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Kate Middleton Surpasses Lady Di as the Most-Mentioned Royal in the Media

Apr 21, 2011 – 7:09 AM
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There are still eight days before Kate Middleton officially joins the royal family, but the princess bride is already becoming more popular than her famous crowned kin -- even the late Princess Diana.

The Global Language Monitor, a Texas company that tracks word usage trends around the world, has just released a study tracing how many times Middleton has been mentioned in different types of media over the last three months.

Turns out Middleton is a major headliner. People can't seem to keep her name out of their mouths.

Kate Middleton and Princess Diana
Getty Images / AP
The late Princess Diana, left, was a major media magnet during her lifetime, and princess-to-be Kate Middleton seems to be following in her footsteps. According to the Global Language Monitor, Middleton is quickly becoming the media's most-mentioned member of the royal family.
Paul JJ Payack, founder of the Global Language Monitor, told AOL News that by his count, the future princess has been name-dropped nearly 40 million times on the Internet so far this year.

He said that figure includes mentions of Middleton across all forms of online media, including blogs and social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Payack said that massive stat puts Middleton just ahead of her husband-to-be, Prince William, and her late mother-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales, in terms of online popularity.

"Kate is first and mentions of Prince William come in at a close second. Right now they're within 2 percent of each other, only Prince William has been around much longer. Kate just showed up to the party, but she's already soared in the media at an alarming rate," he explained.

"Princess Diana comes right after Prince William with about 20 million mentions on the Internet, roughly half of Kate's numbers."

Payack's study also compared Middleton's media presence with that of the rest of the royal family, including Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Prince Harry and Camilla Parker Bowles.

Again, the future princess blew all other royals out of the water.

Prince William and Catherine 'Kate' Middleton
Prince William and Middleton brave the rain to visit Darwen in Lancashire on their last official engagement before their April 29 wedding.

Payack said Queen Elizabeth trails Middleton with just 10 million Internet mentions. Next on the ranking is Prince Charles, followed by Prince Harry. Prince Charles' wife, Parker Bowles, is dead last on the list.

"Camilla has significantly less than 1 million mentions in online media. She has about one-twentieth less mentions that Princess Di and one-fortieth less than Kate."

By the way, Middleton's media citations also surpass those of a popular stateside woman, first lady Michelle Obama. Payack said Obama ranks slightly above Princess Di but a couple spots below Middleton on the Internet.

The spotlight doesn't stop there for Middleton.

Payack said the so-called "commoner-turned-royal" is cited twice as often as Queen Elizabeth in traditional global print and electronic media and four times as often as Prince Charles.

The only media Middleton hasn't cornered yet, he said, is Internet news media. Payack said online media outlets that solely cover news mention Prince William and Prince Charles ahead of Middleton right now, but all that could change once the royal wedding takes place on April 29.

"These types of word trends in the media usually persist, so I think Kate will keep climbing at a fast pace. I predict a 25 percent bump in her media mentions this week leading up to the royal wedding and in the week after the wedding. Everyone is talking about her. She's set to eclipse Princess Di as the ultimate media star of the royal family."

But what, exactly, are people saying about the new princess?

Well, besides chatter about the upcoming nuptials and weird royal wedding souvenirs, many of Middleton's media mentions involve the key words "smart," "princess," "bride," "engagement ring," "commoner" and "bikini," Payack said.

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Her status as a budding fashion icon is also cited quite often.

Earlier this year, the Global Language Monitor crowned Middleton the "Top Fashion Buzzword" of 2011, dethroning freaky fashionista Lady Gaga from the stylish title.

Payack attributes Middleton's success in the media to the ever-growing power of the Internet. He said the popularity of social networks has propelled Middleton into an instant media darling, allowing her to quickly follow in the footsteps of fellow beloved media magnet Princess Di.

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