Kate Middleton sent an awkward email to pals politely requesting they call her a different name, a royal commentator claimed.
The now Duchess of Cambridge, 38, whose full name is Catherine Elizabeth Middleton, is said to have written the message in 2008, two years before she got engaged to Prince William, 38.
At the time, it was speculated that William, second in line to the throne, was planning to pop the question and thus pave the way for her becoming an official member of the Royal Family.
And although most of her friends had become accustomed to calling her Kate, she was apparently keen to go back to being called the more formal name of Catherine.
According to columnist Adam Helliker, who was reporting for the Sunday Express, Kate told friends to stop calling her Kate and start referring to her as Catherine.
He wrote: “With Prince William’s engagement now a surefire certainty (even Ladbrokes has stopped taking bets on whether it will happen after a flurry of well-placed wagers) there are intriguing signs that Kate Middleton is preparing for her future role.
“It looks like she’s taking it very seriously indeed too.
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“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'.”
Kate is said to have made the request by email.
Royal expert Daniela Elser claimed the duchess was “gentle” and “very jokey” despite the awkward nature of it.
But her friends were said to be 'a little taken aback,' reports the Express.
One told Mr Helliker: “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.”
Prince Charles' press secretary Paddy Harverson denied the reports at the time.
It is believed William would have called her Kate when they met at the University of St Andrews, but that her full name is more 'royal'.
He also refers to his wife as Catherine in public.
And Kate signs off her emails now with a simple C.
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