Skip to main contentSkip to footer

How the Queen got her childhood nickname 'Lilibet'

The monarch wasn't always known as Elizabeth

the queen
Sophie Hamilton
Sophie HamiltonParenting Editor
Share this:

It was revealed this week by the Duchess of Cornwall's friend, interior designer Nicky Haslam, that the Queen was unaware her grandson Prince Harry would name his daughter Lilibet.

MORE: Friend of the royals reveals the Queen had no idea Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would name daughter Lilibet

According to Nicky, who spoke on The Third Act podcast, Harry phoned the monarch and told her: "We want to call our daughter after you, Granny,' and she said, 'Oh how charming, thank you,' thinking it will be Elizabeth. So, he got permission, but they didn't say the name."

WATCH: Duke and Duchess of Sussex share photo of Lilibet at picnic

Lilibet was the monarch's childhood nickname, short for Elizabeth, and the only family members to call her by the sweet moniker were her parents, the Queen Mother and King George VI, and her late husband Prince Philip.

The nickname is said to have come about when a young Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, couldn't pronounce her name so she called herself 'Lilibet' instead.


queen baby

The Queen as a toddler in 1927

Her parents and grandparents soon took up the sweet name, and the Queen's father was once quoted as saying: "Lilibet is my pride. Margaret is my joy."

In one thank you note to her grandmother, Queen Mary, the young Queen 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."

MORE: Celebrities launch the GOSH Charity Play Date: how you can take part in July

royals lilibet

The Queen at her christening, age one month

Meghan and Harry welcomed their daughter Lilibet on 4 June 2021, announcing in a statement: "It is with great joy that Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, welcome their daughter, Lilibet "Lili" Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, to the world."

Explaining their choice of name, they added: "Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet.

"Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honour her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales."

prince harry

There are many nicknames in the royal family, several with adorable stories behind them.

The Duchess of Cambridge was nicknamed "Squeak" as a young girl at St Andrew's School in Berkshire. She explained how the name came about while on a visit to the school years later. "I was nicknamed Squeak just like my guinea pig," she said. "There was one called Pip and one called Squeak because my sister was called Pippa and I was Squeak."

Meanwhile, Duchess Kate's daughter Princess Charlotte is called 'Lottie' by her mother.

Mummy blogger Laura-Ann chatted to the Duchess during the royal's visit to Windsor Park stadium, later writing on her Instagram Stories: "So then she asked how old Bertie is, and I said he is four and she said, 'Oh he's the same age as Lottie' - Charlotte, she calls her Lottie!"

Like this story? Sign up to the HELLO! Family Hub newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

More Parenting

See more