Apparently there’s a royal wedding happening this week.
I know this because a bunch of news stories have popped up in my RSS reader relating the story of how a Canadian couple dropped $2,500 on the domain name katemiddleton.com.
It struck me as an unusual purchase, not only because it could very easily be lost to a UDRP complaint, but also because the woman is getting married on Friday.
In a few days, her name won’t be Kate (or, strictly speaking, Catherine) Middleton. This is a domain name with a seriously limited shelf life.
It then struck me that I had no idea what her name would be after she gets married.
This is what Wikipedia is for.
William’s family name, it turns out, is not what I thought it was either. While the British royal family is known as the Windsors, his last name is officially Mountbatten-Windsor.
katemountbattenwindsor.com – Parked since April 22
katemountbatten-windsor.com – Parked since April 22
catherinemountbattenwindsor.com – Available!
catherinemountbatten-windsor.com – Available!
Amazingly, given the level of interest and speculation in Middleton, her actual married name is still available, with and without the hyphen.
But William actually goes by the surname Wales, on account of his father being the Prince of Wales. In the RAF, for example, he’s known as Flight Lieutenant Wales.
katewales.com – parked since November
kateofwales.com – For sale at $7,311 since April 22.
catherinewales.com – parked since 2008
catherineofwales – For sale since November
Of course, Middleton won’t be known popularly by any of those names. I expect most people will refer to her as “Princess Kate” or something.
But she won’t be a Princess, of course. Oh, no.
Apparently, you only get to call yourself Princess Whatever if you’re born royal, which Middleton was not. William’s mother, Diana, was Diana, Princess of Wales, not Princess Diana.
So, while the owners of princesskate.com (tribute site) and princesskate.co.uk (parked) may have the best-sounding domains, they’re not strictly accurate.
Middleton’s official title after she joins the Windsors is going to be Duchess of Something, depending on what Duchy is given to William by his grandmother as a wedding present.
The speculation is that William will become Duke of one of the following open spots: Albany, Connaught, Clarence, Sussex, Strathearn, Kendal, Avondale or Cambridge.
Domain speculators have already hit most, but not all, of these.
duchessofalbany.com – Parked since November 2010.
duchessofconnaught.com – Parked since November 2010.
duchessofclarence.com – Parked since March 2010.
duchessofsussex.com – For sale since November 2010.
duchessofstrathearn.com – Available!
duchessofkendal.com – Bounces to herroyalhighnesscatherine.com
duchessofavondale.com – Available!
duchessofcambridge.com – Parked since November 2006.
I expect there’s plenty of related names available in the .uk space too, but I didn’t check.
The one official title she will definitely be granted is Princess William of Wales, to differentiate her from Camilla, her future step-mother-in-law (I think), who is Princess of Wales.
The domain princesswilliam.com, registered in December last year, is currently parked.
Honestly, you’d have to be American to care about any of this stuff.
It makes ICANN look sensible.