Kate Middleton is widely referred to as... well, Kate Middleton - despite the fact that her official royal title is Catherine Elizabeth, Her Royal Highness Duchess of Cambridge.
Kate is a common nickname for Catherines all over the world, and so the duchess presumably became known as Kate to friends and family very early on. By the time she was introduced to the public all those years ago as Prince William's girlfriend, she was known as 'Kate' and not 'Catherine'.
But according to a recently-dug-up article dating back to 2008, Sunday Express columnist Adam Helliker revealed that Kate had actually asked her friends to stop referring to her Kate. Instead, she wanted them to start calling her Catherine instead; so does this mean Kate doesn't actually like being Kate, and would prefer to be known as Catherine?
Come to think of it, Prince William always refers to his wife as Catherine, but we had always assumed this was part of royal formality.
There was context to Kate/Catherine's apparent request; there had been a whole lot of speculation about whether she and William might soon get engaged. Kate had been attending more events, and the pair had been together for years (minus a brief hiccup where they temporarily split the year before).
"With Prince William’s engagement now a surefire certainty (even Ladbrokes has stopped taking bets on whether it will happen after a flurry of well-placed wagers) there are intriguing signs that Kate Middleton is preparing for her future role," wrote Helliker in his column.
"It looks like she’s taking it very seriously indeed too. I hear that in the past few weeks the former accessories buyer has quietly informed friends that she would like to drop the informal 'Kate' and in future wishes to be known by her full name: Catherine."
Kate's plea to be known as Catherine reportedly came via email, where she asked her nearest and dearest in a "gentle" and "jokey" way to make the change.
It remains to be seen whether or not Kate made the request for a name change because of a newfound dislike of 'Kate' - or whether it was because she was preparing herself for having a new, formal public persona as Prince William's wife.
If it was the latter, Kate's instinct proved to be right. On 16 November, 2010, the couple's engagement was announced. "The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton," read the statement from Clarence House.
Following their marriage, Miss Catherine Middleton became Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. But as that's a bit of a mouthful, her OG moniker Kate seems to been the one to stick.
Just give us a sign, Kate, if you really don't like going by that name. We'll happily go back to calling you Catherine.
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