Why Diana's Friends Say She Wouldn't Want Harry and Meghan's Baby Named After Her

"It takes on a much deeper meaning as a first name."

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With Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's baby due in a matter for weeks (the Duchess recently told a well-wisher she's "nearly there" in regards to her due date), the rumor mill is rife with speculation about what the couple will name their little bundle of joy.

While the couple have yet to disclose the gender of their baby, royals watchers point to the abundance of pink present in everything—from the flowers to the food—at Meghan's lavish baby shower in New York City late last month, thrown by her A-list BFFs Serena Williams and Amal Clooney, as a sign that Baby Sussex will be a girl.

According to the Daily Mail, London bookies are reporting the favorite baby name is currently Diana, with odds of 10/1 in tribute to Princess Diana. Many are also wagering that the child will be delivered this month, rather than April, since the exact due date was never officially given.

Harry was just 12 years old when his mother was tragically killed in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997. The prince was extremely close to Diana and has been very open about the devastating effect her death had on his life. That is precisely why some friends of Diana told me exclusively that they hope Harry and Meghan do not chose "Diana" as their child's first name, if it's a girl.

"As lovely as it would be to have another Diana in the royal family, the name carries a great deal of emotional weight," said a close friend of the princess. "The constant comparisons to the Princess of Wales as the girl grew into a young woman could become somewhat of a burden. Diana would want her granddaughter to be free to be herself, not living in the shadow of the past."

Prince William and Kate Middleton paid tribute by giving Princess Charlotte the name Diana as a middle name. "That's a more gentle tribute," said my source, "but it takes on a much deeper meaning as a first name."

Other names which have been reported as being popular choices for the Duke and Duchesses' newborn are Alice (currently in second place if the baby is a girl), with odds of 12/1, Victoria at 14/1, and Alexandra at 16/1. If Baby Sussex is a boy, the top names are said to be Arthur or Edward.

"Diana would be thrilled to see her sons happy in their personal lives. She would have made a fantastic grandmother," said another of princess' friend. "Her influence on them, even though she is gone, will always extend far beyond her name." And for more on Diana in relation to Meghan, here are 10 Things Diana Would Tell Meghan About Royal Married Life.

Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.

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