She’s known to the public as Queen Elizabeth II, but behind closed doors, the royal family have used a host of nicknames to refer to the current Queen.
While most of her grandchildren including Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and Prince Harry call her ‘Granny’, it’s recently been revealed that a young Prince William had a hilarious name for his grandmother.
According to the Daily Mail columnist Richard Kay the future king called the Queen ‘Gary’ when he was a little boy.
Recalling an incident at Buckingham Palace, he wrote: “After a fall at Buckingham Palace, the Prince cried out for ‘Gary, Gary.’ When a guest asked who Gary was, the Queen stepped in and explained: ‘I’m Gary. He hasn’t learned to say Granny yet.'”
The second-in-line to the throne now has children of his own and it seems his eldest son, Prince George, is carrying on the tradition for cute nicknames for his great-grandmother.
At the Christening of Princess Charlotte, William was heard to refer to the Queen as ‘Gan-Gan’ while talking to George outside the church on their way back to Sandringham after the private service.
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge confirmed that ‘Gan-Gan’ is the name George uses while discussing her children’s relationship with their grand-grandmother for the ITV documentary the Queen at Ninety.
Broadcast last year as part of the 90th birthday celebrations, the Duchess revealed: “George is only two and a half and he calls her Gan-Gan. She always leaves a little gift or something in their room when we go and stay and that just shows her love for the family.”
The Duke Of Edinburgh’s nickname for his wife of 70 years isn’t so complimentary, though, Prince Phillip is said to have called the Queen ‘Cabbage’ throughout their marriage. The name was used in the 2006 Oscar winning film in which Dame Helen.Mirren portrayed the monarch, though no explanation as to the origins of the name has been given.
The Queen’s most enduring moniker, however, was actually given to the queen by herself as a child and is used by the royal family to this day – Lilibet.
According to royal insiders, the name came from the young Elizabeth’s struggle to pronounce her own name correctly and began life as ‘Tillabet’ before being shortened to ‘Lilibet’.
It was used by her closest family members, George VI, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret throughout their lives, as well as by her extended family including her grandfather, Edward VII.
Letters written to her grandmother, the then Queen Mary, before her father was king also show the young Elizabeth signing as ‘Lilibet’.
She might be strict when it comes to her family following protocol, but we doubt the Queen would mind the affectionate nicknames, especially as their titles are a bit of a mouthful.
The Queen’s official title in the UK is ‘Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith’.
The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William is known as ‘Wills’ by his friends and reportedly also went by the name Steve while at university in St Andrews in an effort to keep a low profile.
His brother Harry has used a string of alias to avoid attention too including the moniker Spike Wells, which was so successful he managed to have a Facebook account under the name for four years before it was shutdown for security reasons.
Both Princes used the last name Wales during their military service, paying tribute to their father’s title as Prince of Wales, rather than using the family name of Windsor.
One unusual nickname the public might not be aware of came to light in a recent interview, when William confessed he had been known as “Wombat” by his parents as a young boy.
The Duke explained at the time it had stuck after a visit to Australia: “It began when I was two. I’ve been rightfully told because I can’t remember back that far.
“But when we went to Australia with our parents, and the wombat, you know, that’s the local animal.”
Names haven’t always been a sign of affection for the royals.
During the tense abdication crisis of 1936, which saw the Queen’s uncle Edward VIII give up the thrown so he could marry American divorcee Wallace Simpson, Simpson reportedly referred to her future sister-in-law, Elizabeth as the “fat, Scottish cook” or the “Dowdy Duchess”.
Relations between the royal family and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, as they were styled after the abdication, worsened following the death of George VI and Edward is said to have referred to the present queen as “Shirley Temple” when arguing over the monthly allowance he was awarded after his brother’s death.