From the outside, the royal family looks to be a tough crowd.
Whether it’s the strict goings-on during their infamous Balmoral test or the intimidating structure of ‘the Firm’ vs ‘the Institution’, the royals seem to keep quite a wall up. But little does the world know that the members of the British monarchy are actually quite sweet with one another behind closed doors.
When the Palace is out of the public eye, it turns out that the family members who walk its halls have rather adorable nicknames and pet names for each other—much to our surprise.
For Queen Elizabeth’s corgi dogs, there’s no doubt they’d have pet names a plenty, but for the spouses and children who share the royal bloodline? Well, how they address each other may just surprise you (and warm your heart at the same time).
Curious? We were too. Below, we’ve rounded up the sweetest nicknames that the royal family call each other.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
In an interview for the documentary Harry and Meghan: An African Journey, the Duchess of Sussex revealed that she calls her husband by his first initial, “H”. And during a segment on James Corden’s The Late Late Show back in February 2021, the pair let slip more sweet names they call each other. While discussing Meghan, Harry referred to her as “Meg” when explaining his love for the organic waffles she makes for their son, Archie.
Later, as they video called Meghan, fans were elated when the Duchess called her husband, “Haz”.
“That’s wonderful, I think we’ve done enough moving. Haz, how’s your tour of LA going?” she asked, before Corden jumped in adding, “Haz? I didn’t know we were calling you that”.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip
When Queen Elizabeth was a young child, she couldn’t pronounce her own name. As a result, she would refer to herself as “Tillabet”. But once she became an adult, the Queen Mother reportedly referred to her as “Lili” or “Lilibet”, which the late Prince Philip adopted. Not only was the nickname popular amongst her close family, but Harry and Meghan even named their daughter the same name.
Apparently, the former Duke of Edinburgh also called his wife another, rather unusual, pet name: “cabbage”. In the 2006 film The Queen, the script includes Philip referring to his wife as “cabbage”. It’s not known exactly where the nickname ever came from, but many speculate that it was born from the affectionate French phrase mon petit chou.
Prince William and Kate Middleton
As royal enthusiasts know, Prince William and Kate Middleton met at the tender age of 21, while both attending the same university. Naturally, a nearly two decade relationship would see a plethora of nicknames created between the couple.
The most risqué of them all? Well, according to The Mirror, Kate would call William “Big Willy” while they were at university together.
More recently, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge kept up their cheeky pet names for each other. According to The Sun, William began making fun about Kate’s “endless mane of hair”. But she wasn’t going to take the hit, so she clapped back by calling him “Baldy”. However, as to not let his wife get the last laugh, William retorted by calling his wife “DoD”—short for “Duchess of Dolittle”, a dig at her lack of career before they wed.
Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla Parker Bowles
While attending an event at the British Museum in February 2022, Prince Charles let slip his pet name for his wife, Duchess Camilla.
During his speech, the Duke of Edinburgh referred to his wife as “my Mehbooba“, meaning “my beloved” or “my darling” 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,” the Prince of Wales said.
Along with ‘Mehbooba’, Charles and Camilla reportedly call each other different names, some which were even started back in their twenties.
Princess Charlotte and the late Princess Diana
For Prince William and Kate Middleton’s children, they tragically never got the chance to meet their grandmother, the late Princess Diana—but that doesn’t stop them having a sweet nickname for her. Shared on the Kensington Royal Instagram, the royal children wrote a Mother’s Day card for their grandmother.
Specifically, in Charlotte’s message to Diana, she addressed her late grandmother as “Granny Diana”.
In the card, five-year-old Charlotte wrote, “Dear Granny Diana, I am thinking of you on Mother’s Day. I love you very much, Papa is missing you. Lots of love, Charlotte”.
Zara And Mike Tindall
After being married for nine years, there’s bound to be plenty of pet names that Zara and Mark Tindall would have for each other. So, when recording an episode of the House of Rugby podcast, Mike revealed what he calls Zara when in the comfort of their home.
In the interview, Mike and Zara’s youngest daughter Lena walked into the room and immediately began talking through the recording. So, when explaining what was happening to the podcast’s co-host Alex Payne, Mike revealed his nickname for Zara.
“Sorry, Lena’s just on fire at the moment, she’s never quiet,” he said. “I did just send Zed a message, going ‘Shush please,’ so she’s obviously moving from somewhere.”
Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice
When it comes to siblings, there’s no shortage of nicknames that are shared between them. And so is the case for royal sisters, Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice.
In an Instagram post to celebrate Beatrice’s birthday, Princess Eugenie shared the oh-so-sweet pet name that she has for her older sister.
“You have been bossing it since before I was born,” she wrote. “And continue to be the most wonderful person, friend and big sister… Happy Birthday to you Beabea!! Xx.”
Prince William, Kate Middleton and their daughter Princess Charlotte
In 2019 footage of the Cambridge children walking through their mother’s Back To Nature Chelsea Flower Show, George, Charlotte and Louis clearly enjoyed themselves. But that’s not all that royal fans noticed, all eyes were on Prince William after he called Charlotte by a name that’s not on her birth certificate.
In the video, royal enthusiasts think they hear Prince William refer to Charlotte as mignonette, as right after he says the word, she responds to him as if it was her name. Some believe the name is derived from the French word mignon, which means ‘small’ and ‘delicate’.
Of course, no one will know for sure until either William or Kate speak up about the pet name, but Twitter certainly believe it to be true.