily used in the U.S., and ranked 1,176th in New Zealand in 2014.
Unique, Traditional


Pfeffel is the Anglo form of the German Pfaeffle, from “pfaffe,” meaning “cleric” or “papst,” meaning “pope.” The Pfeffel family’s most famous member was the 19th-century King of Bavaria, with whom they’re most associated.

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: Pope
  • Pronunciation: FEHF-ehl
  • Variations: de Pfeffel
  • Namesakes: Gottlieb Konrad Pfeffel, a French-German writer whose words were made into music by Ludwig van Beethoven.
  • Popularity: Pfeffel is extremely rare worldwide, with 107 known occurrences in 2014, mainly in Austria.
Unusual, Rare


Philopater means “father-loving” and is made up of the Greek “fileo,” meaning “love” and “patḗr,” meaning “father.” Though extinct today, it was a common title for ancient Hellenistic emperors and is the official last name for Cleopatra.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Father-loving
  • Pronunciation: Fih-LAH-paa-Tohr
  • Namesakes: Cleopatra Philopator, the queen of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt from 51 to 30 BCE. Ptolemy XV Caesar, the last pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt, with his mother Cleopatra.
Old, Rare


Pignatelli is an Italian diminutive of “pignatta,” meaning “pots,” and is related to Pignatello. It was a nickname for a “round” person and was known for the noble Pignatelli family of Naples. Antonio Pignatelli was also made Pope in 1691.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Little pots
  • Pronunciation: Pig-naa-TEHL-iy
  • Namesakes: Fabio Pignatelli, an Italian musician and member of the rock band Goblin. Luca Pignatelli, an Italian artist with works exhibited at the National Institute for Graphic Art.
  • Popularity: Pignatelli is very rare worldwide and primarily used in Italy.
Nicknames, Uncommon


The noble Querini family dates back to the 14th-century in Venice, though their name’s meaning is unclear. Known for their art collection, the Querini clan’s influence was felt in government until the 19th-century.

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: Venetian noble family
  • Pronunciation: Kweh-REEN-iy
  • Variations: Quirini
  • Namesakes: Pietro Querini, a 15th-century Venetian sailing captain known for a shipwreck in Norway in 1432. Vincenzo Querini, the Venetian ambassador to Castile from 1504 to 1506.
  • Popularity: Querini is very rare worldwide and mostly used in Italy.
Unique, Rare


Robertson is one of the most straightforward royal last names that begins with R, meaning “son of Robert.” It’s influenced by Robert, the name for three Scottish kings, while the Robertsons of Struan are the oldest family in Scotland.

  • Origin: English, Scottish
  • Meaning: Son of Robert
  • Pronunciation: RAH-behrt-Suhn
  • Variations: Roberts, Robeson
  • Namesakes: George R. Robertson, a Canadian actor known for the Police Academy films. Keith Robertson, an American children’s writer who won the 1961 William Allen White Children’s Book Award.
  • Popularity: Robertson ranked 1,462nd worldwide, is mainly used in Scotland, and ranked 8th in Scotland in 2014.
Patronymic, Popular


Romanov derives from the first name Roman, meaning “from Rome.” The Romanov dynasty ruled Russia from 1613 to 1917 and was founded by Michael Romanov, the Tsar, in 1613.

  • Origin: Russian
  • Meaning: From Rome
  • Pronunciation: ROW-maa-Noff
  • Variations: Romanoff
  • Namesakes: Roman Romanov, a Russian footballer for FC Rotor-2 Volgograd. Grigory Romanov, the Military Industry Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1983 to 1986.
  • Popularity: Romanov is uncommon worldwide and primarily used in Russia, ranking 34th in 2014.
Famous, Common


Rothschild means “red coat of arms” in Yiddish, which came to mean “red shield.” It’s linked to the German “zum rothen Schild,” meaning “at the red shield,” symbolizing the wealthiest families worldwide.

