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Duchess Kate? Princess Kate? What's Your Denomination for the Former Kate Middleton?

Sunday, September 14, 2014



Tomorrow is Harry's 30th birthday and the rumored birthday bash that was to be held at Kensington Palace is now allegedly postponed due to Kate's illness. The Mirror reported:
Harry, who is 30 on Monday, had invited close friends to a mini banquet tonight at Kate and Prince William’s newly refurbished apartment in Kensington Palace.
But last week he contacted his guests and announced he felt it was “inappropriate” to carry on with the party in light of Kate’s illness.
Obviously, for the party to be cancelled or postponed, it had to first have been planned to start with.  The initial report was never confirmed, but it seems only natural to me that the prince would celebrate a milestone birthday like 30, and it also seems reasonable that the party would be thrown at the Cambridges KP apartment. 
Camilla Thurlow, 25, rumoured to be Harry’s new girlfriend, is thought to have been among the disappointed guests, along with best friend Guy Pelly and cousins Beatrice, Eugenie and Zara.
That's a pretty safe bet on possible guests, but I still think the story is true. Since it seems very, very likely that Kate was playing a significant role in the implementation of the party, postponing was inevitable.

The Duchess remains ill in London as she battles through what we hope are only a few more weeks of her intense morning sickness. William said on his walkabout last week that he hoped it wouldn't be "too long" and certainly I am crossing my fingers that this follows the same pattern as last year and that she doesn't end up having a tougher time the second go-around. 



On an unrelated note, I stumbled upon an article where there was a discussion about Kate's name. What is her actual last name, is she Kate or Catherine, do you call her Duchess Kate or Princess Kate? Etc, etc. It was kind of fun, but you couldn't go in as a stickler for titles, that's for sure. Don't bother pointing out "Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge" is a divorced woman's appellation. But joining with a relaxed sense of fun, I was about to comment that my theory is that Americans tend to call Kate "Princess Kate" while those on the other side of the Pond go with Duchess Kate, but then I remembered several times when I have heard children and adults on walkabouts calling Kate "Princess Kate." So, I put it to you, international readers, what do you call Kate? Princess? Duchess? Style Goddess? Do you have a rhyme or a reason for it? Let me know! You don't have anything better to do, right?





41 comments:

  1. If you omit the titles, Catherine Wales. Otherwise, one official title is Princess William of Wales.

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  2. Princess. Leeds, UK

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  3. Duchess. Connecticut, USA

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  4. I call her both depending on my mood. Princess and Duchess.

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  5. I call her either the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess, or just plain Kate in casual conversation. I don't say "Duchess Kate" or "Princess Kate" ever, it just sounds wrong somehow. I've even referred to her as "the Duchess of Cambridge--the former Kate Middleton" when talking to Americans who I know won't know who I'm talking about if I just call her the Duchess of Cambridge.
    I would assume if she had to specify a last name, she'd use the same one William uses in his military identification, which is Wales. But I doubt she ever uses one since she doesn't really need to.
    I live in California, but I'm originally from the South, where social protocol was ingrained in me from an early age. So I tend to try and follow that with respect to anyone with a title. Even though it's odds on I'll never have to make use of that knowledge in person. :)

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  6. Princess. Nantes, France.

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  7. Me, I used to call her Katie but I have to admit now I prefer Duchess or Duchess of Cambridge. I think I should use particular respect when I am talking about her. She deserves it. And when we are talking about HRH´s fashion - she is an absolute style icon for me - it is one sophisticated, elegant, young woman.
    I live in the heart of Europe, Slovakia.

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  8. Regarding her first name and titles, I think of her as Kate altho never as Kate Middleton.To me, she's the girl next-door, just Kate. When I refer to her in posts, I often yield to the temptation to take a familiar shortcut, and write Kate.

    Nevertheless, there are times when I refer to her, in writing, as the Duchess of Cambridge because it is her due. As regards her last name, in my view it is Windsor, not Mountbatten-Windsor, which seems to be illegal and a construct of the Queen, used to placate her husband, Prince Philip. JC

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  9. The one thing she is definitely not is Kate Middleton and it drives me nuts when journalists insist on calling her thus. It's like those who always called Diana by the name Lady Di. It shows a lack of acknowledgement of their marriages and an incredible lack of respect for their roles as senior members of the royal family.

