“Meghan and Harry wanted to give Los Angeles a shot,” a source told UsWeekly. "Unfortunately, Harry absolutely hated it — the timing was so wrong amid the coronavirus pandemic and they lacked privacy."
Since the couple was unhappy, they decided relocate to Montecito, a community in Santa Barbara, California, about an hour outside of Los Angeles.
Montecito had always been in the pair’s mind after making their royal exit. "Meghan visited Montecito in her teens and fell in love with the picturesque scenery and stunning architecture," the insider added.
"An added bonus is that Montecito is only just over an hour’s drive from L.A., which is where a majority of their work is based, yet far enough away to escape the crowds, paparazzi and tourism in Hollywood,” the source divulged.
The young family sought out a quiet and private community that would allow their son, Archie, to grow up and “have as normal a life as possible,” a source told Page Six.
Markle and Harry — who moved to Los Angeles in March 2020 — may have relocated from Tinseltown, but there are a bunch of A-list celebrity neighbors only a few doors down. Their $14.65 million new family home is in the same community as Ellen DeGeneres, Drew Barrymore, and Ariana Grande.
Frank Anthony, a local realtor, shared that “It’s a great place for children and families. “I can’t think of a greater place for them.”
Jason Streatfeild, a luxury real estate broker who has an office in Montecito, told DailyMail.com that the former royals won’t have a problem adjusting to their new surroundings. “It’s the type of neighborhood where you may not realize who your neighbor is but you really don’t care,” he said.
“It’s not unusual to run into Oprah Winfrey at the grocery store or to be sitting next to Ellen DeGeneres for lunch at the Miramar Hotel. It’s a very private and exclusive area, a place where you can escape with an ocean in front of you and the mountains behind you,” he added.
Not only are the school systems “exceptional” for their baby boy, but the family’s 18,671-square-foot home is only an hour away from where the former actress grew up and where Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, still lives.
Their Montecito mansion includes nine bedrooms and 16 bathrooms. The lavish house also features a game room, a gym, an arcade, a wine cellar, a pool, a tennis court, and a tea house.
With all the chaos brewing from the release of the new tell-all book, Finding Freedom, the Suits alum and Harry will be able to quietly reside in their beautiful Santa Barbara home without any background noise.