Even if you feel like you're going to get on swimmingly, you still might get jitters about meeting your SO's family. And you'll still have a million questions buzzing through your head. "Will you make a solid first impression?" "Will you remember your partner's cousin's dog's name?" And most importantly: "Will you fit in?" As it turns out, Kate Middleton apparently had the same concerns when she was dating Prince William. According to some sleuthing from British tabloid The Sun, Kate Middleton reportedly wanted to be called Catherine — instead of Kate — while dating Prince William. Looking at the timeline, it seems like the name switch-up was Kate low-key preparing to be a member of the royal family. (Buckingham Palace declined Elite Daily's request for comment.)
Prince William proposed to Kate in October 2010 and their engagement was announced it in November. However, The Sun recently dug up a 2008 column — from fellow British publication The Daily Express — that shows maybe marriage was on the table for Will and Kate way earlier than that. In it, royals expert Adam Helliker said that Kate was taking her future role "very seriously."
Helliker spilled some additional royal tea and wrote the following:
I hear that in the past few weeks the former accessories buyer has quietly informed friends that she would like to drop the informal 'Kate' and in future wishes to be known by her full name: Catherine.
Apparently, Kate had gone by Catherine all during the British equivalent of K-12. It was had only when she started attending University of St. Andrews (where she met Prince William, BTW) that she started going by "Kate." The shift back to her legal name seemed like the ultimate future Duchess of Cambridge rebrand. Kate is for your basic, regular-degular posh British lady. Catherine is the kind of woman who is, according to royals expert Daniela Elsner, "dignified" and, well, "royal."
Elsner claims that Kate told her friends about the rebrand in a "gentle" and "very jokey" way over email. One of Kate's friends had dished to Elsner saying, "Everyone knows it's about to happen with Kate and William, but we were a little surprised about the request to call her 'Catherine.' There is a distinct feeling she has started to become very aware of her position."
Will and Kate got married on April 29, 2011, at Westminster Abbey, sealing the deal as Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. They went on to have Prince George in 2013, Princess Charlotte in 2015, and finally, Prince Louis in 2017.
Of course, while it took years for Will to pop the question, Will and Kate had dated since at least 2004. And they had been friends since at least 2002, when they moved in together. By the time 2008 rolled around, there was definitely a chance they could sense the next step in their relationship on the horizon. So why not give yourself a royal rebrand?
But IDK. A smooth eleven years later, looks like the Duchess of Cambridge is doing pretty well for a Kate.