    As for a last name, if one had to be used, I would guess it would be Cambridge. The "Windsor" or "Mountbatten-Windsor" was only used for those of the Queen's family who did not have the title of Prince or Princess - with the notable exception of Charles' military last name. With the exception of his military designation, William is no longer titled a prince of Wales. When the Queen gave him a peerage of his own he no longer needed to use his father's designation. He is a royal prince by birth so his wife is a royal princess and his son a royal prince but the title of his own peerage (Cambridge) is more important. Since George is styled Prince George of Cambridge, I would imagine his mother would prefer the same "last name" so to speak. As a family they are called The Cambridges.

    What do I call her? In casual conversation, such as here discussing her fashion, I just say Kate. If I were to have need to discuss her or write about her in a more formal sense I would use the title HRH, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and thereafter just HRH. I believe there was a specific announcement by The Palace before the marriage that she would be called Catherine in public and not Kate. I notice that is how William always refers to her. If I were to have a "private audience" (as if!) it would be proper to call her "Your Royal Highness" in the first greeting and "Ma'am" thereafter. But, like Diana, I think Kate wants to be connected with the people so, for the purposes of us discussing amongst each other what she's wearing, etc., she would probably be just fine with the use of Kate. William may not be OK with that since he was raised in a much more formal setting than she was but, he's so proud of her, he'll get over it. ;-)

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    1. Hi Robin,

      I think the press still refers to Kate as Kate Middleton because that is how most people know her. Most people I know don't really follow the royals but they know who Kate Middleton is, if I where to say "Duchess of Cambridge" I would be met with blank stares. Personally I don't really think any disrespect is intended, journalists are just using the name that most people recognize.

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    2. I've also heard "Kate Middleton" is the most common search engine words for people, so that is why media uses Kate Middleton so much. I honestly default to KM, but it's because it's what I constantly see in the media. BUT I know she has a more proper/correct name.

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  10. I call her Kate, and she'll always be Kate. Though when I did meet her and Wills in Australia, it was most definitely "Your Royal Highness" then either Sir or Ma'am, depending on who you were talking too.

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  11. New Zealander's are casual and call people generally by their first name, however, we are still aware of formal titles in particuIar situations. I was lucky enough to meet both of them when they were here and most people were calling them Kate and William. I use Kate in normal conversation, but with formal events or writing she would be addressed as ma'am, HRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge or HRH Princess William. Princess Kate is not correct as although she is a "princess of the realm" for being married to William, she is not of royal blood, therefore, Princess Kate is incorrect. To become a princess the Queen would have to issue Letters Patent as in the case with Prince Phillip. It annoys me beyond explanation by the ignorance of media and people who call her Princess as she just is not one (and Diana for that matter too).

    As for surname, William is a Windsor but has used his fathers title as his surname as well. As he and George are in line to the throne, they would keep the name Windsor, therefore, as his wife, Kate's surname would be Windsor. However, they do use Cambridge.

    KiwiNic

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  12. Hi Jane,

    It's so interesting to see how others refer to Kate. I really haven't seen many articles refer to her as Princess, most often she's referred to as Duchess Kate/Catherine.

    Personally I refer to her as Duchess Kate, "the Duchess" or just Kate.

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  13. Hi, Jane,

    Thank you for continuing to post items of interest while we wait for Kate to feel better.

    As you can see, I call her "Kate" when discussing her with those I know admire her for the most part. The rest of the time, when speaking of her to less interested/more potentially negative people, I call her "the Duchess".

    I hate how the press still refers to her as "Kate Middleton" after three plus years of marriage and a baby. I think it's ignorant at the very least and meant to be belittling at worst.

    Happy Birthday to Prince Harry! I hope they can have his birthday party soon!

