The Queen's grand-daughter, Zara Phillips, has announced that she is finally becoming Mrs Mike Tindall. After five years of marriage and one child, she has decided to leave her royal nomenclature behind. Given that she is a successful women in her own right, it is particularly surprising news. Her reasons aren't known, but it's an interesting decision and one that bucks the trend.
When I tied the knot in 1990 the trend for keeping your own name was just gaining momentum. When I told my then boss that I had got engaged, he asked me if I was planning to change my name. I told him I was. Although I hadn't gone as far as practising my new signature, it had never seriously occurred to me not to change my name. As luck would have it, my passport was due to run out just before our planned honeymoon so it seemed as though the fates were conspiring to encourage me to head into married life with a shiny new name to match my new passport. Keeping one name for work and another for everything else seemed complicated and likely to cause major confusion. Horrified, he said I was betraying the sisterhood and giving up my hard won independence. I was taken aback but went ahead and changed my name anyway. Today I might have double -barrelled - Greenway-Costerton/Costerton-Greenway? Or even meshed - Costerway? Greenton? Is that really any less complicated?
Perhaps it just depend how silly it sounds. Shawn Knowles-Carter (Mr Beyonce) sounds pretty good. But although I love both Chris O' Dowd and Dawn Porter, I still haven't got used to Dawn O Porter.