It’s weird to think that the Queen has a nickname at all, but she does. And it’s… look, it’s not an obvious one.
It’s not Her Maj, or Royal-H, or Big Liz. It’s… it’s even odder than that.
Yes. The Royal Family refer to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms, with the name of the weird guy from your high school.
It makes a bit more sense when you find out where it’s from: Prince William struggled to pronounce “Granny” when he was an infant, and the adorable-slash-hilarious name stuck.
The story goes that he fell down in the Palace and called out for Gary, and when baffled staff asked what the actual hell he was talking about the Queen swooped in, gathered him up and told her courtiers “I’m Gary”.
This regal nickname for Big Liz, incidentally, is an example of what’s called “familinguistics”, the utterly fascinating study of the individual terms used by families. Yes, you thought those weird terms were just your fam but no: turns out everyone does it.
According to the linguist Gretchen McCulloch in her book Because Internet there are two peaks for when terms tend to enter the family lexicon (when the kids are starting to speak and when the kids are in early adolescence) and that the most common thing to have a unique term is the television remote control.
What Gary calls her remote, sadly, is not currently known. Can someone please ask Prince William?