Wednesday, May 1, 2013


King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands and wife Queen Máxima at the inauguration ceremony 

Seems that Max names for girls have been appearing in all sorts of places. First there was Max Black, the sassy waitress-slash-cupcake-mogul-wannabe lead character in the hit sitcom '2 Broke Girls'. Then who can forget when Jessica Simpson controversially named her baby daughter Maxwell Drew. Today though, it was a different Max in the news - the new Queen of The Netherlands, Máxima.

 Máxima was born in Argentina, and married the then Prince Willem-Alexander in 2002. Willem-Alexander was crowned King of the Netherlands yesterday (30th April 2013) when his mother - Queen Beatrix - abdicated from the throne. This makes him the first King The Netherlands has had since 1890. Máxima herself also has royal lineage, as a descendant of two Kings of Portugal and a Peruvian Incan Emperor. Together they have three daughters, Princesses Catharina-Amalia (pronounced Katerina), Alexia and Ariane.

Before marriage Máxima was an investment banker, and she is now involved heavily in helping immigrants integrate into Dutch culture, with a special focus on helping immigrant women to enter the Dutch workforce. She's also one of the few royals in the world to openly support gay marriage. I'm sure there will be people in the world who look to her as a role model, and it's likely the recent inauguration of her husband will spark interest in the name Máxima.

While this could be pronounced MAHK-see-mah, with the Spanish accent it's actually more like MAH-see-mah, a much prettier sound. And less like a Nissan car. Máxima is a great way to get to the spunky nickname Max, without giving your daughter a "boys name". Because although Max and Maxwell are occasionally given to girls, they are far more popular for boys, with Max ranking #96 for boys in America in 2011. It's also a nice, classier sounding alternative to the "usual" Max girls name Maxine.

Máxima comes from the same Latin source as Maximus, meaning 'greatest'. It's still quite a rare name in the western world, peaking in America in 2011. When it was given to just 8 girls. And the variant Massima has never charted in America. I'd almost consider Máxima to be one of those names that is so far out it's in. It's just the type of name that could be embraced by the "hipster" crowd. I wouldn't be surprised to see this one climb as the attraction of the nickname Max continues to build with parents, as I think it's the pick of the bunch.

The King and Queen with their daughters

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