11 May 2013 - 21:37
The ‘Kate Middleton’ Campaign


imagesAfter being fed up with the constant media references to the Duchess of Cambridge as ‘Kate Middleton’, we have decided that we are going to launch a wide-reaching campaign to eradicate media use of the term ‘Kate Middleton’ and encourage sources to refer to her, correctly, as the Duchess of Cambridge.

Why Now?

We decided to launch this campaign in direct response to certain media outlets (whom we won’t name, but our Twitter followers will be able to guess) persisting in referring to the Duchess of Cambridge as ‘Kate Middleton. – She isn’t.

For those of you who didn’t know, she hasn’t been Kate Middleton since 29th April 2011, her wedding day. When she married Prince William she immediately assumed the female form of his newly-issued title Duke of Cambridge, becoming the Duchess of Cambridge.

Referring to Her Royal Highness as ‘Kate Middleton’ is just as incorrect as calling Prince Philip ‘The King’ (we have heard this before) – it’s not right, so it shouldn’t be practiced.

The main reason, it seems, for the use of this term is for what is known as Search Engine Optimisation, which is basically tuning a website’s keywords to those which people search most frequently. Whereas this may be true, the only way to ‘stop the circle’ IS for media sources to stop using ‘Kate Middleton’, that way, people will learn the correct terms.

How We’re Doing It


Here is a list of the media outlets who we’ve contacted regarding the use of the term ‘Kate Middleton’.

  • Hello! Magazine
  • The Daily Mail
  • The Mirror
  • Huffington Post
  • People Magazine

[box type="download" size="large" style="rounded" border="full"]You can see a copy of the email we sent to the media outlets by clicking here.[/box]


As we get responses back from the media groups we have contacted, them, we will publish either their entire email or a summary of what they say below.


Some sources, however, have used the correct form and not referred to the Duchess as Kate Middleton, though there are few, we hope more will be able to join the list soon.

  • The Daily Telegraph (largely adopted)
  • The Guardian (have taken to using correct style in most posts, and even titles – well done!)

[box type="info" style="rounded" border="full"]Tell us your thoughts about our campaign in the comments box below.[/box]

Spotted an Error?
Edited by Royal Central

  • Hermione

    The Duchess of Cambridge is her title. It is not her name.
    To be entirely technically correct, her name is Catherine (Kate) Wales/ Cambridge (I’d be inclined to say Cambridge, but as William goes by Wales, I’d assume it more probable she that uses the same surname as he).

    • http://www.facebook.com/sealitwithkisses Amanda Jean

      Only people born into the royal family are allowed to use the name Wales as their surname.

      • micmac

        Years ago, when both Prince Charles and I were teenagers, I had a classmate with the surname Wales – or was it really Wailes? Either way, that is a legitimate surname, used before Charles was created Prince of Wales as well as Duke of Cornwall. The correct surname for people born into the Royal family to use when necessary is Mountbatten-Windsor, though both Princes William and Harry have used ‘Wales’, which recognises their father’s position and title.

        • Ricky

          The surname “Mountbatten-Windsor” is only for descendants of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh when a legal surname is required. For other members of the Royal Family descended from King George V it would be just “Windsor.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504643142 Bill Foley

    Yes the proper way to refer to her is Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge. Less formally, The Duchess of Cambridge.

  • Daniel Willis

    Good luck! I know how frustrating this is. I have tried for years to stop media from calling Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband “Prince Frederick.” But I am glad an organization is making this effort!

  • Formerlyford

    I’ m with you on this.

  • Marinava_G

    There are children starving to death and dying. And this is your concern. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter what they call her – more people recognize the name “Kate Middleton” than they recognize a random Duchess.

    But really, there are more important problems in the world. The woman lives in the lap of luxury, do you really think she cares what plebeians call her?

  • Kitty

    She’ll always be Kate Middleton because she’s not respected.

    Find something more important to fret about because I doubt Kate isn’t looking out for your best interests in any way.

    • Amber-Lee


    • Catherine all the way

      And who are you commoner Kitty?
      Should we respect you?
      Hater & very disrespectful to someone you do not even know. Shame on you even commenting on this here!

  • Char

    The legal paperwork filed in France referred to them as William Mountbatten-Windsor, and Catherine Middleton. So what is the problem? If the LEGAL papers had her named as Middleton, then why is it an issue?

    • Amber-Lee

      The difficult thing about Royalty is that until recently Royals (and not just the British) didn’t actually have surnames. Why would you need one? Everyone knew who you were. William, his brother, and his cousins, are the first to take on last names. So currently the waters are still murky on how this all works. As for issues – we’re not talking about a legal surname. We’re talking about titles. Just as in the States the President is referred to as Mr President. That’s not his legal name. That’s his title.

