This Was Princess Diana's Adorable Nickname for Prince William

Plus, the decidedly less cute one he earned at school

We know Prince William by his official royal titles: HRH Prince William of Wales, and the Duke of Cambridge. But Princess Diana had a sweet nickname for her eldest child that she gave him when he was just a toddler.

Diana called her eldest son "Willie the Wombat" starting from the time he was just two years old. After the young prince accompanied his mother and Prince Charles on an official royal tour of Australia, Diana began lovingly referring to the William as "wombat" after the family visited a zoo and he was entranced by the native creature.

In a 2007, Prince William told an interviewer he got the unusual nickname "when [Prince Harry and I] 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."

It's not the only nickname the prince earned during his childhood. William was known to be something of a royal terror at Jane Mynors' Nursery School, the Kensington preschool he attended as a toddler. At first, the second in line to the throne proved challenging to his teachers because of his rambunctious behavior—often trying to elbow his way to the front of the line at snack time and getting into his fair share of skirmishes with classmates on the playground. Parents whose children who had had run-ins with the royal gave him the dubious soubriquet, "Basher Billy."

But when Diana learned about William's antics at school, the princess was not going to allow her son to bully the other children. According to the princess' former bodyguard, Ken Wharfe, she admonished her son saying,  "Future King of England or not, I will not hesitate to put your kingly bum in timeout!" And for more from the late princess, here are 10 Things Diana Would Tell Meghan About Royal Married Life.

Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.

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