Meghan Markle joins tradwife influencer trend with new brand American River Orchard

By Abby Amoakuh

Published Mar 18, 2024 at 01:27 PM

Reading time: 3 minutes

Whoever had Meghan Markle’s triumphant return to Instagram on their 2024 Bingo card can dust their shoulders off and get ready to embrace the jackpot. The Duchess of Sussex was last active on the platform in 2020, before she disappeared into the darkness, similar to her sister-in-law Kate Middleton. This was until Friday 15 March 2024, when Markle returned to the spotlight with nine mosaic posts that introduced her new lifestyle brand and with it, her tradwife era. Welcome to American River Orchard.

With the internet’s interest in Mormonism and the trad wife life on a steady upward trajectory, it’s no surprise that people are now questioning whether or not Markle might be the latest convert. But is the Duchess actually interested in making cereal from scratch, or are we all just losing the plot a little?

What is American Riviera Orchard?

As an introduction to the brand, a brief 16-second video was shared on Instagram. In it, the Duchess can be seen entering her kitchen in a clean white outfit. Behind her are elegant bowls and a glass decanter. The background theme tune, Nancy Wilson’s 1960s tune ‘I Wish You Love’, matches the ambience perfectly. Then the former actress starts to cook with cream-coloured, pristine machines. Before we can catch a proper glimpse of everything, the footage fades away to reveal the brand’s golden crest.

It was a short but highly effective sales pitch. American River Orchard is all about quiet luxury and timeless elegance. Internet sleuths scouring pending US trademark applications have found that American Riviera Orchards plans to sell cookbooks, tableware, linens, a range of spreads and preserves including jellies, jams and different kinds of nut butter, alongside table place card holders specified to be “not of precious metal.” Interesting.


Check out Meghan Markle’s new lifestyle brand: american riviera orchard

♬ original sound - gardengummies

We can also assume that the sense of mystery in the video is very deliberate. Markle is inviting us into her home, but we are only allowed to see pre-selected snippets. It is discreet and alluring, positioning the brand as a portal into the royal family’s home life, as well as a similar life of stealth wealth and quiet luxe.

Is Meghan Markle capitalising on the trad wife trend?

As World War III seems to be edging closer with Russian troops, warnings of nuclear escalation are sounded across the globe, wages continue to stagnate and the job market is becoming increasingly hostile to Gen Zers workers, the dream of a simpler life has emerged: imagine the calm and tranquillity of domesticity.

Instead of watching our souls rip to shreds with the pressures of the corporate grind, we could spend our days preparing elaborate meals, tending to children, hosting dinner parties with expensive wine, and lounging on luxury furniture in designer wear. Gen Z girlies have rediscovered traditional gender roles and the pleasures of being a homemaker with influencers such as Nara Smith and Ballerina Farm Girl. I mean, who needs equal pay when you have a rich husband and an air fryer, right?

While this dream is not accessible to most young Gen Zers, it is nice to imagine that a couple of simple products can get you there. So now that the demand is here, the product to effectively satisfy it has swiftly followed. American River Orchard is launching at a point in time when the dream of being a tradwife, master of this calm and domestic universe, is reaching its peak.

However, in the tradition of aspirational lifestyle brands, American River Orchard is pushing not just pushing product but attaching a distinctive message to it. There is a good old saying that comes to mind here: money talks but wealth whispers. And it seems like the Duchess of Sussex has embedded these whispers in the marketing of her brand.

The saying, just like the product, is hinting towards the beautiful things that money comes with: power, status, financial security, personal well-being, and a lasting legacy. So, if you look at the simple gold calligraphy on heavy, sand-coloured paper and the brand’s artful crest, the word “Montecito” will naturally pop into the head of many Markle or indeed California fans. It happens to be the name of the upscale town where the Duchess, Prince Harry, and their children live, which is also referred to as, wait for it, “American Riviera.”

Montecito evokes the image of palm beaches, clear-blue water, sun-kissed skin, designer stores along the coastlines, and luxury mansions up the hill, of course.

The message is clear—here, nestled between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean, is the simple life of leisure you have always dreamed of. This is where the elite live and play and it’s where Meghan and Harry first began their life away from royal stresses. So now, they can sell you a piece of this serene, luxurious life.

Everything is purchasable because money talks and the reason you need this new set of tableware is because wealth whispers. And sometimes, it can tell stories of a more simplistic and beautiful life when everything around you is falling apart. That’s what the tradwife lifestyle is all about, and for now, Markle has decided that it’s time for everyone to experience a taste of it.

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