Prince William Wanted Kate Middleton to Be Known as "Princess Catherine," Apparently

She could have not been the Duchess of Cambridge.

Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Visit Northern Ireland - Day Two
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We all know Prince William and Kate Middleton as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (opens in new tab), of course, but they actually could have been called something completely different.

A Telegraph (opens in new tab) article dating back to the time of the Cambridges' (opens in new tab) engagement has been resurfacing everywhere lately, which had some pretty juicy things to say about the couple's potential titles.

Firstly, Prince William (opens in new tab) apparently wanted to continue going by that name, and thus wanted his wife's title to match his own: "He wants Kate to become Princess Catherine," a royal courtier told the newspaper at the time.

However, according to royal protocol, if Prince William (opens in new tab) hadn't been made a duke, Middleton (opens in new tab) would have had to take the title "Princess William," since she wasn't born a princess. For her to be known as "Princess Catherine" would have had a ripple effect throughout the various branches of the royal family.

"Kate is a commoner and could not be known as 'Princess Catherine,'" royal historian Kenneth Rose told the Telegraph. "However, it is up to the Queen what title she gives her and there have been one or two exceptions.

"When Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester died, the Queen gave the Duchess of Gloucester the title Princess Alice. This was, though, to reward her for years of loyal service."

But Rose imagined that there would be signs of protest among royals if Middleton were to take on the title Prince William (opens in new tab) originally wanted for her. "If this happened, I am pretty certain that Princess Michael of Kent, for example, would ask to become Princess Marie-Christine. I should think that there will be some pressure put on him [William] not to change the system."

But wait, there's more: The titles the pair was eventually given, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, could have gone to someone else entirely. In fact, that particular dukedom had originally been reserved for Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex and the Queen's youngest child. "Prince Edward was going to be the Duke of Cambridge, but he watched the film Shakespeare in Love, which had a character called the Earl of Wessex," the courtier told the newspaper. "He liked the sound of it and asked the Queen (opens in new tab) if he could have that instead." LOL, Prince Edward sounds like the kind of person who would exclaim, "gosh, I'm such a Samantha," and I absolutely love that narrative for him.

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.