Despite generating endless headlines, it’s actually been a very quiet few months for Meghan Markle.
After detonating the royal bomb that was her and Prince Harry’s Netflix docu-series in December, the Duchess of Sussex basically went to ground as her husband released his memoir, Spare, and hit the publicity trail all on his own just weeks later.
Yet in the lead-up to the coronation, the will-they-or-won’t-they-attend speculation meant that one of her quietest public periods was, ironically, also one of her most talked-about.
The biggest question remaining: When would the former working royal step back into the spotlight?
But as her father-in-law’s coronation unfolded last weekend, Meghan’s strategy suddenly became abundantly clear.
While her RSVP may have said “not attending” – the globally-watched event was still the springboard for Meghan’s huge brand relaunch.
Her first move came just days before Harry headed to the UK for his fly-in-fly-out visit.
After living in California for nearly three years, the couple made their high-profile debut appearance at an LA Lakers game, where they even showed up on the stadium’s jumbotron screen.
The next bold play was mere hours after King Charles was crowned.
In an extraordinary coincidence (or not), Meghan emerged on a hike in California, dressed down in chic active wear.
After a prolonged period of successfully avoiding the paps, and with a hyper-focus on all things royal – suddenly, the relaxed, outdoorsy Duchess conveniently provided us all with the perfect juxtaposition to the stuffy formalities which had just taken place in London.
Six days post-coronation and amid a smattering of unexpected Instagram appearances, Meghan was then spotted by paparazzi on a rare night out on Friday, joined by Harry and (among others) two extremely famous friends: Gwyneth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz.
But the coronation pièce de résistance came with her glittering appearance at Tuesday night’s swanky Ms. Foundation’s Women in Vision Awards, where a glamorous Meghan hit her first red carpet in months to scoop up an award, presented to her by trailblazing feminist Gloria Steinem.
In a strapless, fitted gold cocktail dress with – gasp! – a cut-out below the chest, she couldn’t possibly have styled herself more differently than the Meghan that once worked for the monarchy.
Yes, it may have been a big couple of weeks for King Charles and Queen Camilla – but across the pond, it’s now very evident that Team Meghan has also been burning the candle at both ends.
And the strategy we’re seeing the Duchess roll out is, it must be said, a masterclass on capitalising on royal connections … without actually having to face any of her estranged in-laws.
As brand expert Nick Ede told MailOnline recently: “Meghan has cleverly circumnavigated herself away from the royal family and coronation scrutiny and got all eyes on her and what’s she’s doing next.”
With speculation of a lifestyle blog relaunch, Harry-esque memoir, or another Netflix documentary (focusing this time on South Africa rather than palace pitfalls), it remains to be seen which project she’s actually planning to roll out first.
What we do know? Charles’ reign as a crowned King has now officially begun – and so has the new era of Meghan Markle.