At the end of a year in which she and her spouse engaged in a contentious egress from royal affairs, Meghan Markle has announced, for the first time in public, that she has dipped her toe into the private sector with an undisclosed personal investment in Clevr Blends – a vegan-coffee start up.
The six-person Santa Barbara company – which is overseen by co-founder and chief exec Hannah Mendoza, and whose HQ is in close vicinity to Montecito where Markle and husband, Prince Harry, reside – deals in instant wellness lattes and has been self-funded until this point. In a statement to Fortune, which first reported the news, Markle emphasised that she will continue to back female-founded firms, which gained only 2.7% of venture capital funding last year.
“This investment is in support of a passionate female entrepreneur who prioritises building community alongside her business,” Markle said. “I’m proud to invest in Hannah’s commitment to sourcing ethical ingredients and creating a product that I personally love and [that] has a holistic approach to wellness. I believe in her, and I believe in her company.”
But this isn’t the first time a member of the Royal family has forayed into business projects beyond the gilded ecosystem of functions, duties and ribbon cutting. Below, we take a look at the ventures – famous and infamous – that’ve preceded Markle’s inaugural flutter.
Prince Edward: TV mogul
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