After only seven months of marriage, Luann D'Agostino is divorcing her husband Tom. The Real Housewives Of New York star tweeted, "It's with great sadness that Tom & I agreed to divorce. We care for each other very much, hope you respect our privacy during this sad time!" But what many RHONY fans surely want to know is if Luann is going to change her name. Will she once again become the Countess after her divorce?
D'Agostino was previously married to Count Alexandre de Lesseps from 1993 to 2009, which made her the Countess. And not just on Twitter, where her handle is @CountessLuann. No, Luann was an actual Countess while married to de Lesseps and kept the title after their divorce. As she said on a 2015 episode of Ice & Coco,
"I'm no longer married, but the Count and I are very good friends and I have a courtesy title, which, you know, the Duchess of York didn't give up her title, Princess Diana didn't give up her title when they got divorced. It's called a courtesy title."
So, no after her divorce she wasn't technically a Countess, which also meant once she remarried, Luann had to relinquish the courtesy title. "Once she marries, she no longer can use that name," Marlene Eilers Koenig, an expert on British and European royalty who runs the blog Royal Musings, told Bravo's The Daily Dish. "She can use her new husband’s name or revert to her maiden name."
Luann has not revealed whether she'll keep her new last name or possibly reinstate her maiden name after her latest divorce. (It's Nadeau, by the way.) But it's unlikely she'll get to officially return to being the Countess. Besides, back in 2016, Luann said she was ready to drop the Countess from her name. "I've been carrying around that title for a long time," she said. "I have no problem with losing it."
It was also something she was well aware of and seemed willing to rebrand herself. She told Wendy Williams prior to marrying D'Agostino that she had a new self-appointed royal name for herself. "I'm gonna be busy being Queen D'Agostino," she said. "That's what I'm gonna be. The Queen Bee."
Not a bad title for Luann going forward. Though with her RHONY persona being so tied to her Countess title — she's wrote the 2009 book Class with the Countess: How to Live with Elegance and Flair — it's hard to imagine her ever dropping it completely. Even if the royal rules forbid it.
That's why the appropriate question here may be, do you ever stop being a Countess even if it stops being your name? In Luann's case, I would say absolutely not.