Meghan Markle’s Strawberry Jam Is the New Ivy Park Box

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Instagram
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Instagram

If Meghan Markle’s lifestyle brand American Riveria Orchard and its strawberry jam are all part of a grand plan to troll the royal family, chances are it’s working.

Although the sugary preserves have yet to hit store shelves, people are already smacking their lips thanks to a brilliant PR campaign that rips a page right out of Queen Beyoncé’s marketing handbook.

Left and right, a select few celebrities have begun rushing to post video and photos of jam baskets that have been sent to them, complete with bright yellow lemons and handwritten notes from the Duchess of Sussex herself. (You’ll notice that the immaculate penmanship on the letters is the same as on the jam jars; that would be Markle’s handwriting, perfected through her past life as a part-time calligrapher.)

We haven’t seen a celebrity product rollout like this since Ivy Park sent out those huge orange boxes to a select few A-listers in January 2020. If I were a royal who cares about the supremacy of the King Charles-established Duchy Originals jam, I’d be quivering in my stolen jewels.

Will Meghan Markle’s Strawberry Jam Deliver Her a Sweet Victory?

Does anyone else remember Orange Box Mania, which struck during that innocent time just before COVID-19 hit? I still think about it sometimes, late at night—particularly before birthdays and holidays when I’m trying to imagine the presents I would most desire. To promote her athleisure line, Beyoncé sent some of her closest (and most famous) friends a custom collection of Ivy Park apparel, delivered in a gigantic orange box big enough to fit an actual, living human inside.

This inspired stunt was a brilliant way for Beyoncé to publicize a clothing line that had already existed for four years, because it was big, loud, and, most importantly, undeniably ’grammable. It also provided content-hungry media outlets an obvious hook: Instantly, we all began to wonder who made the list and who did not. Ellen DeGeneres? Yes. (This was pre-scandal, after all.) Janelle Monáe? Obviously. Kim Kardashian? Yes, although, in true diva fashion, she posted it conspicuously late.

Buckingham Palace Subtly Trolls Meghan With Its Own Ad for Strawberry Jam

Evidently, the Duchess of Sussex and former Suits actress was taking notes. Ms. Markle has yet to announce when us peons will be able to buy her jam from Williams-Sonoma or wherever, but a decidedly posh section of society’s upper echelons have already joined her jam club. The jars she’s sent out each contain batch numbers, which indicate that 50 were made in total—a brilliant addition to Beyoncé’s Ivy Park rollout that will help us speculate which of her famous friends she loves the most.

Who got Jar #1, and who barely made the cut with #50? We’ll have to wait until everyone posts to find out! So far, it appears no one who ranked past 21 has dared to share. Then again, neither has the lucky recipient of Jar #1. (Maybe Meghan and Harry decided to keep that for posterity?)

So far, Markle’s close friend Kelly McKee Zajfen (co-founder of the non-profit Alliance of Moms) is winning the jam race; Town and Country reports that she got Jar #3. Next up, Markle’s Suits co-star Abigail Spencer got Jar #6, but her real flex was posting it with what appeared to be one of Harry and Meghan’s beagles. “This jam is my jam,” she captioned her sun-soaked post. “A delicious taste of what’s to come indeed… love you so M🍓.” Suits Nation stays winning.

Married Sussex besties Nacho Figueras (an actor and model) and Delfina Balquier (socialite) came in next with Jar #10, according to Town and Country. Not to be left out of any PR roll-out, Kris Jenner nabbed lucky #13, while fashion designer Tracy Robbins posted Jar #17 to her Instagram story, writing that she was “not sure I'm sharing with anyone.” Mindy Kaling got Jar #19, and Chrissy Teigen shared the jar she and her husband John Legend received—#20—in an Instagram Reel. Meanwhile, Tracee Ellis Ross posted Jar #21 to her Instagram story.

It’s anyone’s guess who might be next, but if I were to name a few, I’d go with the beloved Suits star Gina Torres; Oprah Winfrey (who attended the royal wedding and also interviewed the couple in one of the most viral TV events of all time); Markle’s close friend, Celebrity Beach Bowl buddy, and baby shower planner Serena Williams; and Beyoncé herself. Buckingham Palace might be trying to ruffle Markle by advertising its own jam just days after she announced her own, but something tells me that with celebrity friends like these, she isn’t breaking a sweat. Sometimes, comeuppance can be sweet.

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