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F1 star Lewis Hamilton's plan to change his name is ultimate tribute to his mammy

'In 2022, the gesture feels like such a groundbreaking act of feminism'

Lewis Hamilton and his mum, Carmen Larbalestier

Deirdre Reynolds

Never mind the Bahrain Grand Prix - Lewis Hamilton has just won Mother's Day a week early.

While others say it with chocolate and flowers next Sunday, the British racing driver is poised to pay the ultimate tribute to his mammy - by taking her surname "soon".

Brought up by both his mother, Carmen Larbalestier, and father, Anthony Hamilton, who separated when he was two, the seven-time Formula 1 champion this week said: "I'm really proud of my family's name."

But he explained how he also wanted his maternal roots "to continue on with the Hamilton name".

Speaking ahead of the first race of 2022, which kicks off today, the 37-year-old said: "None of you might know that my mum's name is Larbalestier, and I am just about to put that in my name.

"I don't fully understand the idea that when people get married, the woman loses their name."

Although it's not yet known how exactly the sporting legend will incorporate his mam's name into his own, Lewis Larbalestier certainly has a nice ring to it.

Either way, it's amazing that in 2022 it still feels like such a groundbreaking act of feminism.

Chatting with a friend of a friend recently, she admitted how she and her husband, an only child, had "kept going" after having two daughters in a bid to have a son so that his family name wouldn't die out.

Admittedly, we were a bottle of merlot deep, but it took all my strength to bite my tongue not to womansplain the concept of double-barrelled names, or that their darling son may grow up to take his husband's name, or like Italian artist Marco Perego Saldana, who wed actress Zoe Saldana in 2013, join the small but rising tide of men taking their wife's name, or ... I could've gone on.

For young men to cling onto the notion of a 'son and heir', even if it's in name only, is bad enough; for young women to do so is mind-boggling, unless, of course, you're a 'Spinster', 'Pusmaid' or any of the other surnames believed to have disappeared over the past century.

Almost 60 per cent of Irish women stick with tradition by taking their husband's name after marriage, according to one survey, and that's entirely a personal choice - although Kim Kardashian clearly doesn't 'miss' her married name after ditching the 'West' bit from her Instagram earlier this month.

What's arguably more interesting are the men, including rockers Joel and Benji Madden, born Combs, but who took their mother's name after their father walked out on the family, who've chosen to flip the patriarchal script.

Like Lewis Hamiton, personally I feel just as much 'Gallagher', my late mother's maiden name, as I do 'Reynolds', although with three middle names already, I probably won't be racing to the deed poll office anytime soon to make it official.

Still, I applaud the star for setting the wheels of change in motion ahead of Mother's Day.

Auctioneer Karl Bennett holding a lock of Michael Collins hair that sold for £18,000 at Bloomfield Auctions in east Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

  • 'Rest in peace’ will soon be ‘rest in pieces’ after a lock of Michael Collins’s (above) hair went under the hammer this week.

The snippet of hair, reportedly treasured by the Big Fella’s fiancée Kitty Kiernan after he was killed in 1922, fetched €21,410 as part of a military-themed auction in Belfast on Wednesday.

Between Albert Einstein’s brain, which previously went on display in London, and Napoleon Bonaparte’s manhood, which has been exhibited in New York, I don’t know which is tackier.

Defending the controversial sale of the strands, Bloomfield auctioneer Karl Bennett said: “Some people may question the need to sell, or indeed purchase items such as these, but a great deal can be learnt from history, which is why I feel that it’s imperative for us to remember.”

Sure — or you could just crack a book sometime.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

  • The second-hand cringe was real as Nancy Pelosi read out a poem by Bono during the annual St Patrick’s Day lunch at Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday.

As if the Taoiseach testing positive for Covid while at a separate event in the Amercian capital wasn’t awkward enough, the House Speaker (left) then had to go and recite the U2 singer’s reddening homage to our patron saint, starting ‘Oh Saint Patrick he drove out the snakes’ and getting progressively clunkier, aloud.

The star — who, in fairness, has also penned genius lyrics like With Or Without You and Where the Streets Have No Name — took to Twitter to defend to the verse, which goes on to muse how ‘Ireland’s sorrow and pain is now in Ukraine, and Saint Patrick’s name is now Zelenskyy’, saying it “wasn’t written to be published”.

Oi! That’s my excuse — get your own.

Caitriona Balfe. Photo: Reuters/Henry Nicholls

  • Caitríona Balfe may have missed out on a Bafta for her luminous turn as Ma in Belfast.

But she was head and shoulders above the competition on the red carpet at Sunday night’s starry ceremony.

No, really — check out the sky-high shoulder pads on that Armani Privé frock.

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