Even royals love a good nickname
The royal family is known for their regal titles, but they also love a good nickname — in fact, some of them are more easily recognized by their nicknames than their real names!
Prince William, King Charles, Queen Elizabeth and most members of the royal family go mainly by their carefully chosen birth names. Of course, there's no shortage of nicknames within the family — Queen Elizabeth was "Gan-Gan" to great-grandson Prince George, while Princess Charlotte is affectionately known as "Lottie" with her parents.
But sometimes, another moniker becomes so popular that it's how the public best knows the royal. How many of these caught you thinking, "Who knew?"
Kate Middleton is actually Catherine
Full name at birth: Catherine Elizabeth Middleton
Current royal title: The Princess of Wales
The Princess of Wales was born to Michael and Carole Middleton as Catherine. Kate reportedly became a popular nickname during her college years, when she was studying art history at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland — where she first met Prince William.
While Prince William calls his wife Catherine and she signs her name with that moniker, the public still best knows her by the cute and casual nickname — as she's most widely searched online as Kate Middleton.
Meghan Markle's first name is Rachel
Full name at birth: Rachel Meghan Markle
Current royal title: The Duchess of Sussex
Did you know that Meghan is actually her middle name? But long before meeting and marrying Prince Harry, she was known as Meghan — or "Meg" to close friends. Rachel is still her legal first name, and "Rachel Meghan" appeared on her son Prince Archie's birth certificate.
Coincidentally, Meghan's character on Suits — on which she starred from 2011 to 2017 — is called Rachel Zane.
Prince Harry is a nickname for Henry
Full name at birth: Henry Charles Albert David
Current royal title: The Duke of Sussex
Despite what's on his birth certificate, King Charles and Princess Diana's younger son has popularly been known as Harry since he was born.
During a call with a young boy named Henry in October 2022, the prince told him, "My name is Henry. Well, everyone calls me Harry. I have no idea why."
Pippa's full name is Philippa
Full name at birth: Philippa Charlotte Middleton
Current royal title: None
Although she's not a member of the royal family, the Princess of Wales' younger sister is known popularly by her nickname over her real name — just like her sibling.
Princess Lili is really Lilibet
Full name at birth: Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor
Current royal title: Princess Lilibet
Prince Harry and Meghan's daughter was named after a nickname in itself — Lilibet was the childhood name that the future Queen Elizabeth was called by friends and family.
King Charles' granddaughter is also known as Lili, which relates to one of Meghan's nicknames. Meghan's mom, Doria Ragland, gave her the childhood nickname "Flower." In a blog post on her now-defunct lifestyle site, The Tig, Meghan shared her nicknames: "Meg, MM, M&M, and Flower (which my mom has called me since I was little)."
Fergie comes from Sarah Ferguson's last name
Full name at birth: Sarah Margaret Ferguson
Current royal title: Duchess of York
Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie's mother is popularly known as Fergie, a nickname taken from her last name.
"Someone asked me, 'If you were an astronaut and you could take all the pressure off you, would you leave behind Fergie and Sarah and the Duchess and your past mistakes and failings?'" the Duchess of York previously told PEOPLE. "And I said, 'What are you talking about? They're all my friends.' I made friends with past mistakes. I made friends with Fergie. She didn't know any better. And then Sarah. That's why we experiment. How is it that we're meant to be knowledgeable when we don't know? My Fergie, my Duchess, my Sarah: They're all good people."
King George VI had a different birth name (and a nickname!)
Nickname: King George VI/Bertie
Full name at birth: Albert Frederick Arthur George
Queen Elizabeth and King Charles may have kept their birth names when they acceded to the throne, but it was quite normal for monarchs to change their names. Queen Elizabeth's father was known as Bertie throughout his life, a spin on his name Albert. But when he became sovereign, he took the name George after his father, King George V (who was born with the same first name).
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