She’s known around the world as Queen Elizabeth, but do you know the Queen’s full name? Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born into the British monarchy 92 years ago in April 1926. When she became Queen at age 25, Elizabeth’s name became Queen Elizabeth II and her family’s last name changed to Mountbatten-Windsor to also honor her husband Prince Philip‘s royal heritage.
Today, the royals interestingly never call the Queen simply “Elizabeth.” But why? That is her name, after all! For starters, Queen Elizabeth has always gone by her childhood nickname, Lilibet. Her parents and grandparents affectionately called her Lilibet when she was a young girl because Elizabeth was reportedly not able to pronounce her own first name correctly.
The nickname has stuck ever since and now Prince Philip is also known to call his wife Lilibet in private. He also allegedly calls her “Cabbage,” which stems from the French phrase “mon petit chou” which translates to “my little cabbage.” Cute, right?
But what do Queen Elizabeth’s seven great-grandchildren — including Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis — call her? Kate Middleton once revealed that her eldest son calls the Queen “Gan-Gan.”
When Prince Harry’s wife Meghan Markle joined the royal family earlier this year, she reportedly called the Queen the very formal “Your Majesty” before graduating to the less formal “Ma’am.” However, one royal expert predicted that Meghan may eventually call Queen Elizabeth “Mama,” which is the nickname Princess Diana once had for the monarch.
“[Ma’am] can be shortened to Mama, when Meghan gets to know her as Diana did. But never her pet name Lillibet, which is reserved for very close family and friends,” Ingrid Seward, the editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, once revealed.
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