Benedict Cumberbatch & Sophie welcomed their second son, Hal Auden

Doctor Strange launch

I totally forgot that Sophie Hunterbatch was pregnant! That’s how low-key Benedict Cumberbatch has been in 2017. Granted, his 2016 was a little bit crazy, but he seems to have learned some lessons from The Cumberbatching of 2014-15, where he was everywhere, all the time, hustling for the Oscar and for his new bride and baby. Of course, there were some awkward moments during the Doctor Strange promotional tour last year, like when he made Sophie sound like a loyal and faithful dog, or when he said that Sophie’s greatest achievement was having his baby. Sophie and Benedict announced their second pregnancy just as the Strange promotion was starting. And now they’ve welcomed their second child… another boy! And we know the name too.

He has yet to formally announce the news – but Benedict Cumberbatch has become a father for the second time. The actor’s wife, Sophie Hunter, 39, gave birth to their second son at the £1,200-a-night Portland Hospital in London on March 3. And in true thespian style, Cumberbatch named his boy after a Shakespearean hero.

Hal was the nickname Henry V had before he became the hero of Agincourt. But in choosing the name, Cumberbatch could also be acknowledging his affection for fellow screen star Tom Hiddleston. The pair starred together in 2012 in The Hollow Crown, an amalgamation of Shakespeare’s history plays in which Cumberbatch played Richard III and Hiddleston took the role of Hal. They have been close pals ever since meeting on the set of Steven Spielberg’s film War Horse in 2010.

‘We became friends for life,’ Hiddleston has said.

The baby’s full name is Hal Auden Cumberbatch, and is a brother to Christopher, who was born in June 2015. Sophie and the Sherlock star, 40, welcomed their son Christopher in June 2015, just a few months after their Valentine’s Day wedding.

[From The Daily Mail]

Hal Auden Cumberbatch? I think Bendy and Sophie are basically acknowledging that it’s difficult to find a first name to “match” the weirdness that is the “Cumberbatch” last name. They solved the dilemma well with the first baby – Christopher Cumberbatch is a lovely name, as is Kit Cumberbatch (which is the nickname they apparently use). I bet they were aiming for some one-syllable “punchy” name and they came up with Hal. But Hal Cumberbatch sounds like one of two options: a total dweeb who works in I.T. in Nebraska OR a total posh dweeb who had to drop out of Eton because of a case of the vapors. They should have just called him Mick Cumberbatch or Wolf Cumberbatch. Something to de-posh the surname.

And no, I don’t think calling the baby Hal had anything to do with Tom Hiddleston. Tom and Benedict aren’t THAT close. But it probably was a Shakespearean reference.

'Doctor Strange' Launch Event, Westminster Abbey, London, UK

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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108 Responses to “Benedict Cumberbatch & Sophie welcomed their second son, Hal Auden”

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  1. Daisy says:

    Wolf Cumberbatch sounds super posh.
    Auden doesn’t sound posh at all, like one od those made up american names.

    • Juniper says:

      Likely after WH Auden – so really quite posh. Or at least pretentious.

      • third ginger says:

        I have a friend whose son is named Auden. We are American academics and often name our children after people we admire. Not every child has to have a trendy,contemporary name.

      • Megan says:

        Auden was very trendy in the US about 10 years ago. While I greatly admire Auden’s work, I would be reluctant to name my child after someone who died so angry and bitter.

      • third ginger says:

        Megan, the son I am talking about is a college freshman. The name was unusual when he was born. I have never run into another Auden.

      • Megan says:

        @third ginger We have quite a few friends with children named Auden and Bronte.

      • third ginger says:

        Never met a Bronte. Is that boys or girls? I did not mean to be testy. Our daughter’s name is very old and plain. We did not go for the highly unusual. Henry was a favorite, but we could only have one child. Very lucky.

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        Definitely after Auden. I would say it would be almost like giving your daughter the middle name “Plath.” I love Auden, but please don’t curse this child.

        I think they should have named the boy Adonis. Now *that* would make an unforgettable impression.

      • Lightpurple says:

        The Brontes I have met have all been female felines. At least three of them.

  2. Sixer says:

    Pfft. If they’ve gone all Elizabethan and Christopher is Kit, why is Hal not Henry? Or is it too American to theme the names of one’s offspring?

    • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

      He kinda has theme named his sons – both are ‘homage’ to well known British playwrights, Christopher Marlowe and Shakespeare. He’s just proved that he’s a posh boy thespian twat who’s trying too hard to be ‘cool’. Even Sienna Miller is on that bandwagon when she named her daughter Marlowe (after Christopher Marlowe).

      • third ginger says:

        I agree. I do not think it has anything to do with Hiddleston, but that’s the British press for you.

