Nine Instagram tiles. One “T-shirt you should have thrown away but are, instead, wearing as a pajama top”-colored background. Four words in gilded italics. American. Riviera. Orchard. Montecito. What do they mean? It’s a mystery. But that’s how Meghan, Duchess of Sussex launched her new lifestyle brand on Thursday, which, as I imagine you’ve worked out by now, is called American Riviera Orchard and is based out of Montecito, where she’s lived with husband Prince Harry and their tots Archie and Lilibet since 2020.

And what a lifestyle brand it promises to be. American Riviera Orchard’s trademark filing application spans everything from cookbooks to linens, stationery to yoga kits, bird seed to table place card holders “not of precious metal.” (Disappointing news for the precious-metal-table-place-card-holder fans among us.) There’s talk of an affiliated Netflix cooking show. There are whispers of a real-life shop. There’s perhaps a range of jams on the way. (Delia Smith energy, I like it.) And, of course, there’s a website. Will it be a home for content? Unconfirmed. But what is a lifestyle brand without sweet, sweet search-engine-optimized articles designed to trap consumers in a parasocial relationship with its founder? That’s not a rhetorical question. The answer is an online shop. And Sussex is far too chic to run a mere online shop. The content cometh.

Of course, Sussex is no noob to the content scene. From 2014 to 2017, she was down the mines with writers like myself, producing articles about her Eat, Pray, Love month in Italy, the best way to have a sustainable holiday season, and how to enhance your pilates workout using just two paper plates—all on her blog The Tig, a self-declared “hub for the discerning palate—those with a hunger for food, travel, fashion, and beauty.”

The Tig closed in 2017 because, well, you know why: Meghan was getting married to Harry and I’d speculate the Queen wasn’t all that convinced her Hundreds would be improved with disposable crockery. (All that’s left at The Tig domain now is a farewell message ending “don’t ever forget your worth,” which feels very pertinent these days given, er, everything that’s happened since in the House of Windsor.) Thankfully, there are enough scraped articles floating around the internet for us to get a sense of what to expect from Sussex’s new project.


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