Is Meghan Markle Soft Launching a Domestic Goddess Rebrand?

Palace life is now a thing of the past for the Sussexes, as Meghan Markle and crew have ditched their royal posts and made Montecito, California, home in recent years. While the House of Windsor is experiencing some tumult, amid King Charles’s mysterious cancer diagnosis and the ongoing Kate Middleton drama, the Suits star seems to be staking a claim to her own brand new empire.

A recently created Instagram page with the handle @americanrivieraorchard hints at a novel venture: Could the Duchess be launching a home line? In an email to AD, a spokesperson for Markle confirmed that the new brand is legitimate. Per Vogue, rumors were swirling late last year that she was looking to re-enter the lifestyle world she left behind after her blog, The Tig, went quiet in 2017. The outlet also reports that, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, a trademark application for “American Riviera Orchard” was filed early last month, and includes language about home decor items like tableware and textiles, as well as jellies, marmalades, fruit preserves, and cookbooks.

The page’s nine grid posts combine to reveal her brand’s notably regal gold crest, the brand name “American Riviera Orchard,” and “MONTECITO” in a subhed. Linked to the page is the American Riviera Orchard website, which is mostly barebones but includes a prompt to join a waiting list (that we may or may not have clicked, presumably alongside the Instagram page’s 150,000 and climbing followers).

Perhaps she’s poising herself to stake a claim to the domestic goddess space, an arena pioneered by de-facto American royalty, Martha Stewart. It sure looks like it, from the grainy video posted to the account’s story today. Scored with Nancy Wilson’s 1959 tune “I Wish You Love,” it invokes a picture of Markle as the ultimate homemaker, with a shot of hands arranging pink and white blooms, followed by a clip of the mom of two mixing something in a bowl at a large kitchen island, with copper pots hanging above and an elegant blue tiled backsplash behind her.

American Riviera Orchard appears to be a reference to a nickname for Santa Barbara County, where the Duchess resides with her husband, Prince Harry, and their two kids, Archie and Lilibet. It presumably earned the moniker “American Riviera” for its geography and climate, which are similar to the swanky stretch of coastline between Cannes, France, and La Spezia, Italy. It seems only fitting that Markle nods to both Europe and SoCal—she is an American Duchess, after all.

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