  • Origin: German, Yiddish
  • Meaning: Red shield
  • Pronunciation: RAWTH-chaeld
  • Variations: de Rothschild, von Rothschild
  • Namesakes: Mayer Amschel Rothschild, a German-Jewish banker and founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty. Jonathan Rothschild, the 41st mayor of Tucson, Arizona, from 2011 to 2019.
  • Popularity: Rothschild is rare worldwide, primarily used in the U.S., and ranked 1,010th in Israel in 2014.
Strong, Famous


Royal is associated with Royle, composed of the Old English “rā,” meaning “roe deer,” and “hyll,” meaning “hill.” It goes back to the Latin “regalis,” from “rex,” meaning “king,” and appeared as a given name in the 19th-century.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: King
  • Pronunciation: ROEY-Ehl
  • Variations: Royale
  • Namesakes: Ernest Royal, an American jazz trumpeter who played on the recording The Genius of Ray Charles (1959). Marie-Ségolène Royal, the Socialist Party candidate for the presidency of France in 2007.
  • Popularity: Royal is rare worldwide, mainly used in the U.S., and ranked 403rd in Myanmar in 2014.
Unusual, Unique
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Salian is a German form of Solomon used for the Salian dynasty during the Middle Ages. The Salian family includes four German kings, and their name appears with the Salian Franks, a subgroup of the northwestern Franks. Salian was also a nickname for a “wise” or “fortunate” person.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Peace
  • Pronunciation: SEY-lee-Uhn
  • Variations: Selyman
  • Popularity: Salian is rare worldwide, primarily used in India, and ranked 737th in Bahrain in 2014.
Nicknames, Unique


The Polish Samborides dynasty was also known as the House of Sobiesław in the Pomerelia region of Poland. They ruled mainly during the 12th- and 13th centuries, and their name means “wise” or “famous.” Samborides is likely extinct today as a surname.

  • Origin: Polish
  • Meaning: Wise, famous
  • Pronunciation: Saam-BOH-riy-Dehs
Old, Rare


Saraka means “alms” or “charity” in Austrian. The House of Saraka came from the Republic of Ragusa and ruled in 1172 CE.

  • Origin: Austrian
  • Meaning: Alms
  • Pronunciation: Saa-RAAK-ah
  • Variations: Saraca
  • Namesakes: Jagannath Saraka, a cabinet minister in the Indian state of Odisha since 2022.
  • Popularity: Saraka is rare worldwide and mostly used in the Ivory Coast, where it ranked 246th in 2014.
Unique, Rare


Schleswig’s best-known family member was the Grand Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein. Holstein was associated with a forest, while Schleswig means “bay of the Schlei,” located on the Baltic Sea. Princess Victoria’s marriage to Czar Wilhelm VI of Germany links the Schleswig-Holstein clan with the British royal family.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Bay of the Schlei
  • Pronunciation: SHLEHS-vig
  • Popularity: Schleswig is extremely rare worldwide, with just four known occurrences in 2014, mainly in Germany.
Geographical, Rare


Seeiso is the name of Simon Seeiso Griffith, the chief of Basutoland, a British colony in South Africa. Other Seeiso family includes his grandson, King Letsie III of Lesotho, who’s ruled since 1996.

  • Origin: South African, Lesotho
  • Meaning: King
  • Pronunciation: SIY-soh
  • Namesakes: Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, the brother of King Letsie III and president of the Senate of Lesotho from 2015 to 2017.
  • Popularity: Seeiso is very rare worldwide and primarily used in Lesotho, ranking 519th in 2014.
Strong, Traditional


Seymour originally indicated someone “from St. Maur” in Normandy. It also means “the son of Semar” and is represented by the English noble family, including the Duke of Somerset. Like Beatrice of England in the 13th-century, many English nobles like the Seymours had ties with Norman-French relations.

  • Origin: English, French
  • Meaning: Saint-Maur
  • Pronunciation: SEE-Mohr
  • Variations: Seymore
  • Namesakes: Jane Seymour, Queen of England as the third wife of King Henry VIII from 1536 to 1537. Cara Seymour, an English actress, appearing in Gangs of New York (2000).
  • Popularity: Seymour is rare worldwide, mostly used in the U.S., and ranked 50th in the Bahamas in 2014.
Traditional, Common


Sinclair can indicate multiple meanings, like “from St. Clair” in Normandy. It became a Norman-Scottish surname associated with the Latin “clarus,” meaning “pure” and “renowned.”

  • Origin: Scottish
  • Meaning: Illustrious
  • Pronunciation: Sihn-KLAER
  • Variations: Sainclair
  • Namesakes: Ian Sinclair, the Australian Speaker of the House of Representatives from March to August 1998. Rebecca Sinclair, the youngest New Zealand athlete to compete at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
  • Popularity: Sinclair is rare worldwide, mainly used in the U.S., and ranked 64th in Scotland in 2014.
Geographical, Popular


The Danish Sonderburg family were primarily 17th-century dukes and descendants of the House of Oldenburg. They were founded by Ernest Günther, the Duke of Holstein. Sonderburg is taken from a town in southern Denmark and may be extinct today as a name.