    • Royal Central

      This is due to French customs. In France, married couples usually don’t assume a common surname and keep the same pre-marital surname.

  • ingy

    I am glad someone is finally doing something about this matter!

  • http://www.facebook.com/claudia.marek.10 Claudia Marek

    And yet……two articles down you ask about Wallis Simpson. Wasn’t she the Duchess of Windsor?

    • Royal Central

      Usually, after death historians refer to women by their maiden names, especially in reference to Royalty.

      • http://lux-arazzi.blogspot.com/ Luxarazzi

        No, not historians. Only Wikipedia does this.

  • Amber-Lee

    I knew that the correct title, but I was confused about her first name. She started signing things “Catherine” the weekend she was proposed to, but I wasn’t sure if she had legally changed from “Kate” to “Catherine”

    • Zanna

      “Kate” is a derivative of “Catherine.” She didn’t need to legally change her name, it has been “Catherine” since her birth, and her nick-name is “Kate.”

      • Amber-Lee

        As I have a sister named Katherine Elizabeth. I also know people whose birth name is Katie and not Katherine. And in the States most people who are named with “Catherine” starting with a “C” don’t shorten it with a K. So I was unaware that her birthname was Catherine. I thought it might just be Kate.

    • micmac

      Kate is a diminutive of Catherine, which was HRH the Duchess of Cambridge’s legal first name. I am aware of the other nicknames given to her, including ‘Waity Katy’, because of the period of time she and HRH the Duke of Cambridge took to get engaged, but that was their personal, well thought out decision, and no business of the world at large. According to one biography I read, the Duchess was referred to at school as Squeak. I expect that is no worse than being called Vegemite :)

      • Amber-Lee

        I’m aware, as I have a sister named Katherine Elizabeth. I also know people whose birth name is Katie and not Katherine. And in the States most people who are named with “Catherine” starting with a “C” don’t shorten it with a K. So I was unaware that her birthname was Catherine. I thought it might just be Kate.

  • mau

    The fact that the Duchess has been referred to as Kate Middleton has annoyed me since her wedding. I agree that she should be given the respect that her position deserves.
    Similarly with President Obama, American media refer to him as Barack Obama instead of Mr President. It is a sign of the slackness of modern times.

    • Aliza

      For those old enough to remember, HRH The Princess of Wales was referred to as “Lady Di” by almost everyone the first two or three years of her marriage. Some countries, like France and Italy, were still calling her that when her death was announced. Why? Because there, princesses are comparatively a dime a dozen while the title “Lady” is almost never used, rendering Diana more respect by differentiation.
      Kate Middleton spent almost a decade in the public eye being known as precisely that; Diana spent five or six months in the world’s eye as Lady Di and it was still hard to make the change. (It ended up being from Lady Diana to Princess Diana, in the vast majority of the media, & 100% incorrect.)
      If there hadn’t been a double change, from both K.M. to The Duchess of Cambridge & from Kate to Catherine, I suspect there would’ve been more change tried by the media than is now the case . They’re interested in making money, and the moniker she is recognized by the whole world over is “Kate Middleton”.
      As for we Brits, there is a backlash brewing for roughly a year as she is PERCEIVED to be lazy & uninterested in work. Those who read the comments on DM will recognize her most common title there is “Duchess of Dolittle”.
      The bottom line in the UK is that whatever she is commonly called reflects the current esteem in which she is held by the public. Right now, even with her pregnancy nearing completion, there is a significant and vocal minority who believe she is the antithesis of what feminism accomplished in the last fifty years. Until she proves them wrong with a work schedule appropriate for a 31 yr. old mother, Kate Middleton is surely an improvement on Waity Katy, Duchess Dolittle and the more rude names which I won’t lower myself to post here. And I’m confining myself (by thought) to names used in the last two weeks.
      Check out the comment section of the London papers online and I think your outrage over her being still called Kate Middleton will change focus. Because, honestly – it’s one of the most respectful names being used for her at the present time.

      • Guest

        We don’t care for our current President, but we still call him President Obama. I don’t think you are talking for all Brits. For someone recently married, she has already done as much as or more than Princess Diana or the Duchess of Cornwall. Thank you so very much for this respect due to the Duchess Catherine,
        who carries the heir to the throne. No more Middleton from any of these
        tabloids. She’s a married royal and has a title – end of discussion.

        • Aliza

          Nope – you’re wrong. Diana performed over 200 engagements in just her first year of marriage, while she was pregnant and then delivered of her first baby – all before she reached 21. Kate wed at 29 but has not even approached that number of engagements in total yet although married well over two years and after a decade of preparation for the media glare.

