12 Royal Family Nicknames — Plus The Real Reason Prince Harry Never Uses His Birth Name

by Jess Catcher
Jess grew up in Oklahoma before moving to New York to become a writer. She has a cat named Agnes.
Although there’s technically a ban on royal family nicknames, it only seems to apply while the Windsors are in public.

Of course, tons of us have names we only allow our close friends and family members to call us, so why should the royals be any different? My family still loves to tease me and call me “Messy Jessy” no matter how much I really wish they’d let that slide.

The royal family seems much nicer with their nicknames for each other. That said, I’m not sure I’d love being called by the term of endearment Prince Philip reserves for the Queen.

Prince Harry, however, goes by his nickname on a daily basis.

He seems to be the only royal who has been allowed to maintain a name that isn’t written on his birth certificate while out in the public eye.

Take a look below to learn more about the royal family nicknames.

And be sure to SHARE the fascinating look at their real lives with your friends on Facebook!

The Royal Rule On Nicknames

royal family

According to tradition, when outside of the palace walls, members of the royal family may only be referred to by their full names, possibly including their title.

This is why you always hear Will refer to Kate only as “Catherine” when mentioning her at public events.

Why Harry Goes By A Nickname

prince harry

Prince Harry seems to be the only royal who has been able to get away with going by his nickname full-time.

The “spare” son of Charles and Diana was named Henry Charles Albert David at birth. According to a report in People magazine in 1984, the reason he goes by the nickname is that his family always intended to call him Harry.

Apparently, Harry has long been a common nickname over in England for guys named Henry. It dates back centuries to the French presence and the adaptation of “Henri” with their British accents making it sound more like “Harry.”

Of course, the rest of the family are also still human underneath their tiaras and crowns. There have been plenty of pet names for each other used in private over the years.

1. Prince Harry's Other Nickname

harry laughing

Harry earned another nickname after making a covert Facebook account in his youth under the name “Spike Wells.”

It was eventually shut down due to security concerns, but his close friends still use the prickly moniker.

2. Queen Elizabeth's Childhood Nickname

young queen elizabeth

Before she earned her title as The Queen, a very young Elizabeth gave herself the precious nickname “Tillabet.”

It later evolved into “Lilibet,” a name her close friends and family have still been known to use with the monarch.

3. Elizabeth's Backhanded Nickname From Her Uncle

young queen elizabeth

Peter Morgan uncovered a snide pseudonym King Edward gave his niece after infamously abdicating the crown to marry his American love, Wallis Simpson, while researching for the Netflix series The Crown.

According to reports from Express, Peter found letters between the couple where they referred to Elizabeth as “Shirley Temple” due to her curly hair.

4. Prince Philip's Pet Name For His Wife

elizabeth and philip

While working on 2006’s The Queen starring Dame Helen Mirren, Peter told The Sun that he also uncovered Philip’s nickname for his wife from sources close to the royal family.

In the film, Prince Philip, played by James Cromwell, can be heard telling Elizabeth to, “move over, cabbage,” as they get ready for bed.

5. Will And Kate's Terms Of Endearment

will and kate

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge aren’t quite as creative as Philip when it comes to referring to each other by sweet names, but it’s still adorable to occasionally hear them quietly refer to each other as “darling” or “babe” now and again.

William was also overheard calling Kate “poppet” while posing for photos with newborn Prince George at St. Mary’s Hospital.

6. Kate's School Nickname That Came True

princess kate

Long before marrying William, Kate’s classmates at Marlborough College were already referring to her as “princess-in-waiting.”

According to reports from The Telegraph before the royal wedding, this was due to Kate carrying a picture of William in her polo kit!

7. Will's Undercover College Nickname

will in college

While studying at St. Andrew’s University, where he met his future wife, William chose a simple pseudonym in order to avoid journalists hounding him as he tried to attend class.

His friends probably knew his real identity, but they went along with calling him “Steve” throughout his time at the university.

8. Diana's Wild Nickname For Will

diana and will

After visiting Australia with his parents at just 2, Diana was apparently inspired by the local wildlife and began calling her first son “Wombat.”

According to reports from Vanity Fair back in 2003, she also lovingly referred to him as “William the Terrible,” for his notorious troublemaking ways as a toddler, and later on “The Deep Thinker.”

9. Kate's Quirky Childhood Nickname

kate and pippa as kids

With her little sister going by Pippa or “Pip,” the Middleton family gave Kate the matching moniker of “Squeak” while the pair were growing up as young girls.

10. Prince George's First Nickname

prince george

While waiting for the arrival of their first royal baby, William and Kate were known to refer to the growing bump in Kate’s belly as their “little grape.”

11. What Prince George Calls His Great-Grandma

the queen with george

Queen Elizabeth was given another family nickname by young George when he began referring to the matriarch as “Gan Gan” when he was just two-and-a-half, according to Elle UK.

12. Prince William's Early Attempt At "Granny"

the queen with will

George follows in his father’s footsteps according to reports from the Daily Mail back in 2015.

As a toddler, it apparently took William awhile to master the word “granny” so he would call for “Gary” when he was looking for the Queen.

Be sure to SHARE the glimpse into the royal family’s real life with your friends on Facebook!