Meghan's pal Nacho Figueras faces fierce backlash from royal fans for plugging her new products ahead of Kate's Trooping the Colour return – as mystery surrounds timing of his PR tease

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  • READ MORE: Meghan Markle’s American Riviera Orchard lifestyle brand name is stolen by a COPYCAT website and used to sell cheeky adult coloring books about ‘working class royalty’

A friend of Prince Harry’s has faced fierce backlash from royal fans after showing off PR gifts sent by Meghan Markle’s brand American Riviera Orchard on the same day as the Princess of Wales’ return to public life.

Professional polo player Nacho Figueras, 47, shared images of jam and dog biscuits, thought to be from the Duchess’ company, via his Instagram Stories on Saturday, just hours before the Royal Family attended Trooping the Colour in London.

The timing of his photos has caused outrage amongst royal fans, with the Argentinian’s most recent social media post being inundated with comments declaring him ‘shameful’ and ‘tasteless’.

It’s thought Nacho, who appeared to be in New York at the time, posted the pictures showcasing the gifts at around 11pm in the city, and about 4am in the UK, meaning British viewers saw the posts just hours before the King’s birthday parade.

Kate, 42, who has been receiving chemotherapy for an undisclosed form of cancer since February, made a spectacular return to the spotlight during the annual event – marking her first public appearance this year.

Professional polo player Nacho Figueras (pictured centre with Harry and Meghan in April 2024), 47, shared images of jam and dog biscuits, thought to be from the Duchess' company, via his Instagram Stories on Saturday, just hours before the Royal Family attended Trooping the Colour in London

Professional polo player Nacho Figueras (pictured centre with Harry and Meghan in April 2024), 47, shared images of jam and dog biscuits, thought to be from the Duchess’ company, via his Instagram Stories on Saturday, just hours before the Royal Family attended Trooping the Colour in London

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So for many, Nacho’s post was poor timing, with one person writing in the comments: ‘Shameful what you did… your reputation is over!!’

Another said: ‘What a tasteless gesture to publish content with Harry and Meghan products on the day Kate returns to public life!’

A third added: ‘Disgusting prank to try and upstage Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales. You owe your fans an apology. What a small person you are.

A fourth wrote on X, formerly Twitter: ‘We won’t forget what you did Nacho. Attempting to upstage Catherine whilst she’s battling cancer is the lowest of the low and demonstrates a lack of class and integrity.’

However, despite the many furious remarks, some rushed to support Nacho, with one person writing: ‘Sorry for all the hate comments you’re getting. You’re a great friend to Harry and Meghan.’

Another added: ‘Speechless by reading all these sick comments about a glass of jam. No one here is small and yuck except those people which are full of hatred. Really shocking!’ 

Nacho is among 50 or so people believed to have received a PR package from the fledgling lifestyle brand soft launched by the Duchess, 42, earlier this year.

An earlier batch of jam, packed in baskets of lemons, is believed to have been sent to some 50 recipients.

This is because the handwritten labels on the jars suggested that the batch contained 50 jars, with each one given a number, for example, number 11 of 50.

The jar of raspberry jam sent to Nacho from American Riviera Orchard

The jar of raspberry jam sent to Nacho from American Riviera Orchard

Polo player Nacho posted this image of the dog biscuits from American Riviera Orchard on his Instagram Stories

Polo player Nacho posted this image of the dog biscuits from American Riviera Orchard on his Instagram Stories

Reaction: The timing of his photos has caused outrage amongst royal fans, with the Argentinian's most recent social media post being inundated with comments declaring him 'shameful' and 'tasteless'.

Reaction: The timing of his photos has caused outrage amongst royal fans, with the Argentinian’s most recent social media post being inundated with comments declaring him ‘shameful’ and ‘tasteless’.

However, despite the many furious remarks, some rushed to support Nacho, with one person writing: 'Sorry for all the hate comments you're getting. You're a great friend to Harry and Meghan.'

However, despite the many furious remarks, some rushed to support Nacho, with one person writing: ‘Sorry for all the hate comments you’re getting. You’re a great friend to Harry and Meghan.’

