The number of women choosing to keep their birth names alongside their spouse’s surname after getting married is rising, new data shows.

The Deed Poll Office, a law firm that specializes in name changes, saw requests from newlyweds to officially retain their maiden names alongside their spouse’s surname, rather than change it completely, rise by 30 percent between 2020 and 2021.

Per the Independent, this marked the biggest annual rise the firm had ever seen and suggested that the coronavirus lockdown gave couples who had to wait longer to get married more time to sort through documents about their new name. An increasing number of couples have chosen to combine their surnames into a double-barrel name (in other words, a hyphenated surname) to combat these problems. According to NameSwitch, a service that helps people legally change their names, there has been an 18 percent year-on-year growth in couples wishing to adopt a double-barreled surname.

The Deed Poll Office’s research comes after Brooklyn Beckham, son of David and Victoria Beckham, and Nicola Peltz wed earlier this month on April 9 and combined their names. Brooklyn, 23, added the Peltz name to his own as a middle name and is now known as Brooklyn Peltz Beckham. Nicola, 27, an actress known for her role in Bates Motel, did the same to keep her maiden name and now goes by Nicola Peltz Beckham.

A Deed Poll adviser told The Telegraph, “Double-barreling 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.”

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