On Wednesday, May 17, 1939, Sam Wood directed “The Naming of Bonnie” scene with Vivian Leigh, Clark Gable, Olivia de Havilland and the infant playing Scarlett and Rhett’s week-old daughter.
In Scarlett’s bedroom, Rhett conveys via baby talk his future plans for his daughter after which Scarlett accuses him of making a fool of himself. When Melanie arrives, Rhett invites her to “come in and look at my daughter’s beautiful blue eyes.”
Following a brief exchange about the eye color of most newborns, Melanie declares that the baby’s eyes are “as blue as the bonnie blue flag.” Rhett decides then and there that his daughter will be called Bonnie Blue Butler.
As Margaret Mitchell wrote: “And Bonnie she became until even her parents did not recall that she had been named for two queens.”
Scarlett and Rhett had agreed to name their daughter Eugenie Victoria. The first name was inspired by Empress Eugenie, the wife of Napoleon III, Emperor of France. The middle name was inspired by Queen Victoria, the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Perhaps the name choices were nods to Scarlett’s French-Irish heritage. Or perhaps Rhett knew that any girl-child of his would be raised as a princess.
Happy 75th Anniversary, Gone With the Wind!
Blog Bio: Pauline Bartel is the author of The Complete GONE WITH THE WIND Trivia Book (2nd edition), which will be published in spring 2014, and an expert on the film and its history. Visit the website (www.paulinebartel.com/resources/books/books-available) for further information. Follow her on Twitter @PaulineBartel and “like” her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TheCompleteGWTWTriviaBook).