      • Sixer says:

        Badly phrased on my part. That’s what I meant. There’s a theme. But why pick the full name for one, then use the nickname, but the nickname as the full name for the other? I’m a crabbit old bag and also a picky one.

        The latest edition to the wider Sixer family is called Edith. Bonny thing with an excellent line in smelly nappies, one of which I changed yesterday morning! I love the way names cycle in and out fashion.

      • Becky says:

        Sixer, I think there was a suggestion BC is a 2001 fan.

      • Fluff says:

        The full name might be Henry. They haven’t confirmed or announced anything, it’s a tabloid leak. The tabloid might have got it wrong or whoever leaked it might have given the name they’re calling him rather than the name on his birth certificate.

        Though I read that Hal is his grandfather’s name and that he wrote his dissertation on Space 2001, so probably the name/nickname was inspired by different things.

      • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

        I love some of the older names -I know a few toddlers called Ruby. I like Isa, short for Isabel.

      • Lightpurple says:

        @Sixer, congrats to the whole Sixer clan and welcome, Edith.

      • Sixer says:

        Thank you!

      • Frisbee says:

        @sixer congrats to Edith you’ll be an interesting relative to have around!

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        I *love* the name Edith! I would love to see that make a comeback!

    • Lightpurple says:

      It’s prove that he’s an alien from a space odyssey!

      • third ginger says:

        I love the name Edith. For me [aging English professor] I associate it with Edith Wharton, first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize!

    • M4lificent says:

      My son’s nickname is Kit (for Christian), which is common in the UK, but considered slightly odd in the US. Aside from being an unrecovering English Lit major, and all about the Elizabethan nicknames, we already have two Chrises (Christine and Christopher) and a Tina (Christina) in our large extended family. Another Chris just seemed like overkill.

  3. Mia4s says:

    I like it. I like the shorter (or abbreviated first names) with a heavy last name. Yep, I like it.

  4. Erinn says:

    All I can think of is Hal Wilkerson from Malcolm in the Middle played by Bryan Cranston.

    I don’t actually dislike the name Hal. It’s one of those ‘solid, perfectly inoffensive’ sort of names.

    Hilariously – since I work in IT though not in Nebraska – we’re actually overrun with Chris’ – some more skeevy than others. Two that I consider good friends though.

  5. Cee says:

    Hal Auden? OK…

    Kaiser I disagree with the surname Cumberbatch being difficult to match with names. I can think of different names that would go alright with it. Also, they could’ve used Hunter as a nod to her – after all their first son got to carry the unofficial first surname of Carlton.

  6. Lightpurple says:

    “Open the pod bay doors, HAL.”

    2001: A Space Odyssey! They named their kid after a computer in a science fiction movie!

    Comet Sophies all around!

  7. Pett says:

    Poor baby, his dad is a big fan of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Hal 9000
    Auden… Hmm…
    People who think that he is gay will glad to hear it.

  8. Fluff says:

    It’s more likely the kid was named after his great-grandfather than the Shakespeare character.

  9. kNY says:

    Hal is a nickname for Henry. Why not just name him Henry and call him Hal? That’s just my opinion. I’ve known a bunch of people named nicknames like Jenny and Chrissy and they spend a lot of time explaining that, yes, those are their real names and not Jennifer or Christina.

  10. Becky says:

    She had the kid on March 3? And the Hiddles connection is a reach.

  11. shelley* says:

    Names that go with Cumberbatch:

    And many, many others.

    Names that do NOT go with Cumberbatch: (imo)

    And many, many others.

    • Sixer says:

      Which columnist used to mock posh interns by calling them Tarquins? Was it a columnist? Couldn’t we have a Tarquin Cumberbatch?

    • shelley* says:

      Was it Private Eye ?

      • antipodean says:

        I recall that Monty Python, way back in the day, used to lampoon Tarquin Phtang Phtang Ole Biscuit Barrel, who was a member of the Slightly Silly Party. But Tarquins were always targeted as silly posh types. When I think of some of those old jokes/skits, they were hilarious at the time, but terruuubly unPC.

      • DameEdna says:

        Sounds like something Paul Merton would say. Or am I confusing Tarquin with a tub of lard?

  12. bread says:

    Hal Auden is a bit of an awkward name to me. The sound of it is too open and undefined; your mouth barely makes any plosives or stop consonants while pronouncing it.

  13. mmm says:

    Hal is a word in Arabic.It means solution.

  14. third ginger says:

    What people think of names is so subjective. That’s why so many couples will not tell baby names in advance. They get so much crap about it, whatever they have chosen.

