When Prince William was a student at the University of St. Andrews, as any college kid would, he just wanted to have a normal experience—or as normal of an experience as is possible for the future king. The Mirror recalls that William used a fake name to go under the radar—and his pseudonym is about as normal as it comes: Steve.
Although he officially enrolled in college under the name William Wales, “it is believed his classmates used the nickname so he didn’t receive any unwanted attention,” The Mirror reports. “There’s also a good chance his now-wife Kate called him this, as they were close friends at university and lived in the same student accommodation.”
As is old news at this point, William met Kate Middleton while a first-year student at the university, developed a close friendship (even becoming roommates at one point), and eventually began dating. Using the “Steve” nickname allowed friends to talk about William without the media picking up on the fact that they were talking about that William—now the Prince of Wales.
And Steve isn’t the only nickname William has had throughout his life. His mother, the late Princess Diana, used to call him “Wombat,” he revealed in an NBC interview in 2007. The name stuck, as he said at the time “I can’t get rid of it now.”
“It began when I was two,” he said, per The Daily Express. “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 basically got called that—not because I look like a wombat. Or maybe I do.”