Explained: Why King Charles nicknamed Meghan Markle ‘Tungsten’

Royal expert Katie Nicholl’s book called 'The New Royals' has revealed that during the initial years of Harry and Meghan Markle’s relationship, King Charles was quite impressed by his daughter-in-law and gave her the nickname of ‘Tungsten’ which reflected her toughness and resilience

FP Explainers October 07, 2022 12:20:57 IST
Explained: Why King Charles nicknamed Meghan Markle ‘Tungsten’

According to the book, the monarch nicknamed his future daughter-in-law ‘Tungsten’, a name that reflected Meghan’s toughness and resilience. AFP

King Charles might not be fully happy with Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to step down from their royal duties but he sure had respected his daughter-in-law at one point in time.

Royal expert Katie Nicholl’s new book called The New Royals, has revealed a rare detail about how King Charles III saw Meghan Markle when she and Harry were engaged.

According to the book, the monarch nicknamed his future daughter-in-law ‘Tungsten’, a name that reflected Meghan’s toughness and resilience.

Let’s take a closer look at how and why King Charles came up with this nickname.

Why ‘Tungsten’?

The term ‘Tungsten’ literally means a hard steel-grey metal of the third transition series that has the highest melting point of all metallic elements.

The nickname came into existence when Markle showed resilience during her and Prince Harry’s appearance at the Royal Foundation Forum with Prince William and Kate in 2018.

As per a report by Page Six, Katie Nicholl wrote, “It was, according to one aide, the moment William and Kate, who was heavily pregnant, realized they needed to up their game. The Cambridges (now the Prince and Princess of Wales) had already signalled their intention to be more than ‘ornamental royals’ and had, along with Harry, made a huge success of their mental health campaign Heads Together.”

Also read: ‘My dad will be king, you better watch out’: When Prince George sounded like a ‘Dilli wala brat’

The author further said, “But Meghan was the breakout star of the foursome. She was polished, passionate, and funny, using all her TV-honed skills to present her case. That was a wake-up moment for William and Kate when they realized that Meghan was very impressive, very confident, and very capable, according to a source.”

A source told Daily Mail on Sunday that King Charles used to admire Meghan for her strength and the fact that she acted as a backbone to Prince Harry, who he thought, needed a tungsten-type figure in his life.

However, it is not clear if the monarch still uses the nickname for Meghan following her and Harry’s decision to step down from their royal family roles and move to California.

What’s Meghan and King Charles’ relationship like?

During the initial years of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s relationship, King Charles III reportedly had positive first impressions of the former. A family source told Daily Mail the monarch told his friends, “She is so intelligent and so nice. She makes Harry happy. We could not like her more.”

Similarly, Markle spoke very highly of King Charles. According to a report by Elle, she reportedly helped repair Charles and Harry’s strained relationship. Another source told Daily Mail, “Meghan met Charles and was bowled over by his charm. She told Harry he was wonderful: welcoming, warm, hard-working kind and stable. She made it clear that he should appreciate him and bond more.”

Explained Why King Charles nicknamed Meghan Markle Tungsten

During the initial years of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s relationship, King Charles III was reportedly had very positive first impressions of the former. AFP

However, soon after the couple got married in 2018, tensions started to brew between Charles and his new daughter-in-law, according to British journalist Tom Bower’s book called Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the War Between the Windsors.

And by January 2020, Meghan and Harry announced that they will be stepping back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family.

Since then, the couple has been open about their experience of working with the Royal Family. During an interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021, they also revealed that King Charles had stopped taking Harry’s calls when he told his father about his and Meghan’s intention to step back.

King Charles, however, did briefly mention Meghan and Harry in his first speech as the King. He said, “I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.”

Although Archie and Lili, the children of Meghan and Harry, are technically prince and princess now that their grandfather has assumed the position as the monarch, Charles hasn’t addressed whether or not they will have royal titles.

What other nicknames does the Royal Family use?

The British Royal Family has had a long tradition of calling each other by nicknames, just like any other family.

Apart from the well-known nickname of the late Queen Elizabeth, Lilibet, as per a report on People, Kate Middleton revealed in a 2016 documentary that her children Princess Charlotte and Prince George had their own cute nicknames for their grandmother. She said, “George is only 2 ½ and he calls her Gan-Gan.”

Meanwhile, Prince William has been known to call his wife Kate “Poppet”. Princess Diana used to call his elder son “Wombat”.

What else does The New Royals reveal?

Katie Nicholl’s book digs deeper into some of the most important moments of the Royal Family.

The book reveals also how the Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, had felt ‘isolated and alone’ soon after Prince George was born.

After tying the knot in April 2011, the couple announced that they were expecting their first child in the same year. Following Prince George’s birth in 2013, the couple spent a few weeks at Kate’s family home in Berkshire.

Soon after she returned to their home in Anglesey, William returned to work for the Royal Air Force. This is when Kate admitted that she had felt isolated and “cut off” at that time, alone with her baby in the absence of her husband, according to the book.

Nicholl wrote that the late Queen Elizabeth was “exhausted” by Harry and Meghan’s decision to leave their royal life behind. “Privately the Queen confided to a close friend that she was exhausted by the turmoil of it all. ‘She was very hurt and told me, ‘I don’t know, I don’t care, and I don’t want to think about it anymore,” Katie wrote in her book.

With inputs from agencies

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