Is Meghan Markle making an American Riviera Orchard series for Netflix?

Following the surprise launch of her lifestyle brand, American Riviera Orchard, sources have claimed that the Duchess of Sussex is set to return to Netflix with a new cooking show à la Martha Stewart or Barefoot Contessa.

In a report from the Daily Mail published on 15 March, insiders claimed that Meghan Markle “is starting to film her Netflix show in a few weeks’ time” to tie in with American Riviera Orchard.

“The brand is meant to coincide with the launch of a new cookery show for Netflix,” the source told the outlet. “Meghan will be making, and selling, products such as jams. And at some point there will be a book and blog.”

Meanwhile, Page Six previously claimed the 42-year-old royal will finish out the final year of her and Prince Harry’s multi-million dollar deal with Netflix, which ends in 2025, to “position herself as a lifestyle entrepreneur” with the help of the streaming platform.

“From what I understand, I think Meghan will take on Martha Stewart, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ina Garten and play them at their own game,” another source said.

On Thursday, Meghan made her social media comeback with the launch of her lifestyle brand’s new Instagram page. The duchess was seen in an Instagram Story video picking flowers and cooking in a kitchen, set to “I Wish You Love” by Nancy Wilson. The American Riviera Orchard website simply shows a script-like logo with “Montecito” written under it – an obvious nod to the neighbourhood where she and Prince Harry relocated after stepping down from the royal family in 2020. As for the brand’s name, Meghan’s newfound home of Santa Barbara, California, has long been hailed as the “American Riviera” for its temperate climate, landscapes, and its “robust food and wine culture,” according to Travel and Leisure.

While no further information has been revealed, a trademark application for American Riviera Orchard has highlighted some of the home, garden, food, and general lifestyle products fans can expect from Meghan’s new brand. The duchess will likely sell a variety of home goods – such as cookbooks, food, and kitchenware – with the trademark application seeking approval for a retail store that stocks textiles, tableware, cookbooks, jellies, jams, marmalades, spreads, butter, and edible oils.

(Instagram / American Riviera Orchard)

As many royal fans are aware, this isn’t the mother of two’s first foray into lifestyle content. Prior to her 2018 royal wedding to Prince Harry, the former Suits actor ran The Tig – a lifestyle blog she created in 2014 before shutting it down in 2017. Cooking has also been a longtime love for the former blogger, who previously shared her recipes for beet cheesecake, and spicy broccoli and hempseed stew on The Tig. Ina Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa, once revealed that Meghan cooked her famous Engagement Roast Chicken recipe right before Harry proposed. And while working as a senior member of the royal family in 2018, Meghan launched a charity cookbook to raise money for victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Rumours that Meghan is gearing up for a cooking series has appeared to confirm reports that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex aren’t finished with the streamer just yet. In 2020, the couple signed a five-year deal with Netflix that was estimated to be worth $100m. Under the deal, the pair released a six-part docuseries titled Harry & Meghan, which subsequently became Netflix’s most successful documentary launch ever.

The Sussexes have also completed two other documentaries, Heart of Invictus and Live to Lead, and required the rights to adapt author Carley Fortune’s bestselling romance novel, Meet Me at the Lake.

During an event in January, Netflix’s chief content officer Bela Bajaria said Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Productions is gearing up to deliver at least three new projects, including a film and “a couple of other unscripted things”.

“They actually have a bunch in development,” she said.

However, Harry and Meghan were heavily scrutinised in the wake of reports that executives at both Spotify and Netflix were left “underwhelmed” by their lack of experience as producers. Spotify subsequently ended its $20m deal with the Sussexes and Archewell Audio after just one season of Meghan’s podcast, Archetypes.

The Independent has contacted representatives for Meghan for comment.

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