Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have had one hell of a year. They announced their decision to step down from their royal duties in January, and for a while were living in Canada. In March, they settled in Los Angeles.
Their new life in Los Angeles has been a weird adventure. For weeks, they were living in the Beverly Hills mansion of Tyler Perry, all while dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, however, comes news that Harry and Meghan have bought a place of their own: a sprawling $14.65 million mansion in Montecito, California, a seaside city in Santa Barbara County.
What makes this home worth every penny? Here is everything we know about Harry and Meghan’s new home.
When did Harry and Meghan move to Montecito?
News moves at its own pace in the world of celebrities. Harry and Meghan bought their Montecito mansion in mid-June, using a trust to hide their names on public grant deeds. However, Variety reported that the trust shares a mailing address with Markle’s Hollywood business manager.
Harry and Meghan moved in to their new home quietly in July and managed to evade the press for a few weeks. News of their move wasn’t reported until August.
“This is the first home either of them has ever owned. It has been a very special time for them as a couple and as a family — to have complete privacy for six weeks since they moved in,” a source told Page Six on August 11.
Located on a private, gated street, the house is a two-hour drive away from downtown Los Angeles.
“They intend to put down their roots in this house and the quiet community, which has considerable privacy,” the source said. “This is where they want to bring Archie up, where they hope he can have as normal a life as possible.”
All signs point to this being their permanent home for a good, long time.
Why did Harry and Meghan move to Montecito?
When people first hear about this luxurious mansion, it’s tempting to ask “why did Harry and Meghan decide to move there?” That simple question, though, has some pretty complex answers.
Harry and Meghan left England itself back when they left royal life behind. They lived in Vancouver for a while, but came to Los Angeles before the coronavirus pandemic closed the U.S.-Canadian border. This was possibly an attempt for Meghan to live closer to her mother Doria Ragland.
Why leave L.A. for Montecito, though?
First of all, Montecito provides a bit more privacy than Los Angeles. In July, Harry and Meghan took legal action after a paparazzi agency attempted to sell photos of their baby Archie with Meghan’s mother, which they believe were taken with a drone flying over the Los Angeles home they were staying in.
“Archie has not been in public… since the family arrived here,” they wrote in their complaint. “It is clear from a description of the photographs being shopped that they were taken of activities in the backyard of the residence, unbeknownst to the plaintiff.”
However, a source claimed to Page Six that Harry and Meghan were already in the process of buying the Montecito home before the paparazzi incident.
“While it was a nice favor to them at a very difficult time, Tyler Perry’s house with 18 bedrooms isn’t Harry’s style. Yes, he grew up in royalty and the halls of Buckingham Palace, but he prefers more intimate homes with character,” the source said.
How big is Harry and Meghan’s new mansion?
We know that Harry and Meghan thought that an 18-bedroom house was too big. That brings up an obvious question: just how big is their new home?
The short answer: it’s still pretty damn big. Clocking in at 18,671 square feet, the Montecito mansion has “only” nine bedrooms. While that is smaller than Tyler Perry’s 18-bedroom mansion, their new place has double the bathrooms: 16 vs. Perry’s 8.
It may sound absurd to think of this as a “smaller” mansion. Then again, considering who some of their neighbors are, Harry and Meghan’s new mansion is downright modest.
Who are Harry and Meghan’s new neighbors?
It’s a small world out there, even in the world of wealthy Santa Barbara neighborhoods. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that Harry and Meghan have some famous faces for neighbors.
For example, Ellen DeGeneres, Ariana Grande, and Gwyneth Paltrow live in the same area. But Harry and Meghan’s most famous neighbor by far is Oprah Winfrey.
Oprah is actually a friend of the family and previously helped the two crash at Tyler Perry’s place in Beverly Hills. In fact, the Oprah connection is so deep that many first believed that Harry and Meghan were staying at one of the homes owned by the billionaire.
While they bought the home themselves, we have a sneaking suspicion Oprah will continue to play a major role in their lives.
A look inside Harry & Meghan’s new home
When it comes to these giant celebrity mansions, everyone always wonders what they look like on the inside. So far, we’ve only gotten a single tantalizing look.
On August 14, Meghan acted as a moderator for The 19th Represents 2020 Virtual Summit, a series of conversations with prominent women in American politics, journalism, and the arts. Meghan conducted the virtual interview from inside her new home, giving us our only glimpse inside so far.
What we saw were glossy, white-painted walls and a wooden-framed window that looked out on a rolling garden. Meghan herself sat in a vintage wooden chair with luxurious, cream-colored fabric.
Granted, we’ve only gotten a good look at this one room. If that room is any indicator, the mansion is much like Harry and Meghan: a mix of royal charm and spontaneous fun.
What does Harry & Meghan’s new mansion look like?
While we can’t get a good look at every room of the house, we can get a good look at the exterior. And it’s clear that every room in this home is a room with a view!
The main house on the property was built in 2003. Its Mediterranean-style architecture includes beige and off-white decor, a library, gym, separate wet and dry saunas, an elevator, an arcade, a game room and a home theater.
The outside of the property is just as impressive as the inside. In addition to breathtaking tiered rose gardens, century-old olive trees, and tall Italian cypress trees, the property has a detached guesthouse, a tennis court, a lap-lane swimming pool, a children’s cottage, and even a tea house! Considering the need for quarantine and the couples’ desire for privacy, it only makes sense they chose a home that is full of spacious room and elegant distractions.
And while they may have left the British royal family behind, this is the kind of home that is fitting for American royalty.