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  14. When I talk about her I still default to 'Kate Middleton'. Although, I believe the BP prefers for her to be referred to as HRH Duchess Catherine, and William always refers to her as Catherine (and that is how she signs her name). Kind of reminds me of Tom Cruise with Katie Holmes...he started calling her "Kate", because it was more mature. I think even if she used to be called Kate by William, he's changed it (at least publicly) for image purposes. Speaking of which, when her voicemails from William were hacked, back when they were dating, did he call her Kate or Catherine?

    I also know BP has said she can be called Princess Catherine, and she is technically a princess, but it's more about what her formal title is. One of the Scottish politicians last week congratulated the 'Duke and Duchess of Strathearn' on their pregnancy, and I acknowledge that is their title there and relevant.

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  15. Just a reminder, Prince George's birth certificate says:

    HRH Prince George...of Cambridge

    HRH Prince William...Duke of Cambridge, occupation: Prince of the United Kingdom

    Catherine Elizabeth HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, occupation: Princess of the United Kingdom

    Canada

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    1. Kate to people who would know who I was talking about, other than that Duchess of Cambridge. Kate Middleton to people who have no idea.

      California

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  16. I forget which blog it was (perhaps the hrhduchesskate one?) but there was a story awhile back (when she was in Angsley) about her forgetting her wallet before going shopping. She realized the error at the store and told the owner she would be back and apparently the owner didn't recognize her and asked for her last name to hold the item and she referred to herself as Mrs.Cambridge.

    I keep defaulting to hrh duchess of Cambridge aka kate middleton since nobody around me seems to know her by her official title.

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    1. I recall this story too! I just wonder what her last name will be when she becomes Queen.

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    2. I remember the Angsley story as well. I believe William and Kate use Cambridge as last name. Great question about what Kate's last name will be when Queen. Also, after Prince Charles passes away, will William still be Duke of Cambridge or will he become Prince of Wales. LOVE this discussion, Jane! Also, love knowing Will's and Kate's location during weekend. Thanks for your tremendous work. Katherine USA

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  17. I'm from America and never read anyone referring to Kate Middleton as "Princess Kate." It's always "Duchess Kate."

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  18. She is no longer Kate Middleton......

    She is The Duchess of Cambridge.

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  19. I'm from the U.S. and I call her Duchess Kate most of the time. When I think about her fairy-tale life, I think of her as Princess Kate or the Future Queen. :)

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  20. Hi Jane I think you have raised an interesting topic there. I call her Duchess Kate or just Kate. I find it interesting how there will be certain headlines on magazines for instance, and they will call her Kate Middleton. I suppose it's to do with the fact that she was married into the royal family as opposed to born into it. I think the British public are still fascinated by the middle class girl who became a Duchess, so sometimes there is confusion over what to call her. I think children call her Princess because I suppose she seems like everything a princess should be to them, kind, graceful, beautiful, elegant. I think children call Kate princess with fairytales in mind.

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  21. On the morning of their wedding it was announced that her title would be HRH Princess William, Duchess of Cambridge. but added, that no one would mind too much if she was called Princess Catherine.

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  22. Hi there,
    I refer to her as Kate or Duchess Catherine. Imke (Austria)

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  23. Hello ! Some of my students are going to do a little essay on Kate or Diana for their Baccalauréat and I always insist that the title should be Diana, Princess of Wales or Catherine, duchess of Cambridge as they are not princesses in their own right. p.s. : I am just catching up here (so many news, so little time !) but I must absolutely find out if, when I suggested that Kate was pregnant in a comment, she already was. Can you help ??! Just imagine if I knew it before she did (just joking of course).

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  24. I try to remember to use 'Duchess of Cambridge' as a matter of respect but people who are less into this than me seem to understand 'Kate Middleton' more widely.

    I do genuinely wonder what name is on her driving licence.

