Natalie Hanson: Why We Named Our Daughter Wilhelmina

03/07/2013 at 02:00 PM ET

Natalie Hanson: Naming Daughter Wilhelmina
Rebecca Sarkar; Inset: Celebrity Photo

Taylor and Natalie Hanson have never been known to settle for mundane monikers for their children.

So when the couple found out they were expecting their fifth child, they knew their baby girl would need a name that wouldn’t be overshadowed by siblings Ezra, 10, Penelope, 7½, River, 6, and Viggo, 4.

After discussing the name Wilhelmina, the singer instantly fell in love with it. Initially, however, his wife Natalie wasn’t so sure.

“I had to process for a minute … However, he was right. It was a beautiful name. It was clearly feminine, with quite a heritage, and a plethora of pretty nicknames to choose from,” Natalie writes in a blog entry for Nameberry.

“These were all qualities I appreciated in my first daughter’s name. I began to think Penelope might have met her match!”

When the proud parents finally welcomed Wilhelmina Jane in October, Natalie was quick to keep any shortened versions of her little girl’s lengthy name at bay. “I proposed we hold off on a nickname commitment until everyone was acclimated to the name in its full glory,” she explains.

But one phone call later from Grandma Hanson and the pressure to produce one was on. “It wasn’t long before I got a call from Taylor’s mother, telling me she was having a Christmas gift monogrammed, and ‘Wilhelmina’ just wouldn’t fit. I decided to go with Willa,” she shares.

While Wilhelmina “isn’t a very popular choice,” Natalie is head over heels for both the family’s newest addition — and her name.

“Wilhelmina is a form of William, which means ‘resolute protection,’” she says. “Right now I am so in love with this strong and beautiful name, and even more in love with the girl who bears it!”

For more on the Hanson’s name choice, read Natalie’s full blog entry at NameBerry.com.

– Anya Leon

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 39 comments

Kelsey on

What a beautiful photo! Thank you for sharing, it is a unique and very pretty name!

Shannon on

LOVE Hanson and their individal families! Natalie and taylor have such unique names for their children, but not overly weird. Ironically, Wilhelmina has been on my list if I ever have another daughter.

Stephaine Ruiz on

Did they know they will be naming their child after a state par in Arkansas? Wilhelmina Park is in Mena, Arkansas

AnneSommer on

Wilhelmina is a old german name. I like it.

Bambi on

Interesting that you think she is named after a park when that park itself is named after Queen Wilhelmina. I think it is a lovely name and Willa is also very cute.

lovely123 on

Our children are 13, 12 and 10, then all of a sudden number 4 comes along. We fought over what to name the baby for four days. I finally gave in to the wishes of my older children. It wasn’t the name I originally wanted, but seeing them with her and how protective they are over her. I am glad they chose her name.

Lauren S on

awww she is a little cutie. When I hear that name I think of Wilhelmina Slater the character from Ugly Betty

Cammy on

Very old fashioned name. Pretty. She might get nick names of “Wilma” or “Mina” or maybe not.

MommytoanE on

Beautiful, and very old fashioned name.
Stephanie, you have a point, however the park was named in honor of a friend, who had the name Wilhelmina. Tho, if you look it up, just about every name seems to have a city, park or something or other named after it. For instance your name is a version of Stefania, and there are a couple towns in Poland that carry that name.

Torgster on

Don’t think any of the names they pick are pretty but wow their kids sure are!

debra on

wilhelmina was queen of the netherlands during the WWII and was a tower of strength for her people in a time of trouble. it’s a gorgeous name from an old world and at least it’s a “real” name. congrats to natalie and taylor.

alicejane on

I know someone who named their daughter Mina, after her great-grandmother Wilhelmina. I think both are beautiful names, and Willa is also a lovely nickname.

Sandy on

the old fashioned names are making a come back! how about Winnie for a nick name?

jen on

I named my daughter Willamina 16 years ago… changed the spelling a bit… because I love willow trees. :) I love the name and everyone comments on it.

Abbie on

I love all their childrens names. Beautiful family!

Julie on

That was my Grandmother’s name. Beautiful!

K on

Good for her. Love the name. Beautiful children.

jones on

My grandmother’s name was Wilhelmina, so it has a special place in my heart. I have always considered it for a girl to honor her, but would use Mina as a nickname for it. Congrats to their family.

Anonymous on

someone else mentioned Queen Wilhelmina, which was funny cause i immediately thought of the Crown Prince of the Netherlands, Prince Willem-Alexander. Love the name and the nickname.

Amanda on

I kind of like that name actually, especially if they call her Willa for short. It’s better than a lot of the trendy names nowadays. On a side note I can’t imagine ever having five kids.

Emily on

My cousin’s name is Willa (her full name, not just a nickname). I think it’s very unique and pretty.

meme on

Is the name pronounced wil-a-meena?

KW on

“I proposed we hold off on a nickname commitment until everyone was acclimated to the name in its full glory,”…omg…they are w.e.i.r.d.

Lau on

I love this name, I can’t understand how some people think it’s too weird?

Also, that photo is beyond beautiful!

ava on

She is beautiful! It’s funny how all of Taylor’s and Nat’s children look SO different! But they’re all adorable.

Wilhelmina on

OMG. We have the same name AND are born in the same month… TWINSIES!

Sarah on

I like Wilhelmina. Not something I’d name my own child, but it’s nice. I prefer names with history to tryndee made-up stuff.

Kammy on

I immediately thought of the modeling agency Wilhelmina models. Just thought I’d throw that out there. Oh and Taylor Hanson is smokin hot.

Jax on

People.com made a mistake in this article. Natalie came across the name Wilhelmina on nameberry.com in October 2010. Her and Jessica Hanson (one of Taylor’s sisters) were talking about how much they like the name. Natalie then proposed the name to Taylor and he instantly fell in love with then name. NATALIE LOVED THE NAME FROM THE BEGINNING. Get your facts straight People.com

Melanie on

There’s no error Jax. Read the full entry – she found the name and passed it on to her sister-in-law for her to use. She never considered it for herself until Taylor said he liked it.

ChillMom on

Not crazy about the full name, but I LOVE the nickname Willa, AND, I love more the story and meaning behind the name. What a great gift to be able to offer this little girl, when she is old enough to understand it. I love when parents choose a name that means something, rather than just a name that “sounds nice.”

Sarah S. on

Willa is a pretty nickname, but I prefer Mina (pronounced Meena). I love this family and congrats to them! :)

Kristin on

I was hoping they’d nickname her Willa, or something else short and sweet like that.I think Wilhelmina is a pretty name, but quite a mouthful for a little girl.

Zil on

The State Park was named after Dutch Queen Wilhelmina. So if the are “naming after” it would be a queen. Though they probably just like the name.

It might be a nice vacation place one day, but just as Queen Wilhelmina never visited as the lodges’ founders hoped she would, I doubt they do.

I did think of the Park when I saw the name as I grew up in the region, but just like I didn’t name my son after a character in a book I never read I am sure they didn’t name her after a State Park.

Julesy on

Not crazy about any of their kids’ names, but the kids in the photo are beautiful.

Stacey on

The name Willa- AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wilhelmina, ok I guess. The older girl is a very cute, sweet looking little girl.

Anonymous on

It’s nice that they chose a normal name my Grandmother’s name is Hildegarde Wilhelmina a Swedish name.

Jessica on

I remember when Ezra was born and I instantly loved his name! When they had Penny, I was instantly in love again. I love how they are old fashioned with names and very original. I hope to meet them again one day!

Brooke on

beautiful names for your beautiful children ! love this family :) thanks for the article

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