Did Rihanna name her son after the first ever King of England? Singer gives son a 'special' middle name...

Pop star Rihanna has named her secret one-year-old son after a 10th century English king and a contemporary hip hop artist. According to reports, Rihanna's baby boy is called RZA Athelston Mayers. 

The name Athelston pays homage to King Athelstan, who ruled England from 924 to 939 AD. King Athelstan defeated the Vikings and united England for the first time. Scholars believe a 14th century English poem called 'Athelston' was based on the historic king. It is intriguing to imagine what the medieval monarch might make of Rihanna's choice to name her child after him, over a thousand years later.

RZA is also thought to be a nod to hip hop artist and producer RZA, real name Robert Diggs, who founded the influential Wu-Tang Clan.

Now 53, RZA has been an iconic figure in hip hop since the 1990s. The unusual name Rihanna has chosen reflects her own status as a pop culture icon who blends musical genres and periods. 

Despite frequently appearing in public with her baby, Rihanna had kept his name private until now. The revelation gives a little more insight into the personal life of the star, who holds her cards close to her chest. Rihanna is forging her own path, paying tribute to male figures from vastly different eras who represent strength, power and artistic innovation. 

Rihanna has never been one to follow convention.

In her own words, 'I just want to be me without people telling me who I should be.' The name RZA Athelston Mayers reflects the star's desire to draw inspiration from diverse sources, just as her music seamlessly blends styles in new ways. Rihanna continues to surprise, delight and spark discussion with this latest glimpse into her world. Her choice of name for her son is as bold and boundary-pushing as the pop diva herself. 

It emerged yesterday that Rihanna appears to have paid homage to  the 10th century King Athelstan - deliberately or otherwise - by calling her baby son RZA Athelston Mayers 

King Athelstan reigned from 925 until 939 AD. He united the country in the year 927 after merging the kingdoms of Mercia and Wessex obtained a copy of Rihanna's son's certificate of live birth which revealed his name to fans yesterday. 

The birth certificate also indicated that Athelston is the middle name of the boy's father, rapper A$AP Rocky.

However, Rocky's middle name has previously been listed by multiple outlets as 'Athelaston'.

King Athelstan reigned from 925 until 939 AD. He united the country in the year 927 after merging the kingdoms of Mercia and Wessex.

He then drove Viking invaders out of Northumbria in the first two years of his reign.

In 937, at the Battle of Brunanburh, Athelstan defeated the combined invasion forces of Scotland and Dublin.

Last year he was voted Britain's most popular monarch in an online poll run by historians Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook, beating the likes of Queen Elizabeth I and King Henry VIII.

Mr Holland, who wrote a book about Athelstan, said of the monarch: 'Athelstan was one of the founding fathers of England. I think people tend to assume that England has always existed.

'He was a great conqueror, but he was much more than that.


Athelstan drove Viking invaders out of Northumbria in the first two years of his reign. In 937, at the Battle of Brunanburh, he defeated the combined invasion forces of Scotland and Dublin

The poem Athelston tells the story of four messengers who meet by chance in a forest and swear an oath of brotherhood to each other. 

One of them, Athelston, becomes the king when his cousin dies. Athelston makes two of his sworn brothers earls and the third the Archbishop of Canterbury.

But one, the Earl of Dover, betrays the other - the Earl of Stone - by accusing him of being treacherous towards Athelston.

The King believes the Earl of Dover and resolves to kill the Earl of Stone and his family. 

The Archbishop intervenes to plead for the Earl of Stone's life, leading to a fierce struggle between Athelston and the churchman. 

Eventually the king relents when the archbishop gains support from the people and and the Earl of Stone's innocence is established.

The poem ends with a description of the Earl of Dover's death.

Athelstan was buried at Malmesbury Abbey in Wiltshire. His bones were then lost during the Reformation in the 16th century, but he is commemorated by an empty tomb at Malmesbury 

Experts have written about the connections between the fictional Athelston and the real King Athelstan. 

The real Athelstan had a sister called Edith and his successor was King Edmund I. Both are named in the poem.  

One of Rihanna's recent hints about her son's name was on April 5, when she was seen carrying the beaming boy while wearing a baggy black Wu-Tang Clan top as she left a restaurant in Santa Monica.

And the Umbrella singer wasn't particularly subtle on August 12 of last year, nearly three months after she gave birth, when she stepped out in New York City in a baggy white RZA T-shirt.

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