Although they’re currently bunking up in a $14 million Vancouver mansion, it’s long been widely speculated that ex-royals Meghan Markle and Prince Harry eventually plan to settle in Los Angeles, where Markle was raised and where her mother, Windsor Hills-based Doria Ragland, still resides.
It was Caitlyn Jenner who first leaked the news that the former royals were quietly house-hunting in L.A.’s poshest seaside community. The reality star couldn’t resist sharing neighborhood gossip with the hosts of TV’s Loose Women program, telling that the hosts that she’d heard “[Prince Harry and Meghan Markle] were looking for a house in Malibu.”
Of course, it’s not particularly surprising that Malibu would appeal to the high-profile couple. The area has long been a celebrity haven, and Princess Diana once confided to her butler that she intended to raise Princes William and Harry in the town, though those plans never materialized. (Diana’s boyfriend Dodi Fayed had purchased a $7 million estate on Malibu’s Paraside Cove just weeks before they perished in an infamous 1997 car crash.)
Yesterday, the residential rumors intensified when reports emerged that Harry and Markle are keen on one particular Malibu house: a hulking, European-style mansion known as Petra Manor, tucked away within an exclusive guard-gated community. Although the Daily Mail estimated the property is worth $7 million, this author believes the 1.75-acre estate is actually worth significantly more — at least $10 million, and perhaps closer to $20 million.
But a property at that lofty price point appear to perfectly suite the couple, who’ve made no secret of their money-making aspirations. Last month, the couple attempted to trademark the Sussex Royal brand, intending to slap the name on everything from clothing and sporting goods, to toys and alcoholic beverages. Queen Elizabeth, however, put her well-heeled foot down — forbidding the couple from using the “royal” label to profit. The young couple issued a characteristically sassy response, though they agreed to relinquish their use of the label. But by all appearances, the pair still intend to become Hollywood-style influencers.
And as it turns out, Malibu’s Petra Manor was once (briefly