The Story Behind Princess Diana's Sweet Nickname for Prince William

Princess Diana's sweet nickname for her eldest son, Prince William, features in the final season of The Crown. In the show, she calls him "Wombat," which was actually a real nickname she had for him.

In an interview on the tenth anniversary of Princess Diana's death in 2007, Prince William revealed the true story behind the nickname. "It kind of stuck with me. I can’t get rid of it now. It began when I was 2," William said. "I’ve been rightfully told because I can’t remember back that far, but when we went to Australia with our parents, and the wombat, you know, that’s the local animal, so I just basically got called that, not because I look like a wombat, or maybe I do, you know? [laughs]."

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A baby Prince William with his parents in Australia, March 1983.Anwar Hussein - Getty Images

In 1983, Diana and then-Prince Charles brought William with them on their royal tour of Australia and New Zealand. There, the Princess began calling her eldest after the marsupial that is only found in Australia—and the nickname clearly stuck for years. In 2000, during his gap year in Chile with Raleigh International, he volunteered teaching English to young students. During an exercise where he had to draw an animal starting with the same letter as his name, he wrote on the whiteboard, "I am a Wombat," with a rudimentary drawing of a wombat.

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Prince William’s drawing of a wombat at a school in southern Chile, December 2000.UK Press - Getty Images

Prince William isn't the only one in his family with an interesting nickname; earlier this year, Kate Middleton was overheard calling their youngest, Prince Louis by the nickname of "Lou Bugs."Their daughter, Princess Charlotte, reportedly goes by Lottie, and Prince George supposedly went by "PG" at school for a few years.


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