Meghan Markle's new brand American Riviera Orchard is already being criticised

The former Suits star has launched her new lifestyle brand on Instagram.

Meghan Markle new brand
© Gary Miller / GETTYIMAGES
Meghan Markle new brand

Meghan Markle’s name is on everyone’s lips as she made a surprise return to Instagram on Thursday afternoon (14 March). The Duchess of Sussex came back with a boom: her return saw her launch a new lifestyle brand. Its Instagram page already has a whopping 327k followers. The brand is called American Rivera Orchard, and the page sees its crest and name spread across 9 tiles. ‘Montecito’ is printed under the gold writing, which is in Meghan’s own calligraphy.

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The page also contains a clip of Meghan through a vintage-style filter that sees her in a kitchen and garden. Nancy Wilson’s ‘I Wish You Love’ plays in the background of the wistful scenes. However, it only took a few hours for the negative comments to start rolling in. Here’s why people aren’t happy with Meghan’s latest move.

Accused of trying to steal the limelight

Yesterday, Prince William and Prince Harry attended The Diana Legacy Awards to honour their mother’s memory and present awards to 20 young people who are working to improve the lives of others. Prince William gave a speech and chatted with the attendees in person and only after he left did Prince Harry connect through a video call. This only served to show how deep the cuts run in their once-close relationship.

On top of this, Meghan’s new business venture went live just moments before this event began, and she has been accused of trying to steal the limelight from Prince William. One royal expert, Richard Fitzwilliams, has said there was nothing ‘accidental’ in her timing:

The announcement is totally consistent with the timing of all the Sussexes announcements.
They do it to obviously push the news in their opinion.

Given that her husband was also attending the event, it does seem unlikely that Meghan unknowingly overlapped the timing of her launch with this event.

Copycat accusations

In the brand’s video, posted to the story of the American Riviera Orchard Instagram page, Meghan is seen in a beautiful home. The advert is shot with a rustic feeling, and at one point we see Meghan cooking in a neutrally-toned kitchen. A large bowl of lemons stands aesthetically on the counter as she works. Seems innocent enough? Well, observers were quick to point out that there are similarities to another A-lister’s brand.

A discussion on Reddit saw one user, @KlimpysExpress share a screen-grab from one of Gwyneth Paltrow’s early Goop videos. Goop is a brand that centres around ‘clean beauty, timeless fashion, wellness, and more’. In the image, Gwyneth is seen cooking a roast chicken in a similar setting to Meghan. One user wrote:

She’s totally copying one of Gwyneth Paltrow’s early Goop videos - the roasted chicken one.

Another agreed that the videos were similar, down to the ‘lemons and all!’.

As launches go, this one has really already been a success as it has got people - including us - talking. After the failure of the Sussex's Spotify deal, Meghan must be keen for this project to last. Time will tell whether this venture will end up working out in the long term for the Duchess of Sussex.

Read more:

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Sources used:

Express: Meghan Markle accused of ‘copying’ Gwyneth Paltrow ‘down to the lemons' in new brand ad

Express: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's timing 'no accident' and 'tragedy', says royal expert

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry welcome brand new baby girl Meghan Markle and Prince Harry welcome brand new baby girl