Kate ‘asked pals to call her Catherine’ when she got serious with William

Kate Middleton asked her mates to call her 'Catherine' when her relationship with Prince William started getting serious, according to a source close to the Princess.

The name change was reportedly insisted on in 2008 when she began to believe the royal heir would soon be proposing to her.

The now Duchess of Cambridge even sent round an email to her friends at the time letting them know of the change, it's been said.

They did indeed get engaged two years later in 2010, and married in a royal ceremony watched by millions of fans around the world on April 29, 2011.

Writing for the Sunday Express at the time, royal columnist Adam Helliker said: "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'."

According to expert Daniela Elser, her friends were 'taken aback' at first when she notified them of her intention to switch up her moniker, but she was able to make her point by giving her reasons in a 'jokey' way.

A friend was reported to have 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."

Despite this apparent change of mind, has reportedly 'never been fond' of the shortened version of Catherine.

Kate and William entered each other's lives as freshers at the University of St Andrews in 2001, after they were placed in rooms close to each other in the St Salvators Hall of Residence.

However, according to royal biographer Kate Nicholls they in fact first met when they played hockey against each other for their schools when they were just nine years old.

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