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What Should We Expect From Meghan’s American Riviera Orchard? The Tig Offers A Few Clues

Days after she announced her latest platform, American Riviera Orchard, we can’t help but wonder what’s coming our way from Meghan Markle’s new blog.

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Photo: Getty

Nine Instagram tiles. One “T-shirt you should have thrown away but are, instead, wearing as a pyjama 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 Lili 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”. 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. And, of course, there’s a website. Will it be home to content? Unconfirmed.

Of course, Sussex is no newcomer 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 & beauty”.

The Tig closed in 2017 because Meghan was getting married to Harry. 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 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.

There’s a rave review of an avocado on toast. (From 2014, so Sussex was an early adopter, to be fair.) There’s an ode to coffee art that opens: “A latte laced with a beautiful swan, the foam of your macchiato swirled into a lovely rose or snowman or smiling face…” In one article, Sussex even describes a friend as “très cool, and also va va va voom pritaaaaay”.

I assume that Sussex won’t be using the phrase “va va va voom pritaaaaay” so much while working on American Riviera Orchard, but what we can learn from her blogger era is that her interests lean more towards snuggling her dog than baking fruit pies and reading romance novels. The Tig is littered with life lessons, too, like the suggestion that every woman should go to the movies alone at least once (empowering!) and lists of resolutions such as: “No more swearing!”.

Still, much of The Tig was top tier 2010s blogging. Sussex was a master at lacing seemingly innocent lifestyle guides with genuinely revealing tidbits about her life. “I went home and ate my feelings (likely some iteration of bread and cheese – pizza, quesadilla, it didn’t matter) because I wasn’t in a place to be able to let it go,” she explains of thinking she failed her audience in Suits. She regularly convinced celebrities she met at dinner parties to pull together listicles (including Michael Bublé, who wrote a playlist that, surprisingly, does not contain solely Christmas music), and she was making up her own cultural terms long before TikTokers were doing it for clout. “Tig” is a word she invented to mean the moment of finally understanding something.

So, what to expect from American Riviera Orchard? Well, on the spectrum of celebrity lifestyle brands, I’d guess the site will feature less plastic storage containers than Kourtney Kardashian’s Poosh, more refined carbs than Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop and less farmy stuff than Blake Lively’s Preserve (RIP). A running theme on The Tig is Markle’s love of all things British – picnics, Columbia Road Flower Market – so perhaps she’ll continue her work promoting our brilliant culture to the rest of the world. I’m thinking odes to train delays at Euston station, or a recipe for authentic beans on toast. And when it comes to her writing more generally? Maybe she’ll give us a round-up of the best penguin onesies to wear at your engagement party.

There’s no word yet on when American Riviera Orchard will launch, but we’ll find out then what Meghan wants to use the platform for. It’s her blog, her choice, after all!

Originally published in Vogue.co.uk

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