  • Origin: Danish
  • Meaning: Danish town
  • Pronunciation: SOHN-den-Behrg
  • Variations: Sonnenberg
Geographical, Rare


Spencer is an example of an occupational royal surname and describes a “house steward” from the Old French “despensier.” Its most famous royal was Lady Diana Frances Spencer, who married Prince Charles to become Princess Diana.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Steward
  • Pronunciation: SPEHN-sehr
  • Variations: Spenser
  • Namesakes: Diana, Princess of Wales (born Diana Spencer), the first wife of Charles III and mother of Princes William and Harry. Jeremy Spencer, an English musician and original member of the rock band Fleetwood Mac.
  • Popularity: Spencer ranked 1,948th worldwide, is primarily used in the U.S., and ranked 92nd in Jamaica in 2014.


The noble Stanley family is linked to the Audley family and dates back to 1086. It refers to a “wood clearing” in Old English and is the name of 10 parishes in England.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Stony meadow
  • Pronunciation: STAEN-liy
  • Variations: Stanly
  • Namesakes: Albert Stanley, a British-American businessman and chairman of the London Passenger Transport Board from 1933 to 1947. Paul Stanley, an American musician and lead singer of the rock band Kiss.
  • Popularity: Stanley is uncommon worldwide, mostly used in the U.S., and ranked 78th in Papua New Guinea in 2014.
Traditional, Geographical
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Stuart is composed of the Old English “stig,” meaning “household,” and “weard,” meaning “guardian.” A steward was in charge of a royal household and is most well known by Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots.

  • Origin: Scottish, French
  • Meaning: Household guardian
  • Pronunciation: STUW-ardt
  • Variations: Stewart
  • Namesakes: Gloria Stuart, an American actress known for Titanic (1997). Peter Stuart, an American singer-songwriter of the band Dog’s Eye View.
  • Popularity: Stuart is rare worldwide, mainly used in the U.S., and ranked 58th in the Bahamas in 2014.
Unique, Common


Tscugguel was born from an Austrian legend involving a thousand-year-old oak tree. The Austrian Tschugguel family originated in the South Tyrol area of Italy and is known for Mayor Leonhard von Tschugguel.

  • Origin: Austrian
  • Meaning: Oak at Tschueggsee
  • Pronunciation: CHUH-gehl
  • Popularity: Tschugguel is extremely rare worldwide, with only 15 known occurrences in 2014, primarily in Australia.
Geographical, Unusual


Tudor can refer to “the son of Tudor” as a Welsh form of the English-Celtic Toutorīx. It’s considered a variation of the Greek Theodōros, meaning “people’s king.” The English House of Tudor ruled from 1485 to 1603.

  • Origin: English, Welsh
  • Meaning: People’s king
  • Pronunciation: TEW-dohr
  • Variations: Tewdwr
  • Namesakes: Mary Tudor, the Queen of France and third wife of King Louis XII from 1514 to 1515. Adrian Tudor, a Romanian basketball player for BCM U Pitesti.
  • Popularity: Tudor is rare worldwide and mostly used in Romania, where it ranked 23rd in 2014.
Strong, Famous


Vajiralongkorn is the only name that’s just the current moniker for a royal. It’s the name of the current King of Thailand and means “adorned with jewels or thunderbolts.”

  • Origin: Thai
  • Meaning: Adorned with jewels
  • Pronunciation: VAA-jee-Rah-LONG-korn
  • Namesakes: Vajiralongkorn, the current King of Thailand since 2016 and the only son of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit.
Unusual, Current

Von Schmitt

The von Schmitt family was known in the German Kingdom of Bavaria during the 19th-century. Von Schmitt is based on the German “schmit,” meaning “blacksmith” or “metalworker.”

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Blacksmith
  • Pronunciation: Vohn-SCHMIDT
  • Variations: Schmitt
Unique, Rare


Wangchuck means “mighty” in Tibetan and is made up of “dbang,” meaning “power,” and “phyug,” meaning “wealthy.” It’s also the Tibetan name for the god Shiva and is linked to the Tibetan Wangchuck dynasty.

  • Origin: Bhutanese, Tibetan
  • Meaning: Mighty
  • Pronunciation: WAANG-chuk
  • Variations: Wangchuk
  • Namesakes: Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the fifth and current king of Bhutan since 2006. Sangay Wangchuk, a Bhutanese long-distance runner and record-setter at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics.
  • Popularity: Wangchuck is extremely rare, with 94 known occurrences in 2014, mainly in Bhutan, where it ranked 315th.
Unusual, Strong


The Wettin name refers to Wettin Castle in Saxony during the 10th-century CE. Through Prince Albert, Wettin became the personal name of Queen Victoria until it changed to Windsor in 1917.