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  25. when i heard the happy expectancy news, i said to my husband "the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting the Spare!" and we talked about the Heir and the Spare and how British people like their sayings to rhyme ;) then, 2 hours later he saw the article himself and said to me "hey did you see Kate Middleton is pregnant too?" i wondered who he thought i was talking about before! he said he thought she was the Duchess of York LOL. so in my mind i think of her as the Duchess of Cambridge (or Princess William if i'm being particularly fairy-tale-ish and dreamy) but i should call her Kate Middleton if i want my husband to understand!! :)

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  26. Americans don't really buy in to that "royalty" thing. We don't advertise that fact, but deep down none of us believe anyone is really "royal". They're just well born. Most people refer to her as Kate Middleton. Most American media outlets call her Kate Middleton. Americans really only refer to anyone using a royal title to placate Europeans.
    Pennsylvania, USA

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  27. I refer to her as Kate Cambridge or Catherine Cambridge if I'm not calling her just "the Duchess". Neither "Duchess Kate" or "Princess Kate" is correct, nor is "Kate Middleton," since she ceased to use her maiden name on her wedding day. A title name is often used as a de facto surname. Prince Edward's wife is frequently called Sophie Wessex".

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  28. This is fun! Nice idea, Jane! It's incredible how different the answers turned out.
    I'm calling her Kate. When I'm talking to people who don't know her that much, I call her "Herzogin Kate" (the german word for Duchess) with sometimes mentioning that she's a member of the BRITISH royal family.
    It's so cute (and kind of typical) that William calls her Catherine in public. I'm sure he doesn't in private. One more hint how he's preserving the distance to his privacy.
    This little game here reminds me of how MUCH is expressed by naming someone.... I have just had to think about that deeply... weird.

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    1. Vicky, Germany, wonderful notion that William uses Catherine in public as "one more hint how he's preserving the distance to his privacy." I agree completely! Thanks for that thought. As I said above, Jane, I love this thread! What fun. Katherine USA

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  29. One last question, Jane. I'm not familiar with this use of the word "denomination." I'm accustomed to denomination to refer to one's religious affiliation. Might it be similar? Would love to learn this. Thanks. Katherine USA

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    1. Hi Katherine! You are right about using it for religious affiliation. It is the same word, but there are several meanings or uses. What denomination are you? (ie. Baptist, Lutheran, Catholic, Jewish, etc...) is one use. To denominate can also mean to name something. This use of denomination is further down the list of meanings when you look at it in the dictionary. Synonyms for this, which are also more regular, could be designate, or appellation, etc. To me, designate has a sense of pointing rather than speaking, but the Latin noun for name is nomen, (nomen, nominis) while there is a verb to name, or to call nomino, nominare. So I like denomination a little more because to my ear it sounds like what I am trying to convey--naming. BUT, I do realize it is a more obscure use, so next time I will try to use something more usual. :)

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    2. Ah! Great explanation. PLEASE don't use anything other than denomination for naming! It's exactly as you say. I didn't know the Latin noun, and it does provide for naming rather than speaking. Excellent ear you have. Thank you for your reply. I especially love your references in French and those of English literature as when you said the castle in Leeds the Cambridges visited could well be Pemberly! Yes! I absolutely love learning this today. Thanks, Jane. From Katherine USA

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  30. She is kate and that's it. We are Americans and she is not our royal.

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  31. Wow! Well guess I'm not much of an American. You have every right to feel and think the way you do. Everyone does Or should). But what I don't like is someone says "We Americans..." You don't know every American, you don't know me. I am not trying to be mean just saying that you should chose your words to show your opinion, not Everyone's.

    Linda, An American

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    1. I agree, Linda. You are absolutely quite as much American. I'm an American, and while Kate is not our royal, we Americans might choose, as I do, to honor her role with its title in the U.K., even when I refer to her here in the U.S. Likewise, while Michelle Obama is not the First Lady in the U.K., I have read many many references in U.K. blogs and periodicals that call her First Lady and the American First Lady. So, "Anonymous" at 1:50 pm, please have your view, and please allow all of us Americans to have our own. Katherine USA

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  32. Carmen, The NetherlandsSeptember 17, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    When I talk about her in the presence of people with whom I chat about her clothes, style, baby etc. on a regular basis, I simply call her Kate. To others I say Duchess Caherine.

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