Royalty and statesmen

The 26-year-old was given the nickname Kate by the press when she first started dating her royal beau in 2004. Now, she's keen to be known by the name used by her family and friends
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Bookmakers have stopped taking bets on the chances of an engagement between the pair, who are currently enjoying a romantic holiday at the exclusive Villa Alumbrera in the Caribbean (pictured)
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Wills' girl wants to revert to more formal moniker used by inner circle

26 MAY 2008
She's known to the world as Kate Middleton, the long-term love of heir-to-the-throne Prince William. Now, though, the pretty brunette has requested she be referred to as Catherine - the name used by those closest to her.

"No one ever referred to her as Kate - ever," reveals an old school chum. "Her family and close friends have always called her Catherine and that's the way she prefers it."

The 26-year-old's desire to return to her correct, and more formal moniker comes as speculation regarding a royal engagement reaches fever pitch. "There's a distinct feeling she's started to become very aware of her position," confirms one of her close friends.

Kate and her royal beau are currently enjoying a romantic holiday at a luxurious 1,785-a-night villa on the Caribbean island of Mustique. And friends of the couple - whose romance began in 2004 as students at St Andrews University - believe Wills may be planning to propose.