Queen Elizabeth II is known worldwide by her royal title, but for many years, her family called her by a much more casual nickname. The moniker “Lilibet” was used affectionately throughout the queen’s circle, and years later, her grandson Prince Harry used the name for his own daughter with Meghan Markle. But how did Queen Elizabeth II adopt such a unique nickname? Well, it all traces back to her childhood.
As a young girl, then-Princess Elizabeth had difficulty pronouncing her own name. Thus, “Lilibet” was created. Her father, King George VI, used to say, “Lilibet is my pride. Margaret is my joy.” In her early days as an acting royal, she would sign her personal correspondence with the name as well. She once wrote a letter to her grandmother Queen Mary that read, “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.” The affectionate nickname was later used by the queen’s husband, Prince Philip, over the course of their marriage.
Eventually, however, royal critics speculate that the queen stopped using the nickname following Prince Philip’s death earlier this year. During Philip’s funeral in April, she left a note on his casket signed, “Lilibet.” He was the last member of the royal family who would call her such, since their children have other special names for her. But even if the queen does not use the nickname regularly in her own life anymore, Harry and Meghan ensured the legacy will live on with their baby girl. The royal family’s love for “Lilibet” continues in another generation.