The Royal Code Name System That People Aren't Supposed To Be Privy To

We know their names: Charles, Camilla, William, Kate, Harry, Meghan. But did you know that the British royal family also go by secret code names? Kings, dukes, and duchesses need covert monikers — either for security reasons or simply to communicate in private. And some of these code words are pretty unexpected. We share some of the best with you here.

Queen Elizabeth


As the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth had several code names. One such moniker was said to be Sharon, used by close staff, such as aides and bodyguards, and military personnel. While it may sound like a funny choice of name, it was paramount for security; it added a layer of secrecy in case anyone was eavesdropping. “S” was also apparently used, believed to stand for “Sovereign.”

Operation London Bridge

Long before Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II passed away on September 8, 2022, a top-secret plan was in place for the days following her death, and it was called Operation London Bridge. This course of action was established as early as the 1960s, and following the news of her death, the British prime minister and other key personnel would have received the coded message “London Bridge is down.” The protocol listed many intricate instructions, including flying flags at all government departments at half-mast and ringing all church bells with leather mufflers to make their sound more mournful.


When the late Queen set foot on American soil, she was referred to by a rather surprising code name: “Kittyhawk.” Does this name, coined by the United States Secret Service, refer to North Carolina’s state bird? And if so, why? The reasons for this remain unclear, though we guess that’s the point. They don’t call it the Secret Service for nothing.


Did you know that the late Duke of Edinburgh would refer to his wife as “Cabbage?” Granted, cabbages are good for you, but they also carry certain undesirable connotations. Surprisingly, the word may have come from parts of France where the expression “mon petit chou” is a term of endearment. Everything sounds way better in French!