The choice of the name of the child that will be born in November is not a trivial subject. The baby shall occupy the second position in the succession line to the throne, and it shall be the twelfth Borbón king/queen.
PELAYO and SOFIA are written in capital letters, among the predilections of the Princes.
PELAYO. It was a very popular name, during the Middle Ages; a name that was synonymous of a certain prestige, but nowadays it is practically unused. If in 2003 Sofía occupied the 30th position in the ranking of the most frequent names, Pelayo does not appear in the 155th positions of the statistic provided by the Ine; not even in Asturias, where was born the legend of Don Pelayo.
Etymologically, Pelayo comes from the Greek pelagios and Latin pelagius, and both mean "sailor", "man of the sea". It’s spelled Pelai in Catalan, Pelaxio in Galician and Pelagi in Euskara. The French would call it Pèlage, and both the British and the German would call it Pelagius.
Among the personalities that were given the name of Pelayo, the pages of the Universal History stand out two Popes: Pelayo I (556-561), who was a member of the Roman nobility and a restless artistic man, and Pelayo II, whose papacy was inaugurated in 579, and who was son of a Godo and died in 590, victimized by am epidemic plague. After him, no other Pelayo returned to the cupola of the Catholic Church.
But little influence had these two popes in the Princes choice of Pelayo. The preference would rather be a tribute to Asturias, the land that gives the inheriting title to the Spanish Princes and that is, in addition, the home land of Letizia. There, in the battle of Covadonga, was forged the legend of Don Pelayo, king of Asturias. The son of Favila and cousin of king Don Rodrigo (the last of the Godos kings), was the initiator of the Spanish Re-conquest to the Muslims. He was born at the end of the VII century and died in 737. For those who love prophecies, there’s a legend circulating on the Internet saying that a certain Pelayo would unite Spain and another one would end up breaking it. The son of the Princes of Asturias would reign as Pelayo I.
However, Don Pelayo is not only tied to the Muslims, but also with St. Pelayo, who is celebrated on June 26th (two days after the onomástica of Don Juan Carlos). Born in Tuy, at the beginning of the X century, he was captured by the Muslims at the age of 10, and taken to Córdova. There, he was martyred for refusing to resign to his faith, and then woulf finally die at the age of 14 years old.
The manuals dedicated to adjudge people’s characteristics, based on the name they were given at their birth, say that Pelayos have a quite relaxed personality and that they are fond of mediating conflicts. They can have artistic or musical talents, but it’s hard for them to concentrate. They are, in addition, spontaneous, expansive and enjoy very much other people's happiness.
SOFIA. It's unnecessary to say that this choice would be a tribute of Princes ofAsturias to Doña Sofía. And, according to Ricardo Mateos (in La familia de la Reina Sofía), this name was imposed to her by popular acclamation. Queen Federica, mother of Doña Sofía, said, shortly after her baptism: "We wanted to call her Olga, but when she was born, the crowd approached the house shouting: Sofía!… and that was all". The girl was baptized as Sofía Margarita Victoria Federica.
Sofía, as the Queen of Spain, is a name of Greek origin, coming from the root sofos-, synonymous of wisdom. If the future child of the Princes was a girl and there was no constitutional impediment to her accessing to the throne, she would reign as Sofía I. It would be written Sofía in Castilian, Catalan, Galician and Italian, but it would be Sope in Euskara, Sophia in English and German, and Sophie in French.
In the statistical territory, Sofía appears on the top ten of the Spaniards' preferences to name their children. According to the INE, in 2002, the name was given to 1404 (of a total of 202851) children, and in the following year, the Sofías reached the number of 1547 (of a total of 213301) children.
Throughout the World History, Sofía has been the name of queens in Byzantium, Greece, Austria, the Netherlands, Prussia, Russia and Sweden. There are also five Saints named Sofía. On September 30th, the Catholics celebrate a martyr from the early times of the Christianity, who underwent the persecution of emperor Adrian. She had to attend the death of her three daughters, also martyrs: Faith, Hope and Charity.
Regarding their characteristics, the girls named Sofía are considered to be women of high ideals and principles, very sensible before beauty, great readers and students, but allergic to the heavy or monotonous work, and always in search of stability.