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: From Wettin
  • Pronunciation: VEHT-ihn
  • Variations: Wettyn
  • Popularity: Wettin is extremely rare worldwide, with 168 known occurrences in 2014, mainly in Germany.
Old, Geographical


The most famous royal family has to be the House of Windsor in England. It was originally called the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, but was changed to Windsor in 1917. Windsor refers to the royal residence in Berkshire, England.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Riverbank with a winch
  • Pronunciation: WIHND-Zer
  • Variations: Winsor
  • Namesakes: Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Windsor), the longest reigning Queen of the U.K. and other Commonwealth realms from 1952 to 2022. Lord Frederick Windsor, a member of the British royal family and the only son of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.
  • Popularity: Windsor is rare worldwide, primarily used in the U.S., and ranked 931st in Wales in 2014.
Famous, Common


Though Yamato likely means “great harmony” in Japanese, it’s also associated with “yama,” meaning “mountains.” Yamato is also the name of the Japanese Imperial family known as the House of Yamato.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Great harmony
  • Pronunciation: Yaa-MAA-Toh
  • Namesakes: Waki Yamato, a Japanese manga artist known for the short story Dorobō Tenshi (1966). Yūki Yamato, a Japanese filmmaker named Best New Director at the 24th Japan Film Professional Awards.
  • Popularity: Yamato is rare worldwide and mostly used in Japan, ranking 800th in 2014.
Traditional, Unique


Ying means “victory” in Chinese and is known as the Qin Emperor’s surname. Ying is also the name of a state ruled by King Wu of Zhou during the 11th century CE.

  • Origin: Chinese
  • Meaning: Victory
  • Pronunciation: YIHNG
  • Variations: Xing
  • Popularity: Ying ranked 1,061st worldwide and is mainly used in China, where it ranked 171st in 2014.
Strong, Old
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Royal Last Names FAQs

What is the King’s Last Name?

King Charles’ surname of Mountbatten-Windsor was first used by his father, Prince Phillip. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip decided on this joint surname to distinguish between their descendents. As a member of the House of Windsor, King Charles III doesn’t use this or any surname officially.

What is the Queen’s Last Name?

The current Queen Consort of England is Camilla, born Camilla Rosemary Shand. She is best known as Camilla Parker-Bowles, which was her former husband’s last name. Now that Camilla is Queen Consort, she is known as Queen Camilla and has ceased using a last name.

How Rare is the Last Name “Royal?”

The surname Royal is considered rare worldwide and was mostly used in the U.S. in 2014 when it was slightly uncommon. That same year, Royal ranked 403rd in Myanmar and 748th in Haiti. Royal is also a unisex name that’s more common for boys, although it’s pretty rarely used.

Am I Related to Royalty?

Many ancestry and heritage websites allow you to explore possible royal familial connections. Mountbatten-Windsor is considered the most royal of names, but other surnames are also likely to be royally connected. These names include Howard, Seymour, Percy, Byron, and Grosnevor.

How Do Royals Pick Names?

British monarchs typically use their first baptismal name as their regnal name. Another name has been chosen only three times, the most famous of which was Queen Victoria, who was born Alexandrina Victoria. Members of the British royal family are usually given three names when they are born. This way, they have options to choose from if and when they become king or queen.

What If I Have Royal Blood?

Having connections to royal bloodlines isn’t all that rare. It’s thought that more than 60% of Americans are descended from royalty (1). It’s possible to have “royal blood” if your ancestry dates back to any member of a royal family. It won’t affect your life in modern-day society, but discovering royal blood can be fascinating when looking into your family history.

Can Your Last Name Be King?

It’s quite possible for your last name to be King. It’s based on the Old English “cyning,” meaning “tribal leader.” It was a nickname for someone playing king in a pageant, acting king-like, or serving in a royal household. King is also an Anglo variation of German last names like Küng, König, and Koenig.

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About the Author

Maryana Vestic

Maryana Vestic is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and food photographer with a background in entertainment Business Affairs. She studied film at NYU, Irish Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and has an MFA in Creative Writing Nonfiction from The New School. She loves cooking, baking, hiking, and horror films, as well as running a local baking business in Brooklyn with her boyfriend.