Meghan Markle's emotional Oprah interview astounded millions of viewers and sent shockwaves through the royal family.
But according to experts, there may have been a hidden motive behind the Duchess of Sussex's explosive tell-all.
She and Prince Harry made a series of damning allegations against the royal family during their Oprah interview, including the claim that an unnamed royal questioned how dark their son Archie's skin would be, that Meghan struggled with mental health issues and suicidal thoughts but was denied help by the Palace, and that Prince Charles had stopped taking Harry's calls.
But British race relations commentator and broadcaster Jonathan Sacerdoti said Meghan's focus on two key topics – race and mental health – may have been strategic.
In a statement, Sacerdoti explained that allegations on these topics couldn't easily be challenged by critics in the current climate, and that they were also issues that resonated with young people in particular, which revealed Meghan to be a "branding genius" and also provided a clue as to her future aims.
He said while Meghan and Harry claimed their departure from the UK and the royals was in order to seek privacy, the Oprah interview proved their "true aim" was to build the value of their own brand – even if that involved throwing their family under the bus – and they were actually focused on "controlling their publicity and attention, rather than avoiding it".
And so far, it's a move that seems to have paid off.
Sacerdoti said Meghan had managed to pull off the "marketing impossible" by catapulting from little-known actress to someone who now eclipsed her own world-famous husband.
"He might be the initial reason she's so well known, but she's easily the bigger star now," he said.
Australian public relations expert Nicole Reaney told news.com.au Meghan and Harry's Oprah tell-all screamed "Hollywood", and agreed that Meghan's profile had been raised astronomically.
"There is no doubt that Meghan's relationship and marriage to Prince Harry elevated her profile at an international scale," she said.
But Reaney said she believed the Oprah move would backfire and ultimately tarnish the royal couple's image.
"While some have backed and supported the couple's claims, overall while the intention was to share their experiences, the matter in which it was done derailed this motive," she said.
"Inconsistencies in their position with media and seeking privacy, choosing a leading celebrity interviewer rather than a credible news anchor and airing during a global pandemic did not work in their favour.
"I disagree it was marketing genius given this and the public sentiment unfolding.
"It is very likely this interview was held as a means to settle and rebuild their brands to support new opportunities, but I believe it has raised even more questions."
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Politico's senior media writer Jack Shafer agreed the interview was part of a strategic plan.
He said while the couple's grievances may have been legitimate, at the same time they also served a useful purpose, as the couple needed to "launch their new media brand in a way that would flatter and publicise them and shame their critics, even if it did expose their vulnerabilities".
But he said while the special achieved the goal of generating worldwide attention, the pair will soon face their biggest challenge yet – staying relevant once the novelty and drama wears off.
"Having unbridled themselves from family and tradition, and having moved their act to an international stage, Meghan and Harry have not obliterated their publicity and autonomy problems," he writes.
"In order to stay commercially relevant, they'll have to produce great content for Netflix and Spotify before their novelty wears off. That's no easy feat."