So they’ve finally done it. Months after living in the mansions of friends – first in Canada and then in Los Angeles – the duke and duchess of Sussex have bought their own home.
And what a place it is. The couple dropped a staggering $14,7 million (about R254 million) on the sprawling property in the upmarket suburb of Montecito in Santa Barbara, California.
The house, which sits of 5,4 acres of land that includes rolling lawns and tiered rose gardens, boasts nine bedrooms and 16 bathrooms, as well as a library, office, gym, sauna, tea house and games room. There’s also a theatre, wine cellar, pool, tennis court, a five-car garage and a guesthouse, perfect for when Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland, comes for a visit from her home in nearby Los Angeles.
According to E!News, Harry, Meghan and 15-month-old Archie moved in in July and have settled down well.
“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,” an insider told Page Six.
They had been staying in entertainment mogul Tyler Perry’s Beverly Hills mansion but according to sources the place was “really not Harry’s style” and they were keen to move.
Recent invasions of privacy, which included illegal drone footage of Archie, was the last straw for the couple, who have subsequently initiated a lawsuit against the photographer behind the drone launch.
According to the Page Six source, their new neighbourhood, which boasts A-listers such as their close friend Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres, is “where they want to bring Archie up. It’s where they hope he can have as normal a life as possible.”
Another source told the Telegraph Harry and Meghan “have thought about this carefully and researched it well. This is the place where they plan to be happy, make good friends and bring up Archie.”
Almost every house in the multi-million dollar neighbourhood is designed for maximum privacy with long, sweeping driveways, high gates and dozens of trees.
“Harry and Meghan bought this house without any help from the royal family,” an insider says.
“This is the first home either of them has owned and they finally feel like they are on their own, and it feels great.”
5 things to know about Santa Barbara
- The coastal city is situated on the west coast of California and is about 148 km north of Los Angeles.
- It’s often promoted as the “American Riviera” thanks to its Mediterranean climate and location between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the sea.
- Many stars have homes there, including Jennifer Lopez, Steven Spielberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Kevin Costner, Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres. It’s also the hometown of Katy Perry.
- It’s a popular filming spot for Hollywood movies and TV shows.
- It’s a green city, which will suit environmentally minded Harry and Meghan.
Sources: dailymail.co.uk, eonline.com, friendlylocalguides.com