Would The Real Kate Middleton Please Stand Up?

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LONDON (AP) - It's not easy being Kate Middleton.

The woman who will marry Prince William on April 29 at Westminster Abbey has a face and name known around the world - which is creating some hilarity and a host of problems for the hundreds, if not thousands, of women who share her name.

It's a global goof: Some colleagues bow when they pass Catherine Middleton in the hallway of the school where she works in Sydney, Australia. When people in Pepper Pike, Ohio, say they've heard she is about to marry a prince, Catherine Argentieri Middleton replies: "I already did."

One Kate Middleton in Birmingham, England, says she does not want to talk about her royal name since she's "had enough of hearing of it."

To comprehend the struggles faced by the many women who suddenly found themselves answering to a famous name, take the case of Kate Elizabeth Middleton, a mother of two from Kent, England.

Everywhere she goes, people ask if she's the real thing - the bride to be, of course, not a teacher living in the English countryside. Her passport shows her name is Kate Middleton, but thanks to a security glitch, the technology wizards who run Facebook did not believe her. She and her fellow namesakes have had to prove it.

She was born Kate Elizabeth Walker and hadn't heard of the prince's romance when she married Mark Middleton on April 17, 2004.

When the royal engagement was announced, Middleton the teacher, 34, changed her Facebook status to "thinking of reverting to her maiden name for a year" because of all the buzz.

"It is just crazy, particularly at the moment," she said.

Not all the attention has been an inconvenience. Her well-known moniker has led to "fun" television and radio appearances - but the novelty has faded, especially since she was booted off Facebook.

When Middleton tried to log on to Facebook recently from her home, she saw that her account had been disabled by a security system in place to weed out impostors and fraudulent account.

She thinks Facebook should have recognized that there are plenty of real Kate Middletons - it is, after all, a fairly common name.

"My status updates aren't about a lady set to marry a future king," she said. "Just things that someone with children would do."

After a certain amount of rigamarole, she convinced Facebook that she was legitimate and had her account reinstated with an apology. Several other Kate Middletons reported similar experiences.

Facebook executives said some mistakes are inevitable as they try to keep the social network secure.

Middleton has high hopes that this season of silliness will end once her famous namesake is actually married on April 29.

"Soon she'll be Princess Catherine or Princess Kate and I can just be plain old Kate Middleton again," Middleton said. "Fingers crossed. Otherwise I might cry."
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