In February 2019, five "best friends" of the Duchess of Sussex "broke their silence" to a US celebrity magazine, promising to reveal the truth about "the woman they know and love".
Now, those loyal confidantes find themselves at the centre of a new court battle, as the Duchess fights to prevent them being named in a tabloid newspaper.
Their description, in legal papers from the Duchess' own team, confirms they are all "young mothers" with "small children", inadvertently allowing what lawyers call the public "guessing game" as to their identities to move one step further.
The "Five Friends", as they are now described in official court papers, gave their interview anonymously, said to have been frustrated by what they saw as unfair coverage of the Duchess at the time.
People magazine, which ran a cover story sharing their perspectives, named them only as "Meghan's inner circle – a longtime friend, a former co-star, a friend from LA, a one-time colleague and a close confidante'".
The piece included specific details of their visits to Kensington Palace and anecdotes of their time together, making elements immediately identifiable to those involved including - in some cases - palace staff who would have been present.
The flattering article was, at first glance, a love letter to the Duchess, detailing her kind nature, down-to-earth lifestyle, and personal faith.
For royal-watchers, it was a clear sign of things to come: the Duchess' side of the story she felt prevented from telling herself.
Critically, it contained details of a hitherto unknown letter, written by the Duchess to her father.
Sent after the wedding, a source named as a "longtime friend" relayed how the Duchess told him: "Dad, I'm so heartbroken, I love you. I have one father. Please stop victimising me through the media so we can repair our relationship."
Friends claim the long letter in reply closed with a request for a photo opportunity. "He's never called; he's never texted," said one.
The Duchess has since contested that description, insisting she knew nothing about the People interview ahead of time and had neither encouraged nor consented to the existence of the letter being shared.
Shortly afterwards, Thomas Markle, her father, provided the full letter to the Mail on Sunday, saying he had been left "devastated" by its contents he felt had been misrepresented.
The newspaper published extracts, now at the centre of a High Court battle.
The Duchess of Sussex is now seeking an injunction to prevent the publication of the "Five Friends" names, arguing they are private and spoke to People magazine on the condition of anonymity.
They are named in public court papers only as A, B, C, D, and E, with A - described as the "longtime friend" - being the one to detail the letter to People.
Friends A and C knew of the letter's existence, the Duchess has admitted.
The latest legal submissions from Schillings says the case has already inspired a "guessing game" in the media and social media as to their identities, with known friends of the Duchess named as potential candidates.
Papers now give away further details about the lives of the "Five Friends", confirming all are "young mothers" with "small children", allowing curious members of the public to go one step further in speculating.
In their own People interview, the "longtime friend" said she had been with the Duchess last month - January 2019 - ahead of a public engagement.
The "former co-star" said of a visit to Kensington Palace: "I came by there one day, and she had ordered an incredible ice cream and sorbet stand for the office. They were remarking how it was the 'best day of work ever'."
The "friend from LA" stayed with the Duchess while Prince Harry was out of town, she said, enjoying making home-cooked meals and taking muddy dog walks.
The "former colleague" mentioned how the Duchess had rallied to support her as her son was undergoing a medical diagnosis, saying they still speak daily.
And the "close confidante" disclosed "we've all been to their cottage" - then at Kensington Palace - insisting of rumours around the wedding: "She didn't throw a fit about a tiara or ask for fragrance to be sprayed in the church."