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Meghan Markle's Brand Unveiling Coincides with 4th Anniversary of 'Freedom Flight' from Canada to L.A.

The Duchess of Sussex has revealed a surprise new project titled American Riviera Orchard

<p>Karwai Tang/WireImage</p> Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Invictus Games One Year To Go Event on February 15, 2024 in Whistler, Canada.

Karwai Tang/WireImage

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Invictus Games One Year To Go Event on February 15, 2024 in Whistler, Canada.


Meghan Markle dropped her surprise new project on a sentimental calendar date.

On Thursday, the Duchess of Sussex, 42, launched a new website and Instagram page for what appears to be a lifestyle brand called American Riviera Orchard, marking her return to social media with the new venture. The update came on a poignant date — the fourth anniversary of what Prince Harry dubbed the "freedom flight" from Canada to Los Angeles in their Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan.

On March 14, 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, along with their son Prince Archie and Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, flew from Vancouver Island, where they were staying as the couple transitioned out of their roles as senior working royals in the U.K., to L.A.

Viewers got a glimpse of the video that Prince Harry, 39, recorded on the plane ride shared in Harry & Meghan, where he said, "We are on the freedom flight. We are leaving Canada and we are headed to Los Angeles. Shh!"

Harry panned the camera to show "Grandma" Doria, their dog Pula and Meghan holding Archie, who was then 10 months old.

<p>Andrew Chin/Getty </p> Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend Invictus Games Vancouver Whistlers 2025's One Year To Go Winter Training Camp on February 14, 2024 in Whistler, British Columbia.

Andrew Chin/Getty

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend Invictus Games Vancouver Whistlers 2025's One Year To Go Winter Training Camp on February 14, 2024 in Whistler, British Columbia.

Related: Meghan Markle Returns to Instagram! The Duchess of Sussex Launches Surprise New Venture

"This is the current situation thanks to another amazing friend who we’ve never met but who believes in us and wants to help," Prince Harry said in the video, referring to director Tyler Perry, who offered his Beverly Hills home to the family as they got settled in the U.S.

Perry spoke about his friendship with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in the Harry & Meghan docuseries, where he sweetly revealed that the couple later asked him to be the godfather to their daughter Princess Lilibet, who was born in California in 2021.

Meghan and Prince Harry eventually settled in Montecito after relocating to her home state four years ago, and California is a key theme in the Duchess of Sussex's new venture. American Riviera Orchard's name itself seems to nod to Santa Barbara, the California town where the Sussex family lives. Travel & Leisure reported that Santa Barbara has been known as the "American Riviera" for over 100 years "because of its temperate climate and lush landscapes, as well as its robust food and wine culture."

<p>American Riviera Orchard/Instagram</p> Meghan Markle appears in a video for American Riviera Orchard on Instagram posted on March 14, 2024.

American Riviera Orchard/Instagram

Meghan Markle appears in a video for American Riviera Orchard on Instagram posted on March 14, 2024.

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American Riviera Orchard's logo also features Montecito, the name of the neighborhood where they currently reside.

The project's first Instagram Story shows Meghan picking flowers and cooking in a kitchen to the tune of "I Wish You Love" by Nancy Wilson, and the general website features a waitlist signup to  stay looped about "products, availability and updates," promising something similar to The Tig, the lifestyle blog Meghan created in 2014 before shutting it down in 2017 during her courtship with Prince Harry.

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