KATE Middleton could lay claim to the title of Duchess of Oxford, says an Australian historian who has discovered her family’s links to the city.

In the latest battle between Oxford and Cambridge, Michael Reed contacted the Oxford Mail after the news that the Duchess of Cambridge pulled out of a visit to the city due to morning sickness.

Mr Reed, a history lecturer at Hallam Senior College in Melbourne, said he began researching her links with Oxford because he wanted to disprove what he believes were inadequate portrayals of the duchess in the media as an “ordinary” woman who got lucky marrying a prince.

He said he discovered that the duchess’s grandfather Peter Middleton and older relatives studied at Oxford University, adding: “I would say that there is a stronger argument for Kate to have been given an Oxford title.

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Mr Reed, who plans to write a book, said: “We’ve done a lot of research in the past few months which suggests that when Kate does eventually get to Oxford she should be called the Duchess of Oxford because many of her family studied there.”

He said his 18-month research project shows Mr Middleton, Kate’s grandfather, studied English at New College in 1939, but left to be a pilot in the Second World War.

He was later Prince Philip’s co-pilot during his two-month South American tour in 1962, and died in 2010.

Mr Middleton’s great-great-grandfather’s brother, Dr James Martineau, was principal of Harris Manchester College, and Joseph Lupton Esq – the brother of Mr Middleton’s great-grandfather – was president of the college, according to Mr Reed.

Mr Reed added that Mr Middleton’s great-uncle, the Rt Hon Lord Mayor Hugh Lupton, attended University College. There are also two in-laws in her family who studied at Oxford University – Lord Bryce and Lord Ashton of Hyde.

The duchess got her title when she married Prince William in 2011. He became the Duke of Cambridge to continue a tradition that has stood since the reign of Charles II in the 17th century.

The Earl of Oxford is a dormant title last used by Aubrey de Vere in 1703.

Mr Reed said: “Given that she’s going to be the Queen of Australia at some point, we might as well get the background right.”

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