Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, raised eyebrows during a solo outing while her husband, Prince Harry, was on a tour of Asia on Thursday.
Meghan was spotted out and about in her hometown of Montecito, where she attended an appointment decked out in a warm coat and scarf, despite the balmy California weather.
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Meghan’s outfit included a caramel-coloured Max Mara Rispoli coat worth $A2,498, a Hermès shawl, a Givenchy belt and Chanel shoes – but there was another tiny detail that got viewers talking.
In one shot, Meghan could be seen raising her arm to reveal a sticker on her wrist.
Meghan Markle was spotted in Montecito, California. Credit: Backgrid
The blue and white circular patch – from a brand called NuCalm – aims to reduce stress hormones and improve sleep in wearers by “activating the parasympathetic nervous system”, according to the company’s website.
The prominent display of the patch in the snaps sent fans into a frenzy with a conspiracy theory – with many suggesting it marked Meghan’s return as a lifestyle influencer.
One royal watcher – who comments on Royal Family rumours and news – took to TikTok to share her own thoughts on the photos.
“The first way you can tell is that these photos like styled, she’s wearing head-to-toe designer clothes,” user HRH Gossip claimed.
“The second way you can tell is there’s space around her so that you can see her full outfit and that usually happens with staged paparazzi shots.
“And before you come for me in the comments, a lot of celebrities stage paparazzi shots – Rihanna, Hailey Bieber, Kendall Jenner, Kim Kardashian. I mean I can just go on and on.”
Meghan Markle was seen sporting a NuCalm patch. Credit: Backgrid
The TikToker went on to discuss the photo where the NuCalm patch was clearly visible.
“The third tell for me is that she has this shot right here where she’s holding her arm up, and only one of her sleeves is rolled up and it’s exposing this little circle right there on her wrist,” the royal watcher argued.
“So she is subtly trying to influence us to buy these NuCalm patches.”
NuCalm patches ‘activate the parasympathetic nervous system’. Credit: NuCalm
The TikToker went to to explain why Meghan might have staged the photos.
“A lot of celebrities do this right before they’re about to come out with a big project to sort of promote that project.”
Indeed, in August, Page Six reported that Meghan had secured an Instagram handle – @meghan – and was quietly preparing to make a comeback online.
The secret account in question was launched just before Meghan started her now defunct Spotify podcast.
While it has yet to share a single post, it has increased its following from around 2,000 to almost 64,000 in a matter of weeks.
“Meghan was set to go live on Insta, but changed her mind shortly before she launched her Archetypes podcast, so it’s just sitting there now,” a source told the publication.
The unconfirmed @meghan Instagram. Credit: Instagram / meghan
Meanwhile, a recent move by Meghan has sparked speculation she is preparing to bring back her lifestyle blog The Tig.
The Duchess abandoned her passion project in 2017 as she prepared to marry Prince Harry, but Daily Mail reported how she has paid for paperwork to restart it.
The publication claims that after applying to trademark the blog in November 2022, The Tig has been issued with a Notice of Allowance document by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
A statement of use is all that is required before the blog is fully trademarked.
Documents reportedly show The Tig will include content on interior design, travel and “commentary in the field of personal relationships”.
Meghan Markle is reportedly relaunching The Tig. Credit: Getty
Meghan and Harry’s own relationship has come under scrutiny in recent weeks, after a report from RadarOnline alleging the pair had been “taking time apart”.
A source close to the couple rubbished the claims, telling Page Six: “It’s not true. It’s literally made up.”
However, in an interview with Sunrise, body language expert Louise Mahler also weighed in on the matter after analysing old photos of Meghan and Harry together.
“In almost all of the photos, Harry is leaning in, and Meghan is just upright or slightly leaning away,” she said.
“And I think there’s a lot of basis to what people are saying, and that’s that this has never really been a solid relationship.”
Prince Harry leans in for a kiss but with the cameras on them, Meghan isn’t having it. Credit: Twitter
Mahler pointed to photos taken of the duo at a basketball game in April.
She said Meghan used “misdirection and laughter” to thwart Harry kissing her during the appearance.
“If you don’t want to kiss when someone goes in for the handshake, you can jam the elbow for a split second, look away, and laugh,” Mahler said.
“It’s a way of misdirecting the affection, it’s a technique, and I could see that Meghan was using this technique when Harry came in for the kiss.”
Body language expert Louise Mahler. Credit: Sunrise
The expert said body language suggested Harry and Meghan now felt “trapped” in the relationship together, although she tempered this observation by noting that Harry was probably “quite happy” with Meghan.
“I think he’s just sort of drifting along, and probably thinks this will all go well,” she said.
“Okay, but what’s the reality?
“I think she now wants to distance herself as far as possible from that, because none of that fits her.
“I think down the track we’ll hear (from Meghan), ‘I never really loved him, I had no idea of the hurt that he’d suffered’ … I think that will be the story.
“Harry will just be lost.”
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