          Secondly, it’s very rude and arrogant to tell me that your opinion means the “end of discussion’. I have just as much right to hold my opinion as you do yours. It is a bit amusing to be hearing this defense about Kate from an American, considering the US fought a war to rid itself of British Royalty, while my tax funds still support them and not a penny of American money does. How many charities does Kate have? Four? Or did it go up lately?

          In 16 years of Diana, we never saw her bum cheek – but it took less than three months after her wedding for the world to see Kate’s. And we’ve seen all of the rest of her, before and after the engagement and wedding.

          I never said my opinion was the same as “all Brits”. If you actually read my post, you’d have seen I typed “significant and vocal minority”. Check all the comments in the Daily Mail about her in the last two months – not just those you agree with – and you’ll find a significant proportion that do not care for Kate’s conduct since her marriage.

          On a side note, since you mentioned it – many Americans do refer to Obama as just that. Like they referred to George W Bush as Dubya or Bush.

          BTW – Charles is the heir to the Throne, William is his heir and this baby will be William’s heir. Kate is not carrying the “Heir to the Throne” – and neither did Diana. She is also not “Duchess Catherine”. Legally, she is not Catherine at all anymore. She is HRH The Duchess of Cambridge. Just like Diana was HRH The Princess of Wales and not Princess Diana. But I’m not calling her anything but KM until she does something to earn that title, like work for her charities more than a few times a season.

        • http://www.smittenbybritain.com/ SmittenbyBritain

          Please don’t speak for everyone by saying “We don’t care for our current President..” YOU don’t but I do. However your larger point is correct as far as giving his title the respect it deserves. As far as Princess Diana goes, you’re having a laugh aren’t you? There’s no way the Duchess of Cambridge has come close to doing as much as her mother-in-law did. She has quite a way to go yet.

          • Ricky

            Thank you for speaking not FOR, but on BEHALF of many Americans who have respect for President Obama, as I do. Like any political figure, he has detractors, but many admirers and supporters as well. I am proud to be among the latter.

            Again, thanks for your post.

      • micmac

        I am aware of those nicknames, but to complain about the HRH Duchess of Cambridge’s working life before her engagement, as these London tabloids commenters do, is really out of order. Since the Middletons have their own business, she could always work for that family company if she didn’t work elsewhere, and of course she did. Much as Rupert Murdoch’s own sons manage his interests in UK and Australia. Would anyone dare to complain because they work for their father? Of course not.

  • Anne

    I wholeheartedly agree with this. It’s not nitpicking, it’s about showing respect to a member of the Royal Family. If we can call Her Majesty The Queen by her title, we can certainly refer to The Duchess by HER title. Hopefully, once Her Royal Highness becomes The Princess of Wales, the media will be keen to refer to her as ‘The Princess’ as opposed to ‘Kate’ or ‘Kate Middleton’.

    • Sami

      How is it that I live in the United States, born and raised here, and “I” understand this? It just bugs me that some of the media in my country just want to be “THAT” disrespectful just to refer to her as Kate Middleton still. Its been over a year and half almost since their wedding and she is now a royal so she deserves respect. When I search for news on her even recently with their baby due any moment now I am searching for Duchess of Cambridge not Kate Middleton out of respect.

  • Guest

    Thank you so very much for this respect due to the Duchess Catherine, who carries the heir to the throne. No more Middleton from any of these tabloids. She’s a married royal and has a title – end of discussion. Thank you again for extending this courtesy and emailing the other tabloids. Finally someone gets it!! :)

  • anon


  • micmac

    I agree with the campaign. It will be better all around, and be more respectful. It looks like the French legal paperwork Char refers to is about a court case in 2012 when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took a short summer’s break in France as private individuals in a relative’s weekender. The legal paperwork also should really have referred to Mr and Mrs W Mountbatten-Windsor if titles were not recognised as legal names in France.

    • Ricky

      Catherine has been known to refer to herself as “Mrs. Cambridge.”

  • Guest

    Thank you for updating the daff or uniformed members who don’t understand royal titles or names. Look up under a legitimate source, Wikepedia – for her name and title. When she married , she was no longer a Middleton.


  • mktv2000

    WIN!!! I (Royal Examiner from Examiner.com) gave feedback to the Washington Post on a headline that included the dreadful “Princess Kate”. I just got a notice back that he corrected the article due to my feedback! A small victory…but I’ll take it!!! (Compare the title in the link to the updated title on the page and you can see the update) http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/prince-william-princess-kate-expecting-royal-baby-complete-coverage/2013/07/12/abd386dc-eb02-11e2-a301-ea5a8116d211_story.html

    • Royal Central

      Well done! It’s a small victory but you’re right, it all adds up and will hopefully be another one to add to our list of sources using correct title.

  • Janet Hodgson

    I am so glad you are doing this! This problem is prevalent in the United States, even with major news people. I’m saving your websited and sending it to anyone who makes this mistake.

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