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Meghan Markle is under fire for her new lifestyle brand. Well, not the brand itself, but rather when she unveiled it

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March 14, 2024, proved to be a busy day for the British royal family. Prince William and Prince Harry attended the same event.

Meghan also announced her next project, a lifestyle brand called American Riviera Orchard. The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex attended The Diana Legacy Awards that day. The appearance was a rare one as William’s stayed largely out of the public eye during Kate Middleton’s cancer diagnosis, which wouldn’t be announced until March 22, 2024.

Held every other year, the ceremony recognizes young leaders in the name of Harry and William’s late mother, Princess Diana, who died in 1997. William gave a speech at the London, England, event in-person while Harry made remarks virtually. As for Meghan, she quietly revealed American Riviera Orchard as her next project. On March 14, the lifestyle brand’s Instagram went live with a photo grid of the name written in gold calligraphy as is Meghan’s signature. The bio read: “by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.”

Accompanying the Instagram account was a short clip — approximately 15 seconds — featuring Meghan at home in Montecito, California, cooking, arranging flowers, and standing in a black gown with Nancy Wilson’s “I Wish You Love” as the soundtrack. A link to the website, also listed in the bio, brought visitors to the homepage where they could sign up for a waitlist. According to royal author Tom Quinn, Meghan announcing American Riviera Orchard on the same day as the Diana Legacy Awards was significant.

Meghan has calculated that the Kate health mystery and King Charles’ illness mean there is more attention on the royal family than usual and that she might be able to benefit from some of that attention,” Quinn told Mirror at the time of American Riviera Orchard’s unveiling. The Gilded Youth author also suggested Meghan used the announcement to “cash in” on her late mother-in-law’s legacy.

“It’s really significant that Meghan‘s new American Riviera Orchard brand was launched on the same date as the Diana award,” Quinn said. “Meghan,” he continued, “has always seen herself as Diane’s heir. She sees herself as suffering because of the media, just as she feels Diana suffered. But on this side of the pond at least, there will be a huge amount of criticism that she is just trying to cash in on Diana’s legacy.”
At the time of writing, American Riviera Orchard doesn’t have a launch date. However, that isn’t to say it won’t happen soon.

Some royal watchers suspect Meghan’s planning to launch her new lifestyle brand on April 4, 2024. Why that day? The reason is that Meghan shut down her previous lifestyle blog, The Tig, on April 4, 2017, after nearly three years. For now, American Riviera remains a website with a waiting list sign-up and an Instagram showcasing Meghan’s calligraphy skills.

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