The royal family are some of the best-known names and faces in the country, but in some cases, not all is as it seems and the names we know aren’t those on their birth certificates.

Some royals deviated from the official names they were given at birth in favour of shorter nicknames or in some cases something totally different.

Modern royals and their ancestors alike have chosen to use names not necessarily matching their official documents.

Kate Middleton' was born Catherine Middleton, however, her name has always been shortened since she was first introduced to the public.

Kate picked up the shortened nickname at school and university and it stuck.

Even after a decade of marriage to Prince William, most people still refer to the Duchess of Cambridge as Kate Middleton.

So it may come as a surprise to some to hear that Kate prefers to be referred to as her given name, Catherine.

In fact, it is how she signs off emails and what she has requested close friends and family call her since 2008.

Indeed, Prince William is often heard calling his wife ‘Catherine’ in official speeches and interviews.

Writing for the Sunday Express, columnist Adam Helliker has explained that the decision came around the time of the royal engagement.

Sharing his findings at the time, 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.

"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'."

One friend reportedly told the Express: "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."

Another royal expert Daniela Elser reported that Kate's friends were "a little taken aback" by the request.

However, despite the initial awkwardness, Elser insisted that the duchess was “gentle” and “very jokey” about her request.

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