Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Middleton English

getty via daylife
Queen Elizabeth II has touched down in Australia, where she will attend the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Perth. Less than a week after she greeted Elle Macpherson, Hugh Jackman, Andrej Pejic and a swag of other prominent Australians at Buckingham Palace. With 10 days of royal news ahead of us downunder, frockwriter thought we would address one little aristo puzzle that has perplexed us since April 29th, when Prince William married Kate Middleton and the titles, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Earl and Countess of Strathearn and Baron and Baroness Carrickfergus, were bestowed on the couple. Why does the media insist on continuing to call the Duchess/Countess/Baroness by her maiden name? It’s not just entertainment sites and blogs bereft of iron-fisted sub-editors who religiously vet house style sheets and protocol lists that are doing it. A case in point E! Entertainment, which recently ran the headline: “Bitch Stole My Look: Kate Middleton vs. Cat Deeley”. Even newspapers and mainstream tv news sites don’t seem to care. Here's a small sample of stories that have run since the wedding:

CNN and MSNBC: “Kate Middleton pens letter to young cancer patient” 

CBS: “Kate Middleton headed to princess school” 

US Weekly: “Prince William, Kate Middleton Attend Children’s Cancer Center Opening” 

WWD: “Kate Middleton Shops Topshop” 

The Sydney Morning Herald: “Kate Middleton claims fashion crown” 

The Daily Mail: “Why having Kate Middleton on U.S. Vogue's cover is a master stroke by Anna Wintour”

So is Middleton entitled to keep her maiden name?

According to an interview with the BBC’s "royal expert" Laura Trevelyan conducted shortly before the wedding, absolutely not. 

“No" Trevelyan told BBC America; "she’s marrying into royalty!”

According to a St James's Palace spokesperson, however, it's no concern of theirs if that is how anyone else chooses to refer to her.

"We are relaxed about it" he told frockwriter. "After the wedding she did not lose her personal name, but officially her title is now The Duchess of Cambridge". 


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