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

Although she’s been a member of Britain’s royal family for more than 11 years, most people know the woman who married Prince William as Kate Middleton.

Although the princess called herself Catherine long before her marriage, her college nickname, Kate, seems to have stuck.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: William and Catherine Pew moment leaned on

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So now that Catherine is a princess, will the world finally let Kate Middleton down?

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

Born Catherine Elizabeth Middleton, the 40-year-old went by Catherine during her childhood and school days, until her college days, when she moved on to Kate, according to People.

Kate Middleton in 2004. Credit: Anthony Jones/UK Press via Getty Images

It was there that Catherine met Prince William, who knew her as Kate before choosing to return to Catherine around 2008.

‘Wait Katie’

It was widely reported that at the time, Catherine asked friends to stop calling her Kate.

But it was too late.

The media had already caught Kate Middleton and even worse, Catherine was given the nickname ‘Waity Katie’ by the British tabloids as she ‘waited’ for a proposal.

After marrying into the Royal Family, Catherine dropped Middleton to become Catherine Elizabeth Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge.

And while William and the family called her Catherine, and the new Duchess signed off on social media with a ‘C’, they seemed to be the only ones.

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

To the world, she remained known as Kate Middleton, something that did not happen to her stepmother, Princess Diana.

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

She was referred to by the public as Princess Diana – or more commonly Diana – even though she technically held the title of Diana, Princess of Wales.

So how did Diana drop the Spencer? Perhaps because she immediately obtained the catchy title of princess rather than duchess – by marrying the then Prince of Wales, Charles.

The Prince and Princess of Wales in 2010. Credit: Max Mom/Indigo/Getty Images

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

Catherine also had 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 firmly anchored in the British and global media, even though she later married the future king.

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

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

New era

As the crown changes, media around the world are adjusting how they refer to the new Princess of Wales, with many abandoning Kate Middleton altogether.

On Google, Kate Middleton’s search trend has dropped, with Catherine, Princess of Wales now far ahead.

Along with her official title, her new name begins to be shortened to Princess Catherine or Princess Kate.

Although Princess Catherine is technically incorrect, like Princess Diana, she is more eye-catching and shorter than Catherine, Princess of Wales.

The Wales family. Credit: Getty Images

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

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

This goes for his two younger siblings, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

Prince William became William Wales at school and in the army. Credit: Getty

At school, they will probably go from George Cambridge to George Wales.

They will follow in the footsteps of their father, who was known as William Wales at school and as he completed his military service.

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

So, with several names circulating for the new Princess of Wales, what will stick?

Only time will tell.

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