30 December, 2017

"Royal Family Ties - Naming Kate . . . "


As Shakespeare once famously asked, "What's in a name?"  Well - for some of the members of the Royal Family, it can get a bit murky once you dive into the details.  Most every time The Duchess of Cambridge is named in any sort of press report, the dreaded "Kate Middleton" moniker arises at some point.  It (for YEARS!) was a pet peeve of mine that she was never called by her married name . . . but, that's where the problem lies.  Though the royal family are called The House of Windsor . . . the name "Mountbatten-Windsor" isn't in common usage as a surname.  Member's of Charles' side of the family at times use "Wales" as a surname.  Young Prince George is in preschool using "Cambridge" as his last name.  So when folks begin to complain about not using her married name . . . sadly, she kind of doesn't have one in regular usage.

There's also the "Kate" bit.  By all accounts, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge prefers to be called Catherine.  Whenever members of the Royal Family speak of her - they always call her Catherine.  To me it certainly seems overly familiar to call the future Queen by a nickname.  But - ever yet - the press continue to call her (in a very informal fashion) "Kate Middleton."

Here's where I think the real problem comes in.  Unlike the media in years past, articles written today DO NOT simply go into the trash bin tomorrow.  They live endlessly in online searches for endless years to come.  And if the public knows her by her maiden name - and searches for her by her maiden name - it's going to be tough to change that.  Don't forget, we knew her as "Kate Middleton" for almost 8 years while she and Prince Williams were dating.  I just did a quick search on google - "Kate Middleton" brought up 28 million results . . . where "Duchess of Cambridge" only brought up 13 million.  And take it from someone who understands to importance of branding . . . that's a HUGE difference. 

The other issue with her name is the future.  At some point, once Charles becomes King, she will most likely become the new Princess of Wales.  And I think that THAT ONE is going to be the one the sticks - and I'm excited to see her in that role, with that iconic title.  Until then, I'll have to grit my teeth at every "Kate Middleton" article that I see.


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