Why did Diana call William wombat? The truth behind the adorable childhood nickname

Everything we know about why Princess Diana called her eldest son a wombat when he was younger

Prince Charles, Prince William and Princess Diana
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Royal fans who are watching The Crown Season 6 are wondering why Diana calls William a wombat, as we look at everything we know about the adorable nickname.

Parents often choose baby names for their children that they like, whether it's an unusual baby name or a Disney baby name, it's not long before they find a sweet nickname to use instead. 

And the Royal Family have a long history of calling each other by unusual monikers  from the Cambridge children’s adorable name for Duchess Camilla to Prince Charles’ “secret” nickname for Meghan Markle. Though out of all the Royal Family’s nicknames that are known amongst fans, there’s one which might not be as famous.

And that's the one the late Princess of Wales gave to her eldest son Prince William following her and Prince Charles' 1983 royal tour of Australia and New Zealand. It seems to have stuck, with Prince William sharing his views on the adorable name, many years after Princess Diana's death.

We look at everything we know about its origin...

Why did Diana call William wombat?

Diana called William a wombat affectionately when he was a two-year-old child after visiting Australia, where the wombat is the 'local animal'. This is true, it is not dramatised for an episode of The Crown as Prince William himself addressed the adorable nickname in an interview. Speaking to NBC, Prince William admitted, “I can’t get rid of it now. It began when I was two. 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."

Whilst it's not known exactly which Australian visit inspired the nickname, the Prince and Princess of Wales it's likely that it stemmed from when William joined his parents Prince Charles and Diana on their 1983 tour of Australia and New Zealand. This was their first official tour as a couple and reports have since claimed it wasn’t quite as idyllic as they might have hoped.

Prince Charles, Princess Diana and Prince William arrive at Alice Springs Airport at the start of their tour of Australia on March 20, 1983 in Alice Springs, Australia

(Image credit: Getty Images)

For anyone who has not yet seen The Crown episode, Princess Diana calls her son the sweet name as she enters his room to wake him up softly calling him “Wombat” .

But one royal fan has also got in touch to suggest that Prince William could have got his 'wombat' nickname name from a popular children's TV show. 

"In the 1960s there was a character named “Willie Wombat” on the “Tingha and Tucker” children’s program. Tingah and Tucker were two koala bears.  It was a puppet show which aired in the afternoon. Both King Charles and Princess Diana would have been familiar with it as it was very popular. When they started calling Prince William “Wombat,” that was a very familiar reference and probably came even before the trip to Australia."

Prince William appears to have kept the tradition by choosing sweet nicknames for his three children, Prince George, 10 is known as 'Tips' while Charlotte, eight, goes by the name "Minnionette' and "Lottie" and Prince Louis, five, is "Lou Lou".

And if you haven't ever seen a wombat, a short-legged, muscular quadrupedal marsupial of the family Vombatidae that is native to Australia. Here's a cute picture of the creature below. They grow to around 1m in length with small, stubby tails and weigh between 20 and 35 kg.

wombat eating

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In other royal news, you might be wondering where is Trevor Rees-Jones now? Here's what happened to Princess Diana's bodyguard and How did Dodi meet Diana? Their relationship is explained ahead of The Crown Season 6.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)