Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are an adorable royal couple – even more so in their unguarded moments. The pair recently attended a special event, for instance, and people there were pretty sure that they overheard Meghan calling her new husband by a nickname. The Duchess looked suitably flustered afterwards, too, as clearly this name was not meant for the public to hear.
Meghan and Harry have so far been married only a matter of months, but for many it seems certain that they’re going to last the distance. In public, you see, the couple are often seen hand in hand and laughing together – supposedly a breach of royal protocol. But who’s going to tell this loved-up pair to stop?
After all, no matter what they do, Harry and Meghan are incredibly popular among Britons. In July 2018, for example, Hello magazine held a poll of approximately 4,000 people and asked what they thought of the newlywed pair. Of the respondents, 78 percent said the Harry-Meghan wedding had increased the popularity of the royal family.
And that public approval likely only sky-rocketed when Meghan let slip Harry’s private nickname. It all happened on August 29, 2018, when Harry and Meghan made an appearance at a gala performance of Hamilton, the famous American musical helmed by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Yet the first thing that got people talking was Meghan’s dress.
Meghan of course looked spectacular in a black tuxedo dress from Judith & Charles and Stuart Weitzman shoes. But the big surprise was this: her legs were bare. That’s considered another breach of royal protocol, you see, as the Queen reportedly expects members of her family to wear nude tights rather than go bare-legged.
Tabloid newspaper the Daily Express even called Meghan’s look “her raciest and most daring ensemble since becoming a Duchess” when it reported on the event. At the time, however, Meghan and Harry almost certainly had other things on their minds beyond what the newspapers would say. The event was for charity, after all.
And this performance of Hamilton was actually for a charity close to Prince Harry’s heart: Sentebale. Harry co-founded this organization in 2006 along with a fellow prince, Seeiso of Lesotho. The charity aims to help children in Lesotho who suffer with HIV/AIDS.
Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana, had also been an activist against AIDS. In fact, she’s credited with changing early perceptions about the disease in the U.K. In 1987, for instance, she’d shaken the hand of a man who had AIDS on television, debunking the idea that the condition was spread by touch. So it seems that after Diana’s death in 1997, her sons have carried on her work.
Just like his mother, in fact, Harry has sought to remove some of the stigma still surrounding AIDS. To this end, he actually had a HIV test live on Facebook in 2016. “Whether you’re a man, woman, gay, straight, black or white – even ginger – why wouldn’t you come and have a test?” he says in the resultant video.
But fundraising and awareness events can have an element of fun to them as well. And that was certainly the aim with the Hamilton performance. You see, Harry’s distant ancestor King George III features in the show, and after the final curtain Harry sang a line of King George’s for the crowd. The audience naturally lapped it up.
But Meghan too provided something entertaining that night, albeit possibly not on purpose. Yes, while she and Harry were taking photos and videos with the Hamilton cast, Meghan let slip her nickname for Prince Harry. In one particular clip, Megahn is standing in front of her husband when she seemingly asks, “Can you see, my love?” The whole cast then goes “Awwwww!” at her, and Meghan looks rather embarrassed. But she had no need to be!
There have, after all, been royal nicknames for spouses much, much worse than “my love.” For example, Prince Philip reportedly calls the Queen, his wife, “cabbage” as a term of endearment. In 2006 The Sunday Times interviewed royal biographer Robert Lacey about this, and he said, “Yes, I’ve heard that is how he will sometimes refer to her.”
Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have also used pet names in public. At the Chelsea Flower Show in 2016, in fact, William called his wife “darling.” That’s perfectly innocent – but perhaps not all their names are so wholesome… Tabloids have even long suspected that Kate actually calls William “Big Willy” when they’re alone.
So Meghan really doesn’t have to worry. It would arguably seem stranger if she and Harry didn’t use cute names for each other every now and again. And Harry’s apparently happy to do so. Just before Harry and Meghan married, in fact, the Daily Mail uploaded a clip of him calling her “Meg!” to attract her attention.
Meghan reportedly has another nickname for Harry, too – just not one that the public ever gets to hear. In April 2018, in fact, Meghan’s former agent, Gina Nelthorpe-Cowne, told the Daily Mail that the one-time actress sometimes calls her royal beau “Haz.”
And of course “Harry” is actually a kind of a nickname itself. Because although the whole world knows him as Prince Harry, the prince’s real name is Henry. The royal family still sometimes uses that moniker in official capacities, too. When Harry and Meghan got engaged, for instance, the announcement from the Palace read, “Prince Henry of Wales & Meghan Markle are engaged to be married.”
So while Meghan may have revealed something that she hadn’t planned after Hamilton, Harry did actually deliver a prepared speech. “Thank you so much,” he said to the attendees. “You have together raised a huge amount of money to change the lives of thousands of children in Botswana and Lesotho.”
“And through that work that we’re going to be doing now, we’ll be able to stop the generational hand down of stigma around HIV,” he went on. So the event was likely an unequivocal success. Lin-Manuel Miranda later even celebrated it in a tweet to his millions of followers. “King George III’s great-great-great-great-great-great grandson The Duke of Sussex sang a few bars tonight,” he wrote.
Mind you, Meghan is actually a Hamilton megafan, according to reports. She’d seen the show at least two times previously, once with Harry and once with her friend Priyanka Chopra. When she went to see it with Chopra – before Meghan became a Duchess – she even posted pictures of them with the playbill captioned, “The best date night.”
And it seems that now Meghan has gotten Harry into Hamilton as well. Reporter Emily Andrews posted on Twitter, “Meghan told one of the cast that Harry loves the show and now can’t stop singing all the songs.” So now she has more reason than ever to call him “my love” in public…