The Peak of Ena

The baby name Ena saw its highest-ever usage in the U.S. in 1906. It was the fastest-rising baby name of the year that year, in fact.

  • 1908: 27 baby girls named Ena
  • 1907: 52 baby girls named Ena
  • 1906: 89 baby girls named Ena
  • 1905: 16 baby girls named Ena
  • 1904: 8 baby girls named Ena

What drew so much attention to the name Ena in 1906?

Princess Ena of England, who married King Alfonso of Spain on the last day of May, 1906.

The wedding got a lot more media attention than it otherwise would have because, after the wedding ceremony, a Spanish anarchist tried to assassinate the couple. (He threw a bomb concealed in a bouquet of flowers at the royal procession.) Ena and Alfonso were uninjured, but over a dozen were killed and many more were wounded.

Though she was called “Princess Ena” in the newspapers and simply “Ena” by family members, her name at birth was actually Victoria Eugenie Julia Ena. Not only that, but the name “Ena” itself may have been unintentional:

[T]here are differing accounts of that name’s origin, with some stating that it was chosen by her grandmother as ‘a Gaelic Highland name’ to mark the first royal birth in Scotland since the seventeenth century, and other accounts putting the name down to a misreading of her mother’s writing of the name ‘Eva’. Queen Victoria’s journal entry for the occasion of her christening lists the names as ‘Victora, Eugénie, Julia, Eva’.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Ena? Would you choose it over Eva?

Sources: Victoria Eugenie – Wikipedia, Christening of Princess Victoria Eugenie – Royal Collection Trust

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