The reason why every princess is named Zelda explained in Hyrule Historia

In every Zelda game there is a princess of the land carrying that name. Some of us have wondered just why it is that in each era there is a princess named Zelda. But those familiar with the blacksheep of the Zelda franchise, The Adventure of Link, already had the answer.

They will remember that the backstory presented in the instruction manual states that after the tragedy of the sleeping princess, all royal born females were to be given that name. This, however, leaves a problem when we take the timeline into consideration and see that a great many princesses were named Zelda before her. Those who wondered if this could possibly be reconciled or if it was a mistake on Nintendo’s part can rest assured that the answer has at long last been resolved on page 105 in Hyrule Historia.

The tome of knowledge explains that while it’s true that many royal females were named “Zelda” after the legendary one featured in Skyward Sword, it never became a stipulation that they all must be until the tragedy spoken of in The Adventure of Link‘s backstory. Until then it was a matter of choice.
The actual passage (as translated on GlitterBerri’s site) from Hyrule Historia reads:

The First Princess Zelda
Even in the past, there had been princesses named ‘Zelda’ after the legend, but the Princess Zelda of this time was the first Princess Zelda of the stipulation of always using the name Zelda. Every princess born afterwards shall be named Zelda.”

Now we can finally set one oft-debated piece of Zelda trivia to bed, and thank Nintendo for having at last made good sense of it.

Source: GlitterBerri