If you were royalty, what would your name be?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon:

In the state of Kerala in India (where I’m from), there is a specific procedure for naming royalty.

Kerala had three or four principal kingdoms but only two major royal families – the royal families of the kingdoms of Travancore and Cochin.

If I’d been born into the Travancore Royal family, my name would been fashioned thus[1]

As Princess

Raakhee Sree Padmanabhasevini Vanchidharma Vardhini Attingal Kochu Thampuran

As Queen (if I am the King’s sister and succeeded him to the throne)

Sree Padmanabhasevini Vanchidharma Vardhini Raja Rajeshwari Maharani Raakhee Bai, Senior Maharani of Travancore, with the style of Her Highness.

As Queen Consort

Varanat Ammachi Panapilla Amma Srimathi Raakhee Pilla


If I’d been born into the Cochin Royal family, my name would been fashioned thus…

As Princess

Chathayam Thirunaal Raakhee Amma Thamburan

As Queen (if I have inherited the throne after my brother, the King)

Chathayam Thirunaal Raakhee Amma Thamburan

As Queen Consort

Srimathi Raakhee Nethiyaar Amma


These are titular names. Generally, in Kerala, all members of the royal family have regular names with one common surname – Varma. So if I had been born into either of these families, my civil name would have been Raakhee Varma. On a side note, had I been born in those days, it would not have been permissible to name me Raakhee in the first place. The names were extremely traditional. The eldest girl child was named Amba, the second girl child would be named Ambika, and the third had to be named Ambalika. They were given individual names afterwards to distinguish between the children of various parentage – Lakshmi, Saraswathi, Parvathi, Gowri, Sethulakshmi, Sethuparvathi, etc.

Generally, royal ladies were addressed as just Thamburatti (Your Highness) with the prefix Valiya or Kochu to denote the seniority. Thamburatti is still a form of respectful address in Tripunithura, where I am from. Our servants address us that way. It is not common to hear them call us by our names. Even a new born baby is referred to as Kunju Kochu Thamburatti.

Footnotes

[1] Travancore royal family – Wikipedia

If you were royalty, what would your name be?

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