  15. Me says:

    I always wonder about sentences like: they are not that close…. Hiddleston and Cumberbatch have been close friends since War Horse. So close that he attended his wedding. I don’t invite people to a wedding if I am not close to them. Hiddleston once replied that he could never choose between Chris and Ben as they are both dear friends. As for the name, I really think that they were focussing on a short name. Why not Henry? Don’t think that Hal has anything to do with Hiddleston though. Probably more because of his love for Shakespeare.

    • Fluff says:

      Meh, it’s a tabloid. The DM are always trying to stick the boot in.

    • Lightpurple says:

      Not just invited to the wedding but had him do a reading.

      • Me says:

        He did? Didn’t know that…

      • third ginger says:

        Yes. That they are pretty close seems to be an established fact. It’s one of the few things about Hiddleston that is not made up these days.

      • spidey says:

        And MTV reported this of an Elton John concert back in 2013:

        Meanwhile actors Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch were spied dancing up a storm in the front row of the upstairs balcony.

  16. beees says:

    Mark Dexter‏@RealMarkDexter
    Cumberbatch & I worked together on Heartbeat in 2004 when my son was 2. My son Hal. He thought Hal was a great name. Clearly wasn’t kidding.

  17. Felice. says:

    It’s a Kubrick reference lol. He loves Kubrick and Hal is the computer that kills everyone.

    • Fluff says:

      It’s also his grandfather’s name.

      • Pett says:

        Hal is own name. Hal 9000. If it is reference to his grandfather, child’s name would be Henry(nickname Hal), but nope.

      • j says:

        i wager his grandfather went by hal tbh. his great-grandfather was also henry and nicks are usually how handle same names in a household

  18. Meow says:

    They are both extraordinarily long-faced people, aren’t they?

  19. smee says:

    All I hear reading that name is Halodin.

  20. spidey says:

    Actually Ben and Tom did not work together on The Hollow Crown in 2012 – would have been a bit difficult because Henry V died 30 years before Richard III was born!!

    And perhaps they just like the names Hal and Auden. Much better than some of the stupid name the clebs call their kids like North, Dream, Apple, Blue Ivy, Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches, Little Pixie. 🙄

    • delorb says:

      LOL! When the name Hal gets just as much if not more grief than Fifi Trixibell and Pilot Inspektor. Congrats to the parents. Now to check in on the crazies who think the first baby is a doll….

  21. spidey says:

    Henry V died in 1422 Richard III was born 1452 so no Ben and Tom didn’t work together on the Hollow Crown in 2012.

    And perhaps Ben and Sophie just like the name Hal Auden, which is considerably better than names, like Apple, North, Dream…….. 🙄

    • spidey says:

      Sorry about the duplicate post, the first one disappeared then reappeared???

      • third ginger says:

        Mine, too. I wanted to compliment you on your usual good sense.

      • spidey says:

        Thank you third ginger. But I begin to wonder if some malign post eating force it as work on here sometimes!

      • Confettigirl says:

        You must be saying something the mods don’t agree with.
        Happens a lot around here. Comments disappear or getting banned when you didn’t break any rules.

      • spidey says:

        @ Confettigirl Some of the posts that disappear are so harmless I just can’t understand why. It’s ridiculous.

  22. mkyarwood says:

    Congrats, love the name Hal. Wolf was on our list too, along with Hawthorne and Byron for middles. We has only girls, though. They’re also allowed to change their names after 16 if they really think we’ve missed the mark, lol. Is it just me, or does Sophie look like his twin sister??

  23. seesittellsit says:

    Cue the crazies insisting there is either no baby (the Portland Hospital again bribed by a minor millionaire to collude to defraud the public and the British government) or if there is, it isn’t Cumberbatches as never in his entire adult life has he EVER had sexx with that woman . . .

    And love the name, btw.

    • bread says:

      People have been commenting on this story for more than two hours now and nobody’s mentioned anything of that tumblr guff but you.

      • Becky says:

        I was wondering what happened to the crazies without venturing onto any blogs, and to be honest they are certifiable.

    • Cee says:

      Let’s leave the crazy to Tumblr and off Celebitchy…

    • Fluff says:

      They’re not here because they’re all over today’s other Cumby thread about the name change.

  24. courtney says:

    congrats to them on the birth of their son and it’s sweet and quite traditional to name children after relatives for example Mira Sorvino’s younger son is named Holden Paul Terry [Paul after her father and Terry after her husband Terry Backus]

  25. Skylark says:

    Hal Cumberbatch works for me. Congrats to them.

  26. OhDear says:

    Aw, congrats to them.

  27. Batata says:

    I was sure they were having a girl.

    • Penfold says:

      I bet they’ll have one more in a couple years- and it’ll be a girl.

      Kit Cumberbatch sounds like a tween superhero name, it’s kind of cool. I could see him being a character in a Nickelodeon tv show.

      Hal Cumberbatch…could be worse 🙂

      • CdnMagician says:

        I bet they’ll try for a girl as well. It’s more common for parents of two boys to have a third baby, apparently.

