Prince Charles Has a Secret Nickname for Meghan Markle

And it’s…not what you’d expect.

Prince Charles Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Getty Images)

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
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.