Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's strained relationship with the royal family is far from fully healed, but royal expert Katie Nicholl's new book on the family, The New Royals, has rare detail about how King Charles III sees his daughter-in-law—or saw her when she and Harry were engaged. It comes down to his very unusual nickname for her.
Per Entertainment Tonight, Nicholl wrote in the book, “Charles reportedly nicknamed his future daughter-in-law ‘Tungsten’ because of her toughness and resilience.”
This is not the first time that Charles' initial nickname for Meghan has been reported. In June 2018, the Daily Mail reported that Charles called Meghan Tungsten, a type of metal, because she is “tough and unbending.”
“Prince Charles admires Meghan for her strength and the backbone she gives Harry, who needs a tungsten-type figure in his life as he can be a bit of a softy,” a source told the Mail On Sunday's Charlotte Griffiths at the time. “It's become a term of endearment.”
The Duchess reportedly helped repair Charles and Harry's relationship and Charles had very positive first impressions of Meghan. “Meghan met Charles and was bowled over by his charm,” a family source told Daily Mail. “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.”
Charles was impressed by Meghan and told friends, “She is so intelligent and so nice. She makes Harry happy. We could not like her more,” a source said.
What's less clear is if Charles sees the Duchess of Sussex so warmly today or whether he still uses the nickname for her following her and Harry's decision to step back from their senior working royal family roles and move to California.
The couple has been somewhat open about their experience working for the palace and even told Oprah during their March 2021 interview that Charles stopped taking Harry's calls when Harry told his dad about his and Meghan's intention to step back.
Meghan told The Cut at the end of August this year that there's nothing legally keeping her from sharing her full experience working for the British royal family. She's just choosing not to for now while she heals.
As for her relationship with the family, she said, “I think forgiveness is really important. It takes a lot more energy to not forgive. But it takes a lot of effort to forgive. I’ve really made an active effort, especially knowing that I can say anything.”
In his first speech as king, Charles did briefly acknowledge Meghan and Harry and his love for them after bestowing Prince and Princess of Wales titles on Kate Middleton and his oldest son Prince William. “I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas,” he said.
Charles, notably, has not addressed whether Meghan and Harry's children Lilibet and Archie will have HRH titles. Archie and Lili are technically prince and princess now that their grandfather is sovereign, but the royal website still has them listed as “Master” and “Miss.”
According to Hello! Magazine, King George V established rules in 1917 that made it so that children of the son of a sovereign (Harry and William are both sons of Charles, the sovereign) may use a his or her royal highness title “should they wish.”
A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace addressed Archie and Lili's titles not being updated on Saturday, September 10. The rep said, “While the website was updated for the Waleses [Kate, William, and their three children's titles], clearly updating love on a website doesn't quite work so we've not quite done that but clearly he does love them. We will be working through updating the website as and when we get information.” No decision has been made since on the kids' titles.
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