We didn’t see any public interaction this weekend between Prince Charles and daughter-in-law Meghan Markle, but apparently the Prince of Wales has a secret nickname for the Duchess of Sussex, The Daily Express reports—and it’s quite touching.
But we have to say, also a bit unexpected: The nickname, says a commentator, is “Tungsten.”
Before you scratch your head as to a.) why Charles calls Meghan an element on the periodic table and b.) why it’s touching, let Christine-Marie Liwag Dixon of The List explain why it’s a “pretty neat compliment” and harkens back to Meghan’s “resilient nature.”
“Meghan Markle hasn’t had an easy time of it since joining the royal family,” she said. “Not only has the press hounded her relentless, but she has also said that she felt less than at home in the royal family. The royal family may not have approved of Meghan and Harry stepping down as senior royals, despite them doing so to escape an environment that was clearly not good for their mental health. However, it seems that Prince Charles had a lot of respect for Meghan’s resilient nature. This was evident in the secret nickname he reportedly had for her: ‘Tungsten.’”
The reason why, Liwag Dixon said, was explained by royal correspondent Russell Myers, who said Charles “nicknamed her after the metal as she is ‘tough and unbending.’”
“Tungsten is the strongest naturally occurring metal in the planet,” Liwag Dixon said. “That makes this a pretty neat compliment, all things considered.”
Though Prince Harry and his father have had tension over the years, Charles and Meghan’s relationship has been known to be solid, culminating with Charles walking Meghan partially down the aisle at her 2018 wedding to his younger son.
By doing this, “Charles is literally welcoming Meghan into the royal family in such a kind way,” said Mail on Sunday royal editor Emily Andrews. “It’s [also] such a touching moment between father and son.”
Relationship psychologist Anjula Mutanda added “This was a very important, symbolic act in terms of optics. It said, ‘Meghan is now part of our royal family.’”
Tungsten. Not a bad way to honor a strong woman.
Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the royal editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.
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