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An increasing number of women are opting for double-barrelled surnames to maintain their independence after marriage.
Applications from people who want to include their maiden names after tying the knot soared in the first year of the pandemic, according to specialist name change lawyers.
The Deed Poll Office, a firm of paralegals, said requests to retain maiden names rose by 30 per cent between 2020 and 2021 – the biggest annual rise it has ever seen.
It suggested couples whose weddings had been delayed because of Covid had more free time during the lockdown to sort documents about their new names. Same-sex partners are requesting it, as are parents who split up and want to ‘keep the connection’ if they live at different addresses.
Brooklyn Beckham changed his name after marrying Nicola Peltz, after taking his wife’s surname as a new middle name – a trend that is becoming more and more popular
TV presenter Dawn Porter unusually changed her name to Dawn O’Porter after marrying actor Chris O’Dowd
Nicola Peltz, who married David Beckham’s son Brooklyn earlier this month, chose to keep her maiden name and be known as Nicola Peltz Beckham. Putting maiden names as middle names is another emerging trend, the Deed Poll Office said.
And enquiries about ‘meshing’ – the combining of surnames after marriage – had risen seven-fold in the past two years, online service NameSwitch said in September.
Television presenter Dawn Porter changed her name to Dawn O’Porter when she married actor Chris O’Dowd. A senior Deed Poll Office adviser told The Telegraph: ‘Double-barrelling has always been a good trend going on for years and years.
‘In the last five to 10 years, it has increased more as people want to keep their maiden names.
‘Each year, there are around 5,000 double-barrel name applications among the 40,000 applications we receive in total. Traditionally, you take your husband’s name, but civil partnerships are coming in and women are more independent now, working and can earn more than their partner. So independence decides if they want to take their partner’s name.’
A deed poll is not a legal requirement for a surname change but proves formal evidence of one.