Prankster hijacks Meghan’s lifestyle brand and redirects to rival King Charles jam


A royal prankster appears to have spread some mischief after buying a similar domain name to Meghan Markle’s luxury lifestyle brand and redirecting to a Waitrose page for King Charles’s rival jam.

Just a day after The Independent revealed one version of the American Riviera Orchard site leads to a food bank, this paper has spotted a further variation of the site name cheekily redirecting to ‘Duchy Organic Strawberry Jam’.

The mischief making comes after the Duchess of Sussex launched her brand with 50 beautifully packaged jars of strawberry preserve sent to influencers across the US.

Photographs of the jars were soon shared across social media with overly-sweet messages from recipients delighted with their Montecito hamper.

But one prankster banking on users mistyping the mouthful of a brand name appears keen to pit the King versus the Duchess in the jam stakes.

While it’s not known exactly what American Riviera Orchard will sell, as none of its products are officially available yet, it is registered to retail items including downloadable and printed recipe books, tableware, textiles, jams and marmalades.

Meghan Markle’s new luxury jam has been promoted on social media this week (Tracy Robbins/Instagram)
A mispelling of Markle’s website now leads to King Charles’ jam (Waitrose)

Charles’s Waitrose jam appears to be a hit with fans, with one praising: “Tastes like a lovely homemade jam, with occasional large pieces of strawberry which feel like a bonus when you get one. Plus it’s great knowing it’s organic, better for the environment, better for humans.” [sic]

This was done via a landing page that read: “FORGIVENESS. PERMISSION. PLEASE DONATE TO THE TRUSSELL TRUST.”

This was accompanied by a link to the good cause.

While this fundraiser had no donations at the time of its discovery on Wednesday (17 April), it has now raised a whopping £7,585 for the charity and the amount is growing by the minute.

Its creator wrote: “not meghan. hope meghan wouldn’t mind. thoughts with catherine. x” [sic]

The page then stressed the problem of food poverty in the UK, which has exploded in light of the ongoing cost of living crisis that has caused everyday staples to dramatically increase in price.

Markle’s new business venture is also being used to promote a foodbank (AFP via Getty Images)

But while the fundraiser was created with a good cause in mind and its creator seemingly bears her no ill, some donors to the cause are using it to make a point about food poverty in light of the creation of the luxury brand.

One wrote: “Genius idea. A website to help the needy not the greedy. Keep up the fantastic work. Love Meghans Dad.” [sic]

A second added: “The world doesn’t need more expensive jam. Lining ‘Trussel Trusts’ pockets will actually help the needy.”

Others, meanwhile, used the fundraise to send their best wishes to the Princess of Wales and King Charles, who are both currently undergoing cancer treatment.

A donator wrote: “Given with love and best wishes to those who will benefit from these donations, in recognition of King Charles III and Princess Catherine – wishing you both a full recovery, you are dearly loved.”

Some donators have sent their best wishes to Kate Middleton and King Charles (Independent TV)

But one prankster banking on users mistyping the mouthful of a brand name appears keen to pit the King versus the Duchess in the jam stakes.

The unveiling of Markle’s new lifestyle brand comes amid a difficult time for the royal family, who have recently been shaken by the King and Princess’s illnesses.

Following Harry and Meghan’s decision to step away from their work as senior royals in 2020, with Kate and Charles largely out of action there are now just nine working royals left, most of whom are elderly and unknown.

The Independent has reached out to Waitrose and Meghan Markle for comment.

Sophie Carre, Director of Public Engagement at the Trussell Trust, told The Independent: “The Trussell Trust are grateful to people who put their time and energy into supporting our work to end the need for food banks in the UK. The charity is not connected with this website domain and have no knowledge of who set it up.”



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