It’s been twelve months since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their decision to step back from their royal roles, and after months of moving around, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are now happily settled into their new home in Montecito. Prince Harry and Meghan relocated to the Santa Barbara estate over the summer, and it’s where they plan on living full-time and raising Archie.
The process wasn’t easy, especially since it coincided with the growing coronavirus pandemic, and the sheer number of moves made Prince Harry and Meghan feel rather alone and displaced, according to Finding Freedom co-author Carolyn Durand’s new story in Grazia.
For Meghan, in particular, experiencing the early stages of motherhood while being “constantly uprooted” was difficult, as the Sussexes have lived in four homes in four cities (spanning three countries) over the past year. “It’s just been a lot,” one of Meghan’s pals told Durand, adding that the Sussexes’ nanny moved back to the U.K. when the family moved to Los Angeles due to the pandemic, and the ensuing government and health guidelines and restrictions left the Sussexes feeling “quite alone. Each move made them feel more displaced.”
Prince Harry and Meghan had barely settled into Frogmore Cottage at Windsor, which remains their U.K. home base, before dropping their big announcement about stepping down. They subsequently moved into the Vancouver Island mansion where they previously spent their six-week royal respite, but then relocated from Canada to the U.S. in March, amid the worsening COVID-19 crisis. They spent the next few months in Tyler Perry’s Beverly Hills mansion, before finally purchasing their Santa Barbara estate over the summer, and moving to Montecito full-time.
Now, the Sussexes are reportedly happier than ever, as they’ve had time to get to know their new neighborhood as best they can amid the pandemic, as well as work on their upcoming initiatives. “To be at the point they are at now, having set up an empire and a charity in just over nine months, shows just how hard they have worked to make this transition a success,” Omid Scobie, Durand’s Finding Freedom co-author, explained in the new report. “But it’s taken a lot of work to get here. The journey has been painful.”
Prince Harry and Meghan have a big year ahead, as they’ll be launching a number of projects they’ve been working on with their Archewell Foundation as well as their first Netflix production. The Sussexes are also hoping to travel back to the U.K. for the first time since last March, as (pending COVID-19 travel restrictions) they are planning on attending Trooping the Colour and Prince Philip’s 100th birthday celebrations this summer, to finally reunite with the royals.