Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle returns to Instagram to tease new brand

AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 08: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex speaks onstage during the Breaking Barriers, Shaping Narratives: How Women Lead On and Off the Screen panel during the 2024 SXSW Conference and Festival at Austin Convention Center on March 08, 2024 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Astrida Valigorsky/Getty Images)

Meghan Markle announced a new brand, American Riviera Orchard, on Thursday with a return to social media.

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American Riviera Orchard appears to be a kitchen and lifestyle brand, The New York Times reported.

A representative for Markle confirmed her involvement in the project to the Times, but did not share any additional information.

A new website was launched and an Instagram page, according to People Magazine. The Instagram bio reads, “By Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. Established in 2024.”

It is Markle’s first return to social media since 2020. The couple made their last update to their @SussexRoyal Instagram page in 2020 prior to stepping down as working members of the royal family, People Magazine reported.

A video was added to the account’s Instagram Story that showed Markle picking flowers and cooking, according to People Magazine.

Last month, documents were reportedly filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office with the brand American Riviera Orchard, according to The Associated Press. The brand was seeking trademark protection for a possible retail store, cookbooks, household items, foods like jams, jellies, and fruit and nut butters, the Times reported.

Markle left Instagram after she got engaged to Prince Harry, the AP reported.

She shared her experience at a panel last week at the South by Southwest festival that discussed the impact of social media and how it can affect young mothers, the AP reported. It was something Markle had dealt with when she was pregnant with her two children, Archie and Lilibet. She said she had experienced “bullying and abuse” online before and after the births of her children.

“I keep my distance from it right now just for my own well-being,” she said. “You really wrap your head around why people would be so hateful. It’s not catty. It’s cruel.”

The panel also included Katie Couric and Brooke Shields, the AP reported.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex now live in Montecito, California, the AP reported. They left official royal duties in Jan. 2020.

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