When most people refer to the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, they do so with utmost formality. “Your Majesty,” or “ma’am,” in person are the most common.
When writing, people rarely call her anything other than “Queen Elizabeth” or “the Queen”. But most people aren’t like, the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela.
According to Hello magazine, Mandela’s daughter Zindzi revealed that her father used to call the British monarch “Lizzie.”
Everything became prominent during Prince Harry’s recent visit to Copenhagen, where the two acquaintances caught up at an evening reception (Zindzi is the South African ambassador to the Nordic country.)
“We talked about the overwhelming relationship between my father and his grandmother,” she told the press. “He used to call her Lizzie. I first met Prince Harry at my father’s memorial service. During our second meet, I bumped into him by chance at Johannesburg airport when I was on my way to my father’s last resting place for the annual ritual, so this was our third meeting.”
Now, it’s common fact that the Queen’s close friends and family often have nicknames for her. The most famous being “Lilibet.” (Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, apparently, also sometimes calls her “Cabbage.”) But Lizzie? That’s completely a new one!
If anyone, though, could pull it off, it’s the late South African president. He and “Lizzie” were quite close—she even signed letters to him with “Your sincere friend, Elizabeth R.”
And, although this “Lizzie” bit is news, it’s been reported before that he referred to her as Elizabeth in public—and she referred to him as Nelson.
Royals tend to be fodder for historical dramas and biopics—but perhaps it’s time for a buddy comedy.