Meghan Debuts New Brand, American Riviera Orchard, Amid Royal Family Drama

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, debuted an Instagram account on Thursday that announced a new venture, American Riviera Orchard, which appears to be a kitchen and lifestyle brand. Little is known about the brand beyond a 15-second video that features grainy footage of Meghan arranging roses and hydrangeas, posing from afar in a black gown and cooking in what appears to be her kitchen in Southern California.

A representative for the duchess confirmed her association with the project but declined to provide further details.

Still, there are clues. A trademark application for American Riviera Orchard that was filed in early February seeks trademark approval for a retail store, cookbooks, tableware and an impressive catalog of spreads: “Jellies, jams; marmalades; fruit preserves,” the list begins, plus “garlic-based spreads; sesame-based spreads,” and fruit and nut butters.

A website for American Riviera Orchard displays its logo, a calligraphic gold crest, and an email sign-up to be notified about forthcoming products.

The announcement comes amid a week of wild-eyed speculation about Catherine, Princess of Wales, Meghan’s sister-in-law, who apologized on Monday for releasing an edited image of herself. The image has wrought a public relations scandal and fueled conspiracy theories about the princess’ well-being since her abdominal surgery in January.

Meghan and her husband, Prince Harry, have not commented publicly on the fracas, although Meghan participated in a panel on women’s representation in entertainment at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, last week.

The couple stepped back from royal duties in 2020 and relocated to Montecito, Calif., a wealthy enclave on the eastern edge of Santa Barbara where Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres and Katy Perry also own homes. The name American Riviera Orchard is quite likely a nod to the area’s reputation as the “American Riviera.”

American Riviera Orchard is the latest in a series of enterprises for Meghan and Harry, including a podcasting partnership with Spotify that ended last year and a multiyear deal with Netflix. The documentary series “Harry & Meghan,” released by Netflix in 2022, offered carefully curated glimpses into their life as a couple.

From 2014 through 2017, Meghan shared fashion, travel and cooking dispatches on her lifestyle blog The Tig, which she described as “a hub for the discerning palate.” She posted cocktail recipes, interviews with stars like Serena Williams and travel tips for the Amalfi Coast.

It remains to be seen how much American Riviera Orchard will have in common with The Tig, but there still appears to be an audience eager to consume her recommendations. Within a few hours of her new brand’s first post on Instagram, its account has more than 200,000 followers.

Back to top button