Meghan Markle Returns to Instagram After 5 Years With New Business

Meghan Markle Is Back on Instagram 5 Years After Shutting Down Account After Prince Harry Engagement

Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle has returned to Instagram after five years with a new business in tow.

Markle, 42, officially launched the American Riviera Orchard brand on Thursday, March 14. While details were slim, the account’s Instagram bio reads: “By Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex Established 2024.” Some reports suggest that the account name is a nod to her and Prince Harry’s California town of Santa Barbara, with speculation that the project will act as a follow-up to her former blog, The Tig.

An Instagram Story video was also uploaded, featuring a video of Markle set to “I Wish You Love” by Nancy Wilson. (Markle was previously on Instagram under the handle @meghanmarkle, an account which was deactivated in 2018.)

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The news of Markle’s return to Instagram comes days after her sister-in-law, Princess Kate Middleton, was involved in a photo editing controversy on the same social media app. Kate, 42, uploaded a photo of her and children Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5, to celebrate U.K. Mother’s Day on March 10. However, it was later retracted by some major news outlets after reports that the photo had been digitally altered. Kate, whose whereabouts have raised eyebrows as she covers from surgery, has since confirmed that she does “occasionally experiment with editing” in a statement addressing the controversy.

Prior to Markle’s Instagram return on Thursday, she hinted in August 2022 that she was keen on the idea of returning to social media.

“Do you want to know a secret?” she told The Cut at the time. “I’m getting back … on Instagram.”

Markle deleted Instagram, Twitter and Facebook in January 2018, shortly after her first royal engagement with Harry, who announced two months prior that he had proposed to Markle. who proposed in two years.

“Ms. Markle is grateful to everyone who has followed her social media accounts over the years, however as she has not used them for some time, she has taken the decision to close them,” Kensington Palace told Us at the time.

The couple — who tied the knot in May 2018 — later revealed in their January 2023 docuseries Harry & Meghan that they met via Instagram.

“I was scrolling through my feed and someone who was a friend had this video of the two of them, like a Snapchat,” Harry shared in an episode, adding that what caught his eye was a clip of Markle with the “doggy ears” filter.

Markle, for her part, explained that rather than looking Harry up, she wanted to see his Instagram feed. “When people say, ‘Did you Google him?’ No. But that’s your homework. You’re like, ‘Hmmm, let me see what they’re about in their feed. Not what someone says about them, but what they’re putting out about themselves.’ That was to me the best barometer,” she said at the time.

Following their marriage, the duo had their own royal Instagram page, @SussexRoyal. However, the account hasn’t been active since March 2020, two months after their decision to step down from their duties as senior royals.

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In September 2020, Markle also admitted that she was staying away from social media due to her own mental health.

“I’ve made a personal choice to not have any account, so I don’t know what’s out there, and in many ways that’s helpful for me,” she said during the Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit. “I have a lot of concerns for people that have become obsessed with it. And it is so much a part of our daily culture for so many people that it’s an addiction like many others.”