Kate Middleton or Catherine? How the name of Princess of Wales changed after the Queen’s death

Although she has been in the British royal family for more than 11 years, most people know the woman who married Prince William as Kate Middleton.

Although the princess referred to herself as Catherine well before her marriage, her college nickname Kate seems to have stuck.

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Now that Catherine is a princess, will the world finally dump Kate Middleton?

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And what will remain – Princess Kate, Princess Catherine or her more formal title Catherine, Princess of Wales?

The now 40-year-old, who was born Catherine Elizabeth Middleton, passed Catherine in her childhood and school until her college days when she switched to Kate, according to People.

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Kate Middleton in 2004. Recognition: Antony Jones/British press via Getty Images

It was here that Catherine met Prince William, who knew her as Kate before deciding to switch back to Catherine in 2008.

‘Wait Katie’

It was widely reported that Catherine was then asking friends to stop calling her Kate.

But it was too late.

The media had already spotted Kate Middleton and worse, Catherine was nicknamed ‘Waity Katie’ by the British tabloids when she was ‘waiting’ for a proposal.

After Catherine married into the royal family, she dropped Middleton to become Catherine Elizabeth Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge.

And while William and family referred to her as Catherine and the new Duchess signed off on social media with a “C,” they appeared to be the only ones.

Catherine became the Duchess of Cambridge after marrying Prince William. Recognition: Georges de Keerle/GP/Getty Images

She remained known to the world as Kate Middleton, which did not happen to her mother-in-law, Princess Diana.

Unlike Catherine, Lady Diana Spencer was immediately known to the public as Princess Diana and quickly dropped her Spencer surname.

She was referred to by the public as Princess Diana – or more commonly just Diana – although technically she was titled Diana, Princess of Wales.

So how did Diana drop the Spencer? Perhaps because she immediately earned the memorable title of Princess over Duchess – by marrying the then Prince of Wales, Charles.

The Prince and Princess of Wales in 2010. Recognition: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Meanwhile, as Duchess, Catherine would never be known as Duchess Kate or Catherine as the title is of lower rank and is never styled that way.

Catherine also spent much more time in the public eye before her marriage and was the subject of intense media scrutiny as Middleton.

Kate Middleton was the name that firmly cemented itself in the UK and world media, regardless of whether she went on to marry the future king.

When Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8th, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge became Catherine, Princess of Wales.

Catherine, Princess of Wales. Recognition: WPA pool/Getty Images

New era

As the crown shifts, the world’s media are adjusting the way they refer to the new Princess of Wales, with many dumping Kate Middleton altogether.

Kate Middleton’s Google search trend has plummeted, with Catherine, Princess of Wales now well ahead.

Along with her formal title, her new name is gradually being shortened to either Princess Catherine or Princess Kate.

While Princess Catherine is technically incorrect, like Princess Diana, she is more memorable and shorter than Catherine, Princess of Wales.

The Wales family. Recognition: Getty Images

Along with Catherine, their three children have new titles since their parents became the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Formerly known as Prince George of Cambridge, second in line to the throne will now be Prince George of Wales.

This also applies to his two younger siblings, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

Prince William went to school and the military as William Wales. Recognition: Getty

At school they will probably move from George Cambridge to George Wales.

They will follow in the footsteps of their father, known as William Wales during his school days and military service.

In addition to her title of Princess of Wales, Catherine also retains her title of Duchess of Cambridge and Cornwall – the second of which she inherited from Queen Consort Camilla.

So what will remain with multiple names flying around for the new Princess of Wales?

Only time can tell.

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