Kate is the friend who was sitting with you at your cafeteria table.
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But Kate is “Princess William of Wales”—in fact, that would have been her only title, had she not been bestowed the “Duchess of Cambridge” distinction.
*People’*s lead royal correspondent Simon Perry assessed that this lack of clarity could be leading people, who do not necessarily keep up with ins and outs of royal titles, to just stick with the name they know.
While it is not impossible to shift what you’re known as to the general public (as “Diddy” can attest to), it is never exactly an easy feat to pull off, either. Another issue here is that, even though her official title is “Duchess of Cambridge,” sure, there is some confusion, among the public, as to what she actually is supposed to be called, at least according to the Palace.
When she was married, her title became “Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge” (though, amusingly, when she enters Scotland, her title changes to “Her Royal Highness, The Countess of Strathearn”).
As such, that “Middleton” surname always acted—and still does act, in a way—like a reminder of the “fairy-tale” element of their romance: Kate dating, and then marrying, an actual prince (you know, if you bumped into a man in a Duane Reade after work one day who asked you on a date, only for him to reveal at Shake Shack later that he was in fact a prince).
Boston University professor Arianne Chernock, who focuses on modern British history, assessed that Kate probably even “benefits” from our continued usage of “Middleton.” Chernock told VF.com, “It doesn’t hurt her that the American press especially refers to her as Kate Middleton.One of the tabloids claims the rocker asked the actress to marry him during a hike on their first anniversary of dating. A so-called “source” tells , “When he told her he wanted to marry her, she immediately said yes! “Kate wants all of her friends to share in her happiness,” adds the questionable insider.“Everyone’s expecting them to have a glamorous reception next year.“Duchess Kate” and “Princess Kate,” less popular alternates, result in 1.2 million and 550,000 hits, respectively. The simplest explanation for the fact that we still refer to her as Kate Middleton is that, well, that is the name we all “grew up with.” When, as a public, we were first introduced to Kate, she was Prince William’s longtime girlfriend, not yet a member of the royal family (or a style icon) herself.So, why is it that we still call a woman whose husband refers to her as Catherine, and to whom the palace refers as the Duchess, ? Headlines shouted about their romance (“Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Glam Polo Match Afternoon,” etc.), and part of the appeal of their relationship, a key aspect of the narrative, was that William’s girlfriend did come from an aristocratic or royal background.T and the Women with her real-life best friend Liv Tyler.