The Real Reason Kate Winslet's Husband Changed His Name Back From Ned Rocknroll

It's no secret that in the world of showbiz, not everyone goes by the name they were given at birth. This is certainly the case for Kate Winslet's husband, Edward Abel Smith, who changed his real name by deed poll in 2008 to Edward Rocknroll. According to The Sun, Edward reportedly went ahead with the name change because he believed his original name was "boring."

During an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" in January 2021, Academy Award-winner Winslet revealed the bizarre story behind her husband's name change. "So his birth name is Abel Smith," the actress explained to Kimmel. "And as time went by and Ned became Ned — who is quite an original personality — he just decided at one point in his life to just change his name to Rocknroll. Ned Rocknroll. So when I met him, his name was Ned Rocknroll. This is completely true," she added (via E!). 

Opening up further about the name change, the "Titanic" star revealed that although the name Rocknroll went down well in the States, it was not so well-received across the pond. 

The British media didn't react well to the name change

Speaking of the British media's reaction to her husband's name, Kate Winslet continued, "I don't think he had anticipated what might happen if he should have a girlfriend whose name was Kate Winslet and who was quite well-known and therefore the press might kind of not react so well to the fact that she had this boyfriend called then Rocknroll ... So, it was a little tricky" (via E!).  

According to The Sun, Ned, who is the nephew of billionaire Sir Richard Branson, eventually changed his surname back to Smith "because he is now a dad and wants to set an example." Speaking to the publication, a source added, "It was always a bit of a joke. He is a very happy-go-lucky person. He never takes life that seriously but sometimes life changes and now he wants to be a bit more serious."

During her appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Winslet backed up the source's claims, revealing, "I got to the point where I'm like, you know, I'm filling in doctors' forms and it says 'mother's name' and 'father's name,' and I'm like, 'Honey ... are we going to keep going?'" she said (via E!). "And he's like, 'Yeah, you're right. I'll just change it back.' So, he changed it back." Although the switch makes sense, Mr. Rocknroll has a better ring to it than Mr. Smith, doesn't it?