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    Meghan Markle believes name of her new lifestyle brand American Riviera Orchard is ‘perfect’ and ‘authentic to her’, source reveals



    Meghan Markle believes the name of her new lifestyle brand American Riviera Orchard is ‘perfect’, it was reported today – as a PR expert suggested the duchess may have chosen not to include her own name due to her plunging popularity in the US. 

    Meghan, 42, launched American Riviera Orchard in a glitzy social media video last week, with the new venture set to coincide with a new Netflix cookery show featuring her.

    Royal watchers immediately called the name ‘pretentious’ and a ‘word salad’, with former Dragons Den star Duncan Bannatyne weighing in to dismiss it as ‘nonsensical’. 

    But the duchess is said to be standing the name, with an insider insisting it felt ‘authentic’ to her. The source told People‘Meghan finds the name American Riviera Orchard perfect. It feels authentic to her. She can’t wait for the website to launch.’ 

    Sean O’Meara, founder of the Essential Content PR business, predicted Meghan’s decision not to include her own name in the branding could be a reflection of her declining popularity in America. 

    Meghan Markle (right, with Prince Harry) believes the name of her new brand is ‘perfect’, according to a source
    The name American Riviera Orchard has been described by critics as a ‘word salad’
    Meghan, 42, launched American Riviera Orchard in a glitzy social media video last week

    A survey published last month by Newsweek found Meghan was liked by 31 percent and disliked by 30 percent, giving her a net approval rating of plus one. This was a major drop compared with December, when she was on plus 15. 

    Mr O’Meara told MailOnline: ‘Meghan and Harry’s collective and individual approaches to ”personal branding” have been gradually shifting ever since the backlash to their Netflix documentary. 

    ‘They’ve each been less enthusiastic about associating their names and images with the projects they’re working on.

    ‘Last summer, PR advisors were speculating that this might be on the advice of their own team, who seemed to have been urging them to step back from the limelight.

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    ‘So with that in mind, Meghan launching a lifestyle brand that doesn’t feature her name or image seems in-line with the recent approach. 

    ‘I think this ”private label” approach is a way to limit the amount of exposure Meghan gets, while allowing the brand to form its own personality. Think of Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘Goop’ for a similar approach. 

    ‘When needed, Gwyneth can promote the brand with the weight of her celebrity, but the brand isn’t inextricably tied to her. 

    ‘Often, taking steps to keep a founder separate from the brand they launch is done with one eye on an exit strategy. It’s easier to sell a brand when it doesn’t rely on a single persona for market presence’.

    The comments come as Harry and Meghan were ‘downgraded’ on the official Buckingham Palace website last night.

    Despite acrimoniously stepping down as senior working royals in January 2020, full and separate profiles of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had remained up alongside the rest of the Royal Family until yesterday morning.

    Last night those pictures and biographies briefly vanished.

    Within half an hour they were replaced with a significantly smaller, joint biography at the very bottom of the page – below the Duke of York. The Sussexes’ entry now reads that they have stepped back as working royals, with just a couple of short paragraphs on each of them.

    Despite growing public anger at their continued inclusion, the Palace has always side-stepped questions about why their details remained online despite the couple quitting royal duties four years ago and launching repeated attacks on the Royal Family in print and television interviews.

    Publicity materials for the brand make no attempts to hide Meghan’s royal links, with its Instagram profile including the caption ‘by Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex’

    It has been suggested that the press office was ‘slowly’ updating the website following the death of Queen Elizabeth and would ‘get round to it in time’.

    Harry’s original profile described him as fifth in line to the throne and the younger son of the King and Diana, Princess of Wales. His 2,700-word biography included details of the prince’s early life, education and Army career and was peppered with glossy pictures.

    It also featured details of his work setting up the Invictus Games, work on the issue of children with HIV and sporting initiatives.

    There was also an entire section entitled ‘supporting the monarch’, which included his time as a working royal for his late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth.

    It stated he represented her at events in the UK and abroad, as well as attending state and ceremonial occasions, including Remembrance events.

    Meghan’s separate profile was slightly shorter – around 1,300 words – and included her education and career as an actress, as well as the charitable engagements she undertook during her brief time as a working member of the Royal Family.

    Interestingly, there was no mention of her parents, including estranged father Thomas Markle.

    In what many will view as a marked downgrading of their status, however, the couple now only share a joint biography showing a picture of them arm in arm on a beach in South Africa, with a combined word count of just 577.

    They are the only married members of the Royal Family now not to have their own individual profiles. Harry’s includes just a few words about his birth and upbringing, as well as his career in the Armed Forces and work with the Invictus Games.

    Meghan’s merely says she was an actress and ran a website, as well as briefly including her patronages as a working royal and her official titles.

    Their new entry begins by stating they stepped back as working royals in January 2020 and concludes with the three official statements released by Buckingham Palace between 2020 and 2021 confirming their departure. In a gracious move, however, the Palace has also notably included a link to Harry and Meghan’s new website.

    The link reads: ‘Information about the current work of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex can be found on their official website: Sussex.com.’

    Sources insisted that the changes should not be seen as a snub, but a long overdue update. The Duke of York’s entry was also updated last night, setting the seal on his fall from grace.

    In what will doubtless be another humiliating relegation, his vastly shortened biography now begins with the announcement of his withdrawal from public life which came after the Jeffrey Epstein scandal – and Queen Elizabeth’s decision to strip him of his military affiliations and royal patronages. Buckingham Palace declined to comment last night but noted that website design and content is updated from ‘time to time’.

    A source said that the couple’s separate pages had been combined into one as part of a routine update of content.

    A ‘technical glitch’ meant it took a while for the system to update to include the new joint profile.

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