close
close

Meghan Markle’s Website Hijacked by Mystery Royal Fan, Raises Money for British Food Bank Charity: China: Business Times

The launch of Meghan Markle’s new lifestyle brand, American Riviera Orchard, has taken an unexpected turn after an anonymous royal fan appeared to hijack the British domain name for the brand and redirect it to a fundraising page for food bank network The Trussell Trust. The incident has sparked both praise and criticism, with the charity issuing a statement to clarify its position.

The official US website for Meghan’s brand is americanrivieraorchard.com, but on the homepage of americanrivieraorchard.uk, apparently purchased by an anonymous buyer, there is a message in all capital letters: “Forgiveness. Consent. Please donate to The Trussell Trust.” The linked JustGiving page, with an initial target of £1,000, includes a message that reads: “This isn’t Meghan, but hopefully Meghan doesn’t mind. Thoughts with Catherine, Princess of Wales and His Majesty The King. x. “

The fundraising page has exceeded its target, raising more than £23,000 on Wednesday morning. Donors have expressed their support for Kate, Princess of Wales, and the Trussell Trust, with messages such as “We Stand With Catherine” and “I love what you’ve done here!”

However, the hijacking of Meghan’s website has also attracted criticism, with some on social media calling for the Trussell Trust to distance itself from the fundraiser, claiming it mocks the Duchess of Sussex. In response, the charity turned to X, formerly Twitter, to clarify its position.

“We are not associated with the website domain. We were not aware of the website before it went live and have had no direct contact with the person who set it up,” the Trussell Trust said. “As the website clearly states that this is a fundraiser for our benefit, this would not meet the Charity Commission’s requirements to be classified as fraudulent. In accordance with Commission guidelines, we cannot refuse donations unless they are meet specific requirements.”

Sophie Carre, director of public engagement at the Trussell Trust, also said last week: “The Trussell Trust is grateful to people who have given their time and energy to supporting our work to end the need for food banks in Great Britain -Britain. is not associated with this website domain and do not know who set it up.”

The controversy surrounding the hijacked website comes as Meghan Markle launched her new business venture last month, unveiling an Instagram account and website for American Riviera Orchard. The social media page features a vintage-style video of Meghan cooking and arranging flowers to the tune of Nancy Wilson’s “I Wish You Love.”

While little information has been released about the brand, a trademark application filed on February 2 indicates that the company plans to offer a range of products including downloadable and printed recipe books, tableware, textiles and jams and marmalades.

Last week, Meghan performed a soft launch of the brand’s first product, sending out limited-edition jars of strawberry jam to her friends. Fashion designer Tracy Robbins and Delfina Blaquier, wife of Harry’s boyfriend Nacho Figueras, both shared images of the jam on their Instagram accounts, expressing their appreciation for the gift.

© 2023 Business Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.