When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sat down to be interviewed for their much-anticipated Netflix docuseries, which began its much-criticized six-episode run last week, they didn’t do it in the living room of their own multimillion-dollar mansion in Montecito, Calif., but rather another a similarly spacious, opulently appointed and as it turns out, up-for-sale mansion about 3.5 miles away.
Initially hoisted on the market about 18 months ago, and jointly available via Ryan Malmsten of Santa Barbara Brokers and Riskin Partners Group at Village Properties, the lavish estate carries a positively royal asking price of $33.5 million.
While it may not actually be their home, the gated estate is certainly large and lavish enough to accommodate the pampered lifestyle of the royal couple and their children. Set on over two acres of landscaped grounds, with sweeping mountain and ocean views, there are a total of six bedrooms and six full and two half bathrooms between the main house and guest house. Designed by architects Don Nulty and J.F. Brennan, with the interior design handled by Natasha Baradaran, the main house measures in at a commodious 12,804 square feet, while the one-bed/one-bath guest house atop the three-car garage adds another 800 square feet.
A trio of arched French doors open the spacious formal living room to a colonnade that runs the full width of the house and the glamorous dining room sports a silver-leaf ceiling, while the library features polished wood paneling, a baronial fireplace, and a secret door to the main-floor primary suite. Less formal areas within the two-story home include a huge chef-quality kitchen that’s open to a cozy family room, a plush screening room with fireplace and wet bar, a couple of games rooms (one for kids, another for grownups), a small meditation lounge, and a gym.
Outside, pebbled walkways and stone walls wind through lush and carefully maintained landscaping dotted with several sculptures by pop artist Robert Indiana. Beyond the infinity-edged pool and spa is a semicircular swathe of what marketing material describes as “Wimbledon-quality lawn.” Elsewhere on the property are stands of banana trees, raised organic vegetable beds, and numerous citrus trees. There’s even a chicken coop for fresh eggs and beehives for honey!
Tax records and other reports identify the seller as businessman Mark Schulhof, who paid about $14.6 million for the property back in 2013. That was about five years after Schulhof’s direct mail company, Quadriga Art, was charged with pocketing more than $100 million in a fundraising scam that targeted disabled veterans, and about a year before a $25 million settlement was reached in 2014.
Though there have been rumors (and reports) the Sussexes are looking around for a new home in Santa Barbara’s exclusive Hope Ranch area, for now they remain ensconced in the nearly 19,000-square-foot Montecito mansion they picked up about two and a half years ago, for $14.65 million. Tucked into a gated enclave of similarly extravagant estates, the 7.4-acre compound offers nine bedrooms, 16 bathrooms, a swimming pool and a tennis court, a children’s playground, and a chicken coop, which seem to be quite popular in Montecito.