What is American Riviera Orchard, Meghan’s new lifestyle brand?

What is American Riviera Orchard, Meghan’s new lifestyle brand?
What is American Riviera Orchard, Meghan’s new lifestyle brand? Copyright AP Photo
By David Mouriquand
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Jams, cookbooks and cutlery are all part of the Duchess of Sussex's latest bid to rebrand following a string of disappointing ventures with Spotify and Netflix.

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Amidst increasing scrutiny and rumours surrounding the whereabouts of the Princess of Wales and the disinformation tactics used by Kensington Palace with a manipulated image which has severely dented their reputation, comes more royal news.

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has made her first social media post since 2020 by returning to Instagram to tease a new project, American Riviera Orchard. It appears to be a new lifestyle brand.

The former Suits actress left Instagram when she got engaged to Prince Harry, and as recently as last week, spoke about the dangers of social media during a panel at the South By Southwest Festival – in which Meghan said she experienced “bullying and abuse” online when pregnant with her two children.

However, a new account called American Riviera Orchard appeared on Instagram yesterday, saying it was created by Meghan.

The unverified account included photos of a logo and link to a website to join a waitlist to learn more details. The bio section of the Instagram account simply says "by Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex" and "Established 2024".

American Riviera Orchard logo
American Riviera Orchard logoAMERICAN RIVIERA ORCHARD - Instagram

Few details about the new brand are available.

Here’s what we know:

  • A 15-second cottagecore video was posted, featuring grainy footage of Meghan arranging flowers, posing in a black gown and cooking in a kitchen.
  • The trademark application for American Riviera Orchard, which sounds like an album title both Taylor Swift and Lana Del Rey would come to blows over, was filed in early February. The document seeks trademark approval for a retail store, cookbooks, and a catalogue of spreads: “Jellies, jams; marmalades; fruit preserves,” in addition to “garlic-based spreads; sesame-based spreads,” and fruit and nut butters.
  • Within a few hours of her new brand’s first post on Instagram, the account had more than 300,000 followers.
Meghan Markle appears in a video for American Riviera Orchard on Instagram
Meghan Markle appears in a video for American Riviera Orchard on InstagramMERICAN RIVIERA ORCHARD - Instagram

This lifestyle brand is something of a return to form for Meghan, 42, who previously interviewed celebrity friends, shared recipes and blogged about travel and food on The Tig (2014 – 2017), a lifestyle website she shut down before marrying Harry. She described The Tig as “a hub for the discerning palate.”

American Riviera Orchard comes off the back of several enterprises for Meghan and Harry, who had a podcasting partnership with Spotify that ended last year due to disappointing audiences, and a multiyear deal with Netflix, which is due to expire at the end of 2025. A contract renewal seems unlikely.

Apparently, jams, cookbooks and tableware is the new bid to rebrand following these disappointing ventures. 

Still, there does appear to be an eager audience for garlic-based spreads – 300,000 followers in the space of a few hours isn’t half bad. Let's just hope a Netflix series isn't in the works.

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