The previous jam sent out was strawberry, however, this latest batch is raspberry – and Nacho was lucky to receive the very exclusive new flavour, with his jar bearing a label that read: ‘2 of 2.’ 

Meanwhile, the dog biscuits were packaged in a large glass jar, also boasting a handwritten label thought to be in Meghan’s cursive script.

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The treats, which were photographed next to Nacho’s dog Nina Iggy, are a new addition to American Riviera Orchard’s line-up of products.

Nacho’s post coincided with Trooping the Colour event in London, which marked the second year that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were reportedly not invited to the annual celebration, which marks the birthday of the reigning monarch.

Meghan and Harry first attended Trooping the Colour together in 2018, one month after their royal wedding in Windsor. They once again appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony in 2019, weeks after welcoming their first child.

In 2020 and 2021, the event was scaled down due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was held at Windsor Castle, without the usual large gathering of royal family members.

But the ceremony was brought back to all its glory in 2022 to mark the late Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee.

Like the jam, American Riviera Orchard's dog treats come packaged in a glass jar bearing a handwritten label (pictured: Nacho Figueras' dog Nina Iggy)

Like the jam, American Riviera Orchard’s dog treats come packaged in a glass jar bearing a handwritten label (pictured: Nacho Figueras’ dog Nina Iggy)

The Duke and Duchess travelled to the UK to attend the special event – but did not join the Royal Family on the Buckingham Palace balcony, instead watching the occasion with other non-working royals in a room above the Horse Guards Parade.  

Nacho’s post sharing his jam and dog biscuits follows the tenth recipient of the jam – Meghan’s friend the celebrity pilates instructor Heather Dorak – being revealed by MailOnline.

After receiving her package, Dorak posted a picture on Instagram of her two sons Noah and Cody eating the limited edition treat on toast, saying it was ‘kid tested’ and ‘mother approved’.

The Pilates Platinum owner also revealed her jam was numbered ‘7 out of 50’, as she became the tenth person to be identified as one of Meghan’s ‘jamfluencers’.

Dorak wrote in the accompanying caption: ‘Kid tested, mother approved! Thank you for the tasty homemade jam @AmericanRivieraOrchard. Love you, M!’

It comes as the Duchess of Sussex continues to try to build momentum for her new business venture American Riviera Orchard ahead of a full launch, expected later this year.

Meghan has also sent jam to at least nine other friends who have posted about it online – Kelly McKee Zajfen; Abigail Spencer; Delfina Balquier; Kris Jenner; Garcelle Beauvais; Tracy Robbins; Mindy Kaling; Chrissy Teigen; and Tracee Ellis Ross.

Earlier this year, MailOnline predicted Dorak would help with the jam launch given that she is one of Meghan’s best friends and they went skiing together earlier this year.

Elsewhere, Heather Dorak posted a picture on Instagram of her two sons Noah and Cody eating the American Riviera Orchard jam, saying it was 'kid tested, mother approved'

Elsewhere, Heather Dorak posted a picture on Instagram of her two sons Noah and Cody eating the American Riviera Orchard jam, saying it was ‘kid tested, mother approved’

Pilates Platinum owner Heather Dorak revealed her jam was numbered ¿7 out of 50¿, as she became the tenth person to be identified as one of Meghan¿s ¿jamfluencers¿

Pilates Platinum owner Heather Dorak revealed her jam was numbered ‘7 out of 50’, as she became the tenth person to be identified as one of Meghan’s ‘jamfluencers’

The Duchess was pictured smiling with Dorak and another friend, Kelly McKee Zajfen, on the slopes of Powder Mountain near Salt Lake City in Utah in February.

Dorak also attended Meghan’s royal wedding to Prince Harry at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in May 2018 with her husband Matt Cohen.

Originally from Texas, she is now based in California where she owns six studios under the Pilates Platinum brand.

Dorak was spotted hiking with Meghan near the royal couple’s £12million mansion in Montecito, California, in May 2023 after they celebrated Prince Archie’s fourth birthday.

Dorak was a regular contributor to Meghan’s now-defunct lifestyle website The Tig, and the pair also appeared together on Meghan’s social media before she took down her accounts in the months before her wedding.

