As we heard this week, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have purchased a family home in Santa Barbara, California. I’m actually kind of suspicious about the timing of the announcement – the Sussexes’ spokesperson confirmed the news on what was technically the day that Finding Freedom came out. And they released the news about the house six weeks after they moved in? It’s very curious. It’s possible that the Sussexes’ confirmation was trying to get ahead of someone tipping off Page Six. I don’t suspect a royal conspiracy on this one – I think it’s far more likely that some California real estate agent leaked something and that’s what got Page Six on the case.
As for the home itself, a lot of people are throwing out a lot of different numbers and theories. TMZ reported yesterday that the home is in Montecito, and that it’s worth about $10 million.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have left Los Angeles for greener pastures … in the lush, super-exclusive city of Montecito … and the Oprah connection seems undeniable. Montecito realtors with knowledge tell TMZ, the couple went into escrow in July and the deal closed about a week ago. We’re told they spent around $10 mil, which got them a lot more house than they’d get in L.A.
It seems Oprah may have helped guide their path. We’re told she helped put them in contact with Tyler Perry, who let them live in his Beverly Hills estate while they got their SoCal sea legs. Oprah, who has a massive, incredible estate in Montecito and clearly loves it, has a connection to Harry … they co-produced a documentary on mental health.
Montecito is a relatively small, quiet community near Santa Barbara. Interest in living there has exploded since the pandemic hit the U.S. Lots of people from L.A., Dallas and New York are picking up and moving there. Lots of celebs live in Montecito, including Ellen, Scooter Braun, Dick Wolf, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Stewart, Rob Lowe and many others.
As for Meghan and Harry, we’re told they bought a secure, gated estate. These properties have plenty of land … in some cases up to 50 acres, although most of that is hillside. But, the properties have lots of flat land, so Archie can play away.
I looked it up – Montecito actually is part of Santa Barbara County, so technically the Sussexes could have bought a property in Montecito and then just said “Santa Barbara” vaguely. Is anyone else tired of media outlets spinning conspiracies about the Oprah Connection though? My God, we get it. Meghan and Harry are “friends with Oprah!” They’re being “advised” by Oprah. They sit at Oprah’s feet and ask for her mentorship and wisdom. Or maybe they’re just friendly and Oprah was like “Montecito is really nice!”
Anyway, the British papers are still having a full-on meltdown. They were so used to gleefully ripping Harry and Meghan to shreds for Living In Tyler Perry’s Mansion, and now they’ve got a new line of attack. Plus, they get to continuously dust off the hysteria asking WHEN will Harry and Meghan “pay back” the money for Frogmore Cottage.
There were questions asked about the expense after the pair had agreed to pay £18,000 a month to repay £2.4million used to refurbish and renovate their previous Frogmore Cottage residence. Royal expert Ingrid Seward told MailOnline she understood why people were asking about the price spent on the new home.
She said: ‘I think people at this moment of time when Meghan and Harry do anything to do with money, it isn’t going to be looked at very favourably. People will not like what they do when it involves a lot of money.’
Question: how do these fussy, puckered, salty, disgusting people know that Harry and Meghan haven’t already “paid back” the cost of Frogmore Cottage? They said they would. Maybe they already did. And besides that, they shouldn’t have to pay back anything. The Queen “gave” them a decrepit little cottage with the understanding that they would restore and renovate it for modern use, and it remains part of the Windsor Castle property. What should actually happen is this: Harry and Meghan suddenly announce “actually we’re not paying back sh-t and f–k you, we’re never going back to that cottage.”
Oh, and this Page Six story broke overnight – they say that the Montecito home is nine bedrooms, 16 bathrooms (which is insane), 18,000 sq. foot and that H&M paid $14, 650,000 for it. The grounds include rose gardens, a tennis court, a tea house, a children’s cottage and a pool, as well as a two-bedroom guesthouse. Sources also denied that the money for the home or down payment came from Charles: “Meghan and Harry finally feel like they are on their own, and it feels great. They bought this house without help from his family, they aren’t using it on loan from a friend as they had before. It’s truly theirs and they can’t wait to make it a home.”
Photos courtesy of Backgrid.