The Royal Family's unusual nicknames uncovered

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Like all of us, the British Royal family has nicknames for each other.

While many are simply diminutive – such as Lottie for Princess Charlotte or H for Prince Harry – or common terms of endearment such as babe or darling, there are unusual ones you wouldn't guess.

Read on to discover who answers to Gary and why one royal is known as Tips.

The British Royal Family - Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in a white dress; Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, in a blue suit;Queen Elizabeth II in a green dress and hat;, Prince George of Cambridge in a blue suit and blue and white striped tie; Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, in a blue suit and blue tie; Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, in a cream dress; Prince Louis of Cambridge in a black jacket and blue shorts; and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge in a pink dress with full sleevesstand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the Platinum Pageant on June 5, 2022 in London, England.
The Royal Family has some unusual but sweet nicknames for each other. Photo: Getty Images

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The Queen

While it is known Queen Elizabeth II's childhood nickname is Lilibet, others may come as a surprise.

One was revealed in the 2006 film, The Queen, when Philip asks his wife to "move over, Cabbage".

"I inquired in royal circles and was told on very good authority that that is what the Duke sometimes calls the Queen," Peter Morgan, screenwriter for the film, told The Times.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attend the service of thanksgiving for Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday at St Paul's cathedral on June 10, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. He wears a grey suit and red tie and sits on a red and gold chair reading the program. The Queen shits adjacent wearing a yellow outfit and yellow hat.
The Duke of Edinburgh used to call his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, "Cabbage"! Photo: Getty Images

Robert Lacey, the monarch’s biographer, confirmed the nickname: "Yes, I’ve heard that is how he will sometimes refer to her."

It's not quite as odd as it seems.

It comes from the French phrase "mon petit chou", which literally means "my little cabbage", however the French use it to mean "my darling".

Prince Edward, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Anne, Princess Royal, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Diana, Princess of Wales, wearing a peach dress with a pussy bow tie designed by Jan Van Velden and a hat by Frederick Fox, holding Prince Harry; Zara Phillips, Prince William, Lady Rose Windsor and Lady Davina Windsor stand on the balcony at Buckingham Palace during the Trooping the Colour on June 15, 1985 in London, United Kingdom. The Queen, Prince Phillip and Prince Charles are in Royal military regalia of red, blue, gold and silver,
When William was a child, he couldn't say granny, so he used to call The Queen "Gary"! Photo: Getty Images

Another unusual nickname for Her Majesty is Gary.

After William fell over at Buckingham Palace as a small child, he was bawling: "Gary, Gary".

A guest who went to help asked who Gary was, assuming it must be a member of the royal household.

"I’m Gary," explained the Queen, as she scooped him up.

"He hasn’t learned to say Granny yet."

Similarly, William's children call the queen Gan Gan after Prince George found Great Gran too difficult as a small child.

Prince Charles and Camilla

The Prince was enamoured by Camilla from a young age and even before he married Diana, he and Camilla had affectionate nicknames for one another.

They called each other Fred and Gladys after characters in The Goon Show.

Sadly this affection didn't seem to wane after he married Diana, as the Princess discovered after uncovering a gift meant for Camilla.

"I walked into this man’s office one day and I said, ‘Ooh, what’s in that parcel?’ And he said ‘Oh, you shouldn’t look at that'," the Princess told royal biographer Andrew Morton.

"So I opened it and there was a gold chain bracelet with a blue enamel disc. It’s got ‘G and F’ entwined in it, ‘Gladys’ and ‘Fred’—they were their nicknames."

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in white and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, in a dark blue suit and bright blue and white check tie, attend Kigali Fashion Week at Kigali Arena on June 23, 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda. Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales has attended five of the 24 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting meetings held since 1971: Edinburgh in 1997, Uganda in 2007, Sri Lanka in 2013 (representing The Queen), Malta in 2015 and the UK in 2018. It was during the UK CHOGM that it was formally announced that The Prince would succeed The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth. Leaders of Commonwealth countries meet every two years for the meeting which is hosted by a different member country on a rotating basis.
Charles and Camilla have called each other Gladys and Fred since before Charles was married to Diana. Photo: Getty Images

Charles also revealed that he calls Camilla "Mehbooba", which means "my beloved" in Urdu.

“I cannot quite believe it is almost two years to the day that both my mehbooba and myself were able to be with all of you to celebrate the work of the British Asian Trust," Charles said at the British Museum in London earlier this year.

Prince William

We know friends and family call him Wills, but he has a very sweet nickname from his childhood.

His mother, Diana, The Princess of Wales, used to affectionately call him "Wombat".

A toddler Prince William in a warm dark blue padded suit with Prince Charles, in a blue suit, and Princess Diana, in a cream cowl-necked outfit with tan belt; on a garden seat at Kensington Palace 14th December 1983.
Prince William was pretty wild as a child, which earned him his nickname 'whirlwind William'. Photo: Getty Images

"It began when I was two ... when we went to Australia with our parents, and the wombat, you know, that’s the local animal, so I just basically got called that, not because I look like a wombat, or maybe I do," Prince William revealed in a 2007 interview with NBC.

It seems the name has stuck.

"I can’t get rid of it now," he said.

It's believed even his children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, use it sometimes.

Infant William was also known by his father Prince Charles as ‘whirlwind Will’, due to his cheeky habit of flushing shoes down the royal loo, pushing the palace panic buttons and threatening to behead his friends or lock them up in the Tower of London.

Prince George

Since his birth, the family had an adorable nickname for George: "Tips".

Apparently, it is because his initials - PG for Prince George - reminded them of the British tea brand PG Tips.

Princess Charlotte arrives for her first day of school, with her brother Prince George and her parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at Thomas's Battersea in London on September 5, 2019 in London, England. The children wear dark blue uniforms and Kate wears a long-sleeved pink patterned shirt dress and the Prince wears a blue jacket, dark trousers and blue shirt without a tie. The parents carry the children's backpacks.
Prince George is known as "PG" at his school in Battersea, London or "Tips" at home. Photo: Getty Images

This has also been the theme of his nickname at school.

"George is really happy at school, [and] his nickname is PG," a fellow parent at Thomas’s Battersea told Vanity Fair.

Princess Charlotte

Prince William revealed his very sweet nickname for his daughter, Princess Charlotte, when the two were filmed playing in Kate Middleton's Chelsea Flower Show garden in 2019.

The royal dad was overheard calling Charlotte "Mignonette" which means delicate' or "sweetie" in French.

Meghan Markle

While the Duchess of Sussex may be affectionately called Meg by her husband Harry, it is Prince Charles' nickname for her that is a little more unusual.

He nicknamed his younger son's wife "Tungsten".

"As royal correspondent Russell Myers revealed on Lorraine in 2019, Charles nicknamed her after the metal as 'she is tough and unbending'," The List narrator Christine-Marie Liwag Dixon explained to The Express.

In blue military attire, Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (2nd L), looks at his bride, Meghan Markle, as she arrives accompanied by Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, in a pale grey suit, in St George's Chapel during the wedding ceremony at Windsor Castle.
Prince Charles came up with a tough nickname for Meghan Markle. Photo: Getty Images

"Tungsten is the strongest naturally occurring metal on the planet.

"That makes this a pretty neat compliment, all things considered."

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