Why the Queen will no longer be called by her childhood nickname ‘Lilibet’

Lucy Scott
·2-min read
Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images

The world watched this weekend as the Queen bid goodbye to Prince Philip, her husband of 73 years.

The funeral for the Duke of Edinburgh, who died on 9th April at the age of 99, was attended by a small group of 30 members of the royal family, including Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, along with others.

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Royal photographer Arthur Edwards, who has travelled with the royal family for nearly four decades, pointed out in a piece for The Sun about Prince Philip’s funeral, that the sad occasion also signalled another milestone – he was the last of the royals to call the Queen by her childhood name, Lilibet.

The nickname goes back to when the Queen was too young to pronounce her own name, calling herself ‘Lilibet’ instead. As a young royal she would sign letters using the shortened version of Elizabeth.

In one thank you note to her grandmother, Queen Mary, she wrote: ‘Darling Granny. Thank you very much for the lovely doll's house. I do love it, and I have unpacked the dining room and the hall. Love from Lilibet xxx.’

Her parents and grandparents also took up the nickname, with her father, King George VI, once saying: ‘Lilibet is my pride. Margaret is my joy.’

Although Prince Philip also used the name affectionately, no one else in the royal family calls the Queen Lilibet, meaning it will no longer be used.

Thankfully the Queen’s family do have other sweet names for her, with Prince Charles calling her ‘mummy’ and Prince William and Harry calling her ‘granny’.

The Duchess of Cambridge also revealed her eldest children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte call their great grandmother ‘Gan-Gan’.

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