Although the public knows her as Kate, it is Catherine that Miss Middleton was called when the engagement was announced.
Royal aides said pointedly: ‘Her parents have always called her that. It is what she is called.’
When William is crowned and she becomes Queen Catherine, she will be following in a long royal tradition. There have been five Queen Catherines in England’s history:
Catherine of Valois
The wife of Henry V, she reigned for only two years before the death of her husband in 1422. Their son Henry VI took the throne when he was nine months old. She died in 1437 and was buried at Westminster Abbey, but her coffin was allowed to remain open for all to see between Tudor and Victorian times, before it was finally re-sealed.
Catherine of Aragon
She married Henry VIII in 1509. Their marriage lasted 24 years but was blighted by stillbirths and the premature deaths of male heirs. Henry was so desperate to have the marriage annulled that, when the Pope refused to give his consent, the king spurned Rome and created the Church of England.
Henry VIII’s fifth wife was beheaded after two years of marriage, in 1542 on the grounds of treason after being accused of adultery.
She married Henry in 1543 and reigned as queen until his death in 1547. But she never produced a son and barely saw her husband because he was in battle.
Catherine of Braganza
The Portuguese princess married Charles II in 1662, but was seen as a Catholic foreigner and was unpopular with the public. The couple had no surviving children and she was given the cold shoulder by her adulterous husband, who fathered several illegitimate children by mistresses including the beguiling Nell Gwyn.