Sarah Ferguson Reveals the Surprising Nickname She Used for the Late Queen Elizabeth

There are all kinds of nicknames within the royal family, but when it came to the late Queen Elizabeth, she might have been the reigning champ of pet names. From Cabbage to Gan-Gan, the monarch had all sorts of monikers, and of course, we can't forget the one bestowed upon her by her parents—Lilibet—which is now the name of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's daughter.

But while we thought we knew all the queen's nicknames, it turns out that there's one we never knew about. Sarah Ferguson recently revealed the nickname she used for her former mother-in-law while promoting her historical romance novel, Her Heart for a Compass (published in August 2021).

Sarah Ferguson.
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While chatting about her book at the Henley Literary Festival, the Duchess of York ended up divulging the secret epithet she gave to Queen Elizabeth.

Per The Telegraph, Ferguson said, “It's been all my life that I've known the boss and there's no one like her. I wouldn't do anything unless the boss gave me her blessing though, and still to this day, I think about that.”

The royal's novel follows the story of Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas Scott, who travels the world and forges her own path, all the while trying to listen to her heart in the process. Ferguson promoted her (and her co-writer's) festival appearance on Instagram, writing, “I hope to see you at Henley Literary Festival Wednesday Oct 5, 2PM where I’ll be chatting with @marguerite_kaye about Her Heart for a Compass. Click the link in my bio to claim your tickets now my lovely readers! xx @millsandboonuk @harpercollins.”

At the festival, Ferguson stated that the late queen was not only a supporter of her books, but also a major inspiration for them. When asked what figures had inspired her characters, the duchess said, “There's no question about it, mine is my mother-in-law. I've been the luckiest person alive. I have, there's no question.”

The Storytime with Fergie and Friends host also recalled, “When we wrote the book, I gave it to the boss and I said, ‘You don't need to read it.’ But I think she was so proud that we did it. And that's just huge for me. She was just very, very special.”

ferguson hero
Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

Following Queen Elizabeth's passing on September 8, Ferguson shared a moving tribute on Instagram. “I am heartbroken by the passing of Her Majesty the Queen,” the duchess wrote. “She leaves behind an extraordinary legacy: the most fantastic example of duty and service and steadfastness, and a constant steadying presence as our head of state for more than 70 years. She has given her whole life selflessly to the people of the UK and the Commonwealth.”

From a more personal perspective, Ferguson added, “To me, she was the most incredible mother-in-law and friend. I will always be grateful to her for the generosity she showed me in remaining close to me even after my divorce. I will miss her more than words can express.”

We think boss was a perfect nickname.

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Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a Features...