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The Daily Dish Southern Charm

What Inspired Kathryn C. Dennis' Unique Baby Names?

The #SouthernCharm mom reveals the story behind Kensington and St. Julien.

By Laura Rosenfeld
How Did Kathryn Dennis’ Kids Get Their Unique Names?

Kathryn C. Dennis and Thomas Ravenel chose incredibly unique names for their children, two-year-old daughter Kensington Calhoun Ravenel and five-month-old son St. Julien Rembert Ravenel. "I like different names. I don't want a name like Jo and Ashley, just like regular names," Kathryn told The Daily Dish while talking about the inspiration behind Kensie's name (clip above). "I want something interesting with power, and I feel like Kensington had power." 

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The inspiration behind her daughter's name came from some very powerful people, indeed: the British monarchy. "I just have always loved that word, for some reason," Kathryn said. "Kensington Palace [the official residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge] was really what it was inspired from. Who doesn't love Kate Middleton?"

However, Kensie's middle name, Calhoun, hits a little closer to home since it's the maiden name of Kathryn's mother and Kathryn's middle name as well. Kathryn and Thomas kept it all in the family when it came to St. Julien's name, too.

"The name came from a relative of Thomas', and we visited the house that my father grew up in. It's at a park in the town that I'm from. And there's, like, his whole house still there and everything," Kathryn explained. "And before he lived there, there were two famous residents that they say resided there, and one was my grandfather [long-time State Senator Rembert C. Dennis, whose first name inspired St. Julien's middle name] and one was his relative [well-known Charleston physician] St. Julien Ravenel. So when Thomas saw that, he was like, 'That's it.'" 

Kathryn wasn't so sure about the moniker at first. "In the South, we try and keep family names around. It's important to us, and we just kind of went with it," Kathryn said. "I kind of was hesitant until I gave birth and then I was like, 'He looks like a St. Julien.'"

Given how personal and unique the name of St. Julien was to Kathryn and Thomas, she thought it was "interesting" that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West chose to name their son the very similar-sounding name of Saint when he was born on December 5, 2015. "[St. Julien] was such a peculiar name to choose. It's a family name. It's very important to Thomas and even to me," she said of her first reaction to the news. "But it's kind of cool, I guess. I guess the South is rising."

All in all, becoming a mother of two has posed its challenges for Kathryn, as we'll continue to see this season of Southern Charm, especially when it comes to her strained relationship with Thomas. "Well, I didn't know that I was going to have a second time around anytime soon, so it was shocking, kind of, at first," Kathryn said of what motherhood has been like with two children. "And then as I began to embrace the situation, it's actually easier having two as opposed to one, in my opinion. It feels like you really grow into your role as a mother. You have your own little family that you take care of. And maybe I'm doing it alone, but it's great. It's fun. Julien is such a flirt. I love just like looking at him. He'll smile and coo. It's just so cute." 

Check out pics of Kathryn's first birth with baby Kensie, below.

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