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    What Is American Riviera Orchard? What We Know About Meghan Markle’s New Lifestyle Brand

    Topline

    Cookbooks, servingware, home decor, stationary, yoga gear and pet food could all be coming soon from Meghan Markle’s new lifestyle brand, launched via Instagram Thursday night, amid a photoshopping scandal at Kensington Palace that has all eyes on her sister-in-law Kate Middleton.

    Key Facts

    Markle announced the creation of a new brand, called American Riviera Orchard, via a nine-post grid on Instagram and a short video that shows the duchess arranging flowers, baking and standing in a covered walkway while wearing a floor-length black ball gown.

    The logo for the venture seems to be a new crest featuring the letters A and R, which she has been speculated to have been involved in designing, and includes the word “Montecito” under the brand name’s sprawling cursive (Markle has lived in California with her husband, Prince Harry, and two young children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, since 2020).

    While the Instagram launch provided little details on the venture (but did score 358,000 followers for the brand overnight), trademark filing applications show Markle’s new company could be headed in the direction of those owned by Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba or HGTV’s Chip and Joanna Gaines.

    A filing from February shows the company registered as an LLC in Delaware with plans to create an online retail store selling tableware, cutlery, cookbooks, servingware, coffee and tea services, kitchen textiles, jams and jellies, oils and other foods.

    A second set of documents, filed in March, suggests the brand could also venture into gardening items, lighting, stationary, party decorations, gift wrapping, tote bags, pet gear, kitchen items and home decor like pillows, curtains, linens and picture frames.

    Whether the goods would be manufactured and produced by the American Riviera Orchard brand or simply curated and re-sold under the brand name was not clear in the filings.

    Surprising Fact

    This isn’t Markle’s first lifestyle brand. Before she was engaged to Prince Harry in 2017, she ran a lifestyle blog called The Tig on which she interviewed celebrities, talked fashion and revealed personal details of her early life and career as an actress. She closed the site in 2017.

    Key Background

    After minor roles in projects like “Get Him to the Greek” and “Horrible Bosses,” Markle shot to fame in 2011 as a main character in the TV series “Suits,” on which she starred until 2017. Shortly after her departure from the show was announced, she was engaged to Prince Harry, the youngest of two sons of Princess Diana and King Charles III. They were married in May 2018 and Markle gave birth to Prince Archie of Sussex in May 2019. In January 2020, the couple announced they would be stepping down as senior royals, citing bullying from the British media, racism within the family and general mistreatment. They moved to California in June 2020. Since their departure, Harry and Markle have launched several business ventures. The couple created a charity organization and an audio and video production company using the name Archewell and signed deals with Netflix and Spotify worth $100 million and $20 million, respectively. “Harry & Meghan,” a multipart docuseries discussing Harry and Markle’s tenure as royals, debuted in 2022. The same year, Netflix reportedly cut a children’s show called “Pearl” that was created by Meghan Markle and would have been Archewell Productions’ first animated series. Last year, the couple’s Spotify partnership ended after they reportedly failed to meet “productivity benchmarks” and Markle in February said her podcast, “Archetypes,” will now be made with Lemonada Media.

    Tangent

    Markle’s announcement comes amid a scandal at Kensington Palace that has had all eyes on her former in-laws: Prince William and Princess Kate. Kensington Palace in January announced Kate had been hospitalized for a planned abdominal surgery and would postpone all of her upcoming engagements while she recovered. Before the announcement, the Princess of Wales had not been seen or heard from since Christmas Day. In the months after the surgery, public speculation arose and time went on without a sighting of the princess. On Sunday, Kensington Palace released a photo of Kate and her three children to celebrate Mother’s Day in the United Kingdom. The photo, which was said to have been taken by Prince William, was immediately the subject of ire for seemingly major edits. That same day, agencies like AFP and the Associated Press issued kill notices, asking news agencies to stop circulating the photo because it “appeared the source had manipulated the image.” The next day, Monday, Kate took the fall for the botched photo and said she occasionally experiments with editing images like “many amateur photographers.” Since then, the global news director of Agence France-Presse, one of the world’s biggest news agencies, has said the palace is no longer a “trusted source” of information. Middleton was photographed in the backseat of a car leaving Windsor Castle earlier this week. Photo agency Goff Photos has denied doctoring the photo. Kate has not been seen in public since.

    Further Reading

    the GuardianMeghan launches new brand American Riviera Orchard in return to InstagramMORE FROM FORBESHarry And Meghan Brand Bust: From Hyped-Up To ‘Biggest Losers’ Of 2023MORE FROM FORBESMeghan Markle Finds Smaller Distributor For Podcast After $20 Million Spotify Deal FizzledMORE FROM FORBESKensington Palace No Longer A ‘Trusted Source’ After Releasing Edited Kate Middleton Photo, AFP Says
    MORE FROM FORBESKate Apologizes For Causing ‘Confusion’ After News Agencies Pull ‘Manipulated’ Photo

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