It’s my dad’s fault. And kind of my mom’s too. But mostly dad’s.
Mom wanted to name me Margaret Rose, after Princess Margaret. Maybe because as a baby I looked like Winston Churchill, she wanted to name me after the person she thought was the most glamorous woman in the world. She probably hoped that I would grow into the name. Sadly, I was never graceful or gorgeous, despite (pitiful) ballet lessons and all the stylish clothes that mom designed and sewed for me.
Mom was the third Katharina in a row in her family, in addition to which the first daughter in every family in her hometown of Nagyszekely Hungary was named Katharina; I think she was just tired of the name, although for many, many school years I would have preferred to be a Katie instead of a Rose. (Rosie was never an option, and still isn’t)
Dad’s main objective was to give me a “Canadian” name. At some point after arriving in Canada, dad had seen an old musical movie, starring Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, that had a SINGING MOUNTIE in it. What could be more Canadian than that? The movie was Rose Marie, so I became Rosemarie Mandau.