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Meghan Markle in white blazer against jams © Getty

Meghan Markle's lifestyle empire was years in the making - here's proof

Is the Duchess of Sussex's brand American Riviera Orchard The Tig mark II?

Katie Daly
Lifestyle Writer
June 13, 2024
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Meghan Markle intrigued royal fans when she teased the launch of her own lifestyle brand American Riviera Orchard by sending hampers to her nearest and dearest containing her first product. 

The Duchess of Sussex, 42, sent special deliveries to the likes of fashion designer Tracy Robbins, as well as Delfina Blaquier, the wife of polo player Nacho Figueras.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose for photos with Argentine professional polo player Ignacio "Nacho" Figueras, and his wife Delfina Blaquier © Alamy
Meghan Markle sent her jam to Nacho Figueras' wife Delfina Blaquier

The former Suits actress' surprise parcel contained an unexpected first glimpse of her new brand - a jar of jam. However, it seems that Meghan's lifestyle empire has been years in the making.

Meghan's muse

In a photo unearthed from the Duchess' blogging days, Prince Harry's wife is seen exploring Malta and in particular, indulging in the country's selection of handmade jams - from fig and peach to pomegranate and naspli. 

The photo dates back to 2015 when the former Suits star was commissioned by ELLE UK to write a travel piece about her exploration of Valletta, Gozo, Dingli, and Mdina.

Reflecting on her time in Gozo, the Duchess wrote: "Head here for the fresh goat's milk Gozo cheese, prickly pear jam, and wild thyme honey, as well as the local wines."

Tracy Robbins shares photo of American Riviera Orchard jam© @mrstracyrobbins/Instagram
Tracy Robbins shares photo of American Riviera Orchard jam

Prior to marrying into the royal family, Meghan wrote prolifically for her lifestyle blog The Tig. The now-discontinued site gave the former actress a platform for all her personal musings.

shares photo of American Riviera Orchard jam© @delfinablaquier/Instagram
Delfina Blaquier shares photo of American Riviera Orchard jam

In her own words, The Tig was Meghan's "hub for the discerning palate - those with a hunger for food, travel, fashion & beauty."

A royal blogger

It seems that in stepping back from senior royal duties, the creation of a lifestyle brand was a natural next step for the Duchess. "American Riviera Orchard is a logical next step for Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex," said royal expert Christine Ross in an interview with HELLO!.

Prince Harry in a blue suit and Meghan Markle in a white overcoat© Getty
Meghan Markle shut The Tig down shortly before announcing her royal engagement

"Before her marriage, her website The Tig was growing in popularity and notoriety. When it was closed prior to her wedding, there was an outcry for her down-to-earth content and insights into her lifestyle.

"The appeal of these websites is the relatability, like we could achieve the same level of glamour or elegance if we just had the same breakfast recipes."

meghan markle prince archie princess lilibet montecito home© Instagram
Meghan used to share her personal musings on The Tig

The mother-of-two made the decision to close down her website just months before her engagement to Prince Harry in November 2017.

The Duchess' entrepreneurial spirit

Fans of the Duchess of Sussex look forward to what is next for American Riviera Orchard. Though her next step is yet to be confirmed, trademark applications filings for American Riviera Orchard include tableware, cutlery, dinnerware and decanters, napkins and tablecloths, and a variety of food items ranging from jams and jellies to spreads and butters.

Meghan Markle writing in a book© WPA Pool
Fans look forward to seeing what is next for Meghan

Since stepping fully into life in sunny Montecito, Meghan and Harry have signed commercial deals with Netflix, Spotify and book contracts.

Meghan and Harry celebrate Archie's birthday© Netflix
Meghan and Harry shared insights into their life behind the scenes via their Netflix show

The couple have also pursued their mutual love of travel, heading to Canada in February ahead of the 2025 Invictus Games and to Nigeria in May by invitation from Nigeria's chief of defence staff, General Christopher Musa.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Invictus Games One Year To Go Event on February 14, 2024 in Whistler, Canada. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)© Getty
Prince Harry and Meghan headed to Canada in February

DISCOVER: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's £2.5m secret home they had to give up 

The pair also launched the Archewell Foundation in 2020 which "consciously partners with key organizations and leaders to identify immediate needs, build meaningful initiatives, and drive long-term change."

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