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Tackling the ‘Cambridge problem’

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge

In May, Royal Central launched the ‘Kate Middleton’ campaign in a bid to stop the continuing use of The Duchess of Cambridge’s maiden name by the press and on social media. Now Her Royal Highness is the mother of a future king, it seems more important than ever that we eradicate the use of her former name.

On Twitter I have found a lot of support. One tweet likening the use of Her Royal Highness’s old name to calling President Obama ‘Senator’ was retweeted enough times to reach over 14,000 people at last count. Perhaps not many in the wide world of Twitter, but a good sign. Of course there are still those that persist, and even justify the use of The Duchess’s maiden name. Here I’ve decided to challenge three of these ‘justifications’.

It gets better search engine results.
All major content management systems enable the publisher to add metadata or keywords to improve the search engine optimisation for a page. These keywords don’t appear on screen, so it’s possible to publish a page which doesn’t use Her Royal Highness’s maiden name, but have it show up in search results.

As already argued by Royal Central, if the media consistently use Her Royal Highness’s correct title, people will get used to it and use it in search engines. To quote Royal Central’s campaign ‘the only way to ‘stop the circle’ IS for media sources to stop using ‘Kate Middleton’, that way, people will learn the correct terms’. The Duchess is unlikely to get another title until her father-in-law, The Prince of Wales, becomes king.

Tweeting ‘The Duchess of Cambridge’ uses too many characters.
The official British Monarchy account, Clarence House, Royal Central, myself and many others all manage to tweet about Her Royal Highness without using her maiden name. Although it isn’t strictly right, a popular alternative ‘Duchess Kate’ uses less characters (12) than “Kate Middleton’ (14). Abbreviating The Duchess of Cambridge to ‘DuchofCamb.’ uses only ten characters, ‘HRH Kate’ is nine!

Who cares? It doesn’t matter.
Every individual deserves the respect of being addressed by their chosen name. How would you feel if people refused to use your married name? If I was happily married and had gladly taken my partners name, I’d be fairly annoyed!
As a working member of the Royal Family, future queen and mother of a king, Her Royal Highness deserves to be addressed correctly.

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