Meghan first attended Dorak’s pilates classes while acting in the TV drama Suits, and previously described them as ‘hands down the best thing you can do for your body’.

And Dorak spoke in Harry and Meghan’s Netflix documentary in December 2022, saying she was proud of the Duchess for persevering despite being turned down for acting roles before she secured her job on Suits.

3/50, Kelly McKee Zajfen - The co-founder of Alliance of Moms has also received Meghan's jam

3/50, Kelly McKee Zajfen – The co-founder of Alliance of Moms has also received Meghan’s jam

6/50, Abigail Spencer - Meghan's dog Mamma Mia appeared in a jam photo with her friend

6/50, Abigail Spencer – Meghan’s dog Mamma Mia appeared in a jam photo with her friend

10/50, Delfina Balquier - The Argentinian socialite said: 'Strawberry jam makes me happy'

10/50, Delfina Balquier – The Argentinian socialite said: ‘Strawberry jam makes me happy’

13/50, Kris Jenner - Jenner is also among Meghan's celebrity friends to be gifted with a jam jar

13/50, Kris Jenner – Jenner is also among Meghan’s celebrity friends to be gifted with a jam jar

15/50, Garcelle Beauvais - The actress and co-host of The Real has received a jar of the jam

15/50, Garcelle Beauvais – The actress and co-host of The Real has received a jar of the jam

17/50, Tracy Robbins - The fashion designer was among the first to post a picture of the jam

17/50, Tracy Robbins – The fashion designer was among the first to post a picture of the jam

19/50, Mindy Kaling - Meghan's friend Kaling who starred in The Office has also got the jam

19/50, Mindy Kaling – Meghan’s friend Kaling who starred in The Office has also got the jam

20/50, Chrissy Teigen - The model and her singer husband John Legend also received the jam

20/50, Chrissy Teigen – The model and her singer husband John Legend also received the jam

21/50, Tracee Ellis Ross - The daughter of Diana Ross has also received a jar of strawberry jam

21/50, Tracee Ellis Ross – The daughter of Diana Ross has also received a jar of strawberry jam

In March, Meghan announced her new business venture with an Instagram teaser video, showing the Duchess cooking and arranging white hydrangeas and roses, posted to the new American Riviera Orchard Instagram account.

The brief vintage-style footage was set to Nancy Wilson’s I Wish You Love and closed with the brand’s logo, American Riviera Orchard, written in fine gold script above the word Montecito – the celebrity enclave where the Duke and Duchess live.

Little information has been released about Meghan’s new project but a trademark application filed in February shows the company wishes to offer downloadable and printed recipe books, table wear, textiles, and jams and marmalades, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office website.

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Earlier this year, a branding expert said Meghan was distributing the jam to her friends as a way of highlighting her new business venture by giving them a ‘personal present’ that she likely produced herself with ingredients sourced from Montecito.

PR expert Nick Ede said the jars looked ‘very home made with a stylish crest and almost handwritten brand name’.

He added that the jam ‘will have most likely have been sourced in Montecito and produced by hand by Meghan herself to make them feel special and thought of.’

And Mr Ede claimed her strategy was ‘highlighting the brand rather than Meghan’ as she tries to get people to ‘buy into the ARO lifestyle not just her own personal brand’.

It has not all been smooth sailing since the brand’s soft launch: it was recently reported that an online seller was using the same name of Meghan Markle’s own lifestyle brand to sell a tongue-in-cheek adult item. 

The online store, using the same name as the Duchess of Sussex’s American Riviera Orchard, offers up adult colouring books – including one labelled Working Class Royalty – for sale, as first reported by The Independent.

The site is known for selling anti-monarchy products, launched after the Duchess announced her own lifestyle brand.

The book, which retails for $9.99 on the website, says the book will ‘unveil the hidden royalty in everyday life with our Working Class Royalty colouring pages.’

‘This captivating collection celebrates the strength and grace of women from all walks of life, blending the regal allure of royalty with the resilience of the working class,’ the description continues to read. 

‘Explore five enchanting scenes that honour the majesty found in everyday moments.’ 

The colouring book encourages users to ‘colour to these empowering illustrations,’ hoping to remind every woman is ‘a queen in her own right.’