Gan-Gan, Cabbage, Tungsten… the British Royal Family appear to take no prisoners when it comes to picking out unique nicknames for each other. And now, it appears we have another quirky moniker to add to the list.
According to British tabloid, The Sun, our very own future queen Kate Middleton had a slightly un-PC name for her future husband when she first started dating him while studying at St Andrew’s University in Scotland.
Indeed, in a very unoriginal—albeit unexpected—update, Kate referred to Wills as “Big Willy”.
We’re experiencing cringe and hysteria (concurrently) at the news.
To add fuel to the grand marble fireplace, Kate has now swapped out the euphemism nickname for another corker—’Baldy’.
According to a source who spoke to the publication, William is rather envious of Kate’s famous long locks, and he “complained about her endless mane of hair, [so ‘Baldy’] has been her sharp retort.”
Of course, Wills has his fair share of nicknames for Kate too—he apparently calls her ‘DoD’, which is short for “Duchess of Dolittle”.
It’s not exactly the pet names you’d expect from the future King and Queen of England, but it’s perfectly fitting for this royally modern romance.
A 2023 novel, Gilded Youth: A History of Growing Up in the Royal Family: From the Tudors to the Cambridges, by Tom Quinn is also reported to go into the history of the pair’s relationship, including the origin of the lesser known (albeit more common) nicknames, which include ‘babykins’ and ‘darling’.
According to royal sources, the use of quirky nicknames in the royal family is a long standing tradition. Queen Elizabeth was called ‘Cabbage’ by her husband Prince Philip, while her great-grandson Prince George affectionately calls her ‘Gan-Gan’.
Rumour has it, Prince Charles also coined Meghan Markle ‘Tungsten’ when he first met her. For context, tungsten is an “exceptionally strong refractory metal”, not dissimilar to Meghan’s resilience and tough personality.
“The royals are not very good at communicating with one another so this is one way around it. Nicknames are a way of taking the family tension out of things,” a source told The Sun.
“They can also be a rather childlike family. They love to play games and they give each other silly presents. I think it’s because they have to be so earnest in their public lives.
“So William and Kate are really carrying on a long held tradition. It’s done with affection usually and there are grains of truth about what one feels about another.”