Why Prince Harry and Meghan Decided to Finally Move to Montecito

The Sussexes' friends, including Oprah Winfrey, recommended the idyllic Santa Barbara beach enclave.

Prince Harry and Meghan listened to advice from their close friends when it came to decided on where to move. Facundo Arrizabalaga - Pool/Getty Images

It took a while for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to figure out their living situation after they moved to America, but the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are now happily settled into Montecito, where they moved in July 2020.

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The Sussexes initially lived in Canada for a few months when they first relocated across the pond; they moved into a waterfront mansion in Vancouver Island over the winter of 2019, and remained in the vacation home until the following spring, when the coronavirus pandemic forced them to speed up their move to the United States. Prince Harry and Meghan temporarily moved into friend Tyler Perry’s Beverly Hills mansion in Los Angeles, before eventually purchasing a $14.65 million mansion in Montecito, where they now reside with their son, Archie, and their daughter, Lili.

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The Sussexes’ pal Oprah Winfrey recommended they look into a move to Montecito. Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese

Prince Harry and Meghan’s decision to move to the upscale beach enclave wasn’t random; they actually decided on the specific locale based on recommendations from close friends. According to the new epilogue in Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s royal biography Finding Freedom, the Sussexes’ pals, including longtime Montecito resident Oprah Winfrey, recommended they look into moving to Santa Barbara County.

Their friends told them that Santa Barbara was a “perfect place to raise a family, specifically Montecito, where houses sat within double-gated communities for maximum privacy yet were close enough to the amenities of civilization when needed,” per Hello.

Prince Harry and Meghan experienced major privacy issues while living in Los Angeles, and felt Montecito would give them the safety and security they wanted for their family. They also already had friends who lived in the area, including Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, and have since made pals with neighbors like Orlando Bloom and Katy Perry. Montecito has long been a favorite spot for celebs, and other current residents include Ariana Grande, Rob Lowe, Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo.

Duchess Meghan showed a glimpse into her chic home office in a video released for the launch of the 40×40 initiative.

While the Sussexes have kept their home life out of the public eye, they gave glimpse into their sprawling property during their interview with Oprah, when they showed off their chicken coop outside, and more recently, the Duchess of Sussex provided a peek into her chic home office in the nine-bedroom mansion, in a video released on her 40th birthday for the launch her 40×40 initiative.

Why Prince Harry and Meghan Decided to Finally Move to Montecito