The Stunning Details on Harry and Meghan's $14.7 Million California Home
"They have staked their claim in Hollywood and are not looking back," said an insider.
It seems Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have found their forever home—and it's certainly fit for royalty. According to the Daily Mail, Harry and Meghan bought a sprawling California complex located in the celebrity haven of Montecito in Santa Barbara for an eye-watering $14.65 million. "This gives every indication that Harry and Meghan have no intention of ever returning to the royal family fold," a Palace insider told me. "They have staked their claim in Hollywood and are not looking back."
The New York Post's Page Six reports that Harry and Meghan have been living in Santa Barbara for the past six weeks, having bought the home in June after spending several months in Tyler Perry's borrowed mansion. The couple's new neighbors include Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres.
The nearly 14,600-square-foot home, known as "The Chateau," sits on 5.4 acres of land and has sweeping vistas of green lawns, rose gardens, and olive trees. Built in 2003, Harry and Meghan's new house has nine bedrooms and 16 bathrooms and includes a library, office, spa, game room, arcade, theater, wine cellar, and five-car garage. There are also tennis courts, a children's cottage and playground, and a swimming pool.
It was reportedly purchased from Sergey Grishin, a Russian tycoon, who bought the palatial property for more than $25 million in 2009. Before Harry and Meghan bought the house, Grishin had attempted to sell it for a reported $34 million and then reduced the asking price, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Given Harry and Meghan's penchant for privacy, the gated estate's location on a private road behind high hedges in a tony area of Santa Barbara will offer more protection from the paparazzi, who have reportedly gone to great lengths to capture photos of their son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, with Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland—including flying drones over Perry's house. (The couple is currently suing various agencies over the photos citing invasion of privacy.)
The Daily Mail reports that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex bought the luxury property with a $9.5 million mortgage with a likely down payment of more than $5 million. Harry and Meghan's purchase of the house is raising eyebrows among the British public as the couple still owes taxpayers £2.4 million ($3.1 million) for the renovation of Frogmore Cottage. As per the terms of their exit agreement with the royal family, Harry and Meghan said they wished to pay back the sum but it is not clear if any payments have yet been made.
Prince Charles is currently supporting the couple, who cited their desire to pursue "financial independence" as a primary reason for giving up their roles as senior royals. Some reports say Charles helped the couple with the purchase of the home, while a source told The Daily Mail that Harry and Meghan "feel proud to have struck out on their own and they are saying they bought it without any help from his family."
Royal expert Ingrid Seward said on Wednesday that the extravagant purchase was "not going to be looked at very favorably."
"This is outrageous," one Palace insider told me. "To have Prince Charles subsidizing this completely inappropriate extravagance at a time like this was very ill-advised. It will not go down well with the British public." And for more Harry and Meghan drama, check out 3 More Explosive Royal Tell-Alls That Shed New Light on Harry and Meghan.