  28. Joanie says:

    “Hal, put your toys away.”

    “I can’t do that, Dad.”

  29. Bxhal says:

    Congrats to BC and his wife. Love, love, love Ben as an actor. Well, at least in Sherlock and Doc Strange, and hope to see him in more popular works. Im sure he’s a pretentious fool irl but thats for Sophie to deal with.

  30. Margo S. says:

    I’m sorry, but one time in the comments someone said that they look like siblings, and I can’t unseen it now….

  31. Me says:

    Is it just me or is the Cumberbatch hype over? Married guy with two kids not attractive anymore? 😂

  32. Andrea says:

    I cannot believe they are still together after such a brief time together pre baby. My friend did something similar (pregnant after dating two months) and now after baby #2 they are done.

    • Carmen says:

      Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. A friend of mine was in a similar situation and she and her husband are still happily married after 35 years.

    • delorb says:

      Perhaps it’s because they were together longer than 2 months?

    • Spiderpig says:

      Not that it matters but I used to work for the RSC, now the Royal Court and know some of the Sherlock (but don’t know Cumberbatch personally) and know his Hamlet director well, and by all accounts they managed to keep their relationship secret for some months before they went public. Not a long time, I don’t think (maybe 6 months? 8? Can’t remember when I first heard) but they’ve certainly been together longer than the public are aware of.

      Supposedly it is Henry officially with Hal as the name they’re using. Not uncommon. David Tennant (who I’ve worked with twice) and his wife call their kids mainly by shortened versions of their real names -Dolly for Doris – and because some fans spy on her FB the nicknames have been reported as the real names. Ironically their eldest kid is Ty full stop and the press often reports his name as Tyler on the wrong assumption it’s a nickname.

  33. Syko says:

    I always thought Hal was a nickname for Harold, and that Harry was the usual nickname for Henry. But what do I know, I named my kids plain old boring names like Michael and Jennifer. I’m a little miffed that he seems to think giving birth to his child would be the high point of her life. Having kids is usually a high point for a woman, but the emphasis seems to be on “his”. Yuck.

  34. ToasterKid says:

    His grandfather went by either Harry or Hank. That was the common nickname at the time. There is a pic somewhere. Hal is Harold not Henry. Sophie has a new nickname too.

    • j says:

      hal is for henry or harold and has been for awhile, since shakespearen times (prince hal is a henry)

  35. ToasterKid says:

    Prince Hal is used in Shakespeare as a way as an insult and to bring Henry down to a commoner. Although he is referred to in the play by Hal it is almost exclusively by Flastaff and only 41 times. The rest of the court, his father and the general public call him Harry. Hank is a more military nickname for Henry because they like the rhyme of Hank the Tank. Seeing as Benedict’s G-father was noted several times on record for “being good at sport” , at rugby, and other such physical games and from the family photos I’ve seen, Hank the Tank would be about right.

    @syko You should see the article that actually seemed to say Tom “achived” the kid!

    Also No big deal on the Name change two years later though? So weird!

  36. ToasterKid says:

    @Fluff didn’t you hear? Officially Sophie #Cumberbatch after only 2 years and 2 kids. It must be tru luv

    • Spiderpig says:

      So? She’s been going by Cumberbatch privately for a long time already.

      Georgia Tennant changed her name privately when they got married, got relentlessly slammed for it. Continued to use Moffett as her acting name, got slammed for that. Started using Tennant professionally only after something like five years together and three kids, got slammed for that too. Women who marry famous men cannot win.

    • Fluff says:

      Little bit of Tumblr creeping in? Like we know anything about them or their lives.

      I think most people are unaware how name changes work in the UK. Married women are legally “Mrs HusbandName” from the minute they get married if they so choose. You don’t need to fill in any paperwork or do anything in order to change your name, unless you want your passport (or driver’s licence, bank account, etc.) to be under your new name – in which case you just send a copy of your marriage licence in (no need for deed poll – marriage licence acts as the deed poll).

      Many women don’t bother to get new passports on marrying because there is simply no need for it – they are already legally Mrs HusbandName. Most of my married friends (those who did abandon their maiden names) only bothered to apply for new passports under their married name when they had kids, to avoid the hassle of having to explain to airport officials why their kids had different names.

      • Spiderpig says:

        Anecdotally, most of the married women I know decided to keep their maiden names after getting married for feminist reasons, and changed their minds a few years into the marriage due to wanting to have the same name as their kids, or pressure from the kids, or practical problems resulting in having a different surname (likie being constantly questioned about your relationship to your own kids).

        The whole “keeping your maiden name means you don’t love your husband” thing is exactly the kind of sexist thinking I hoped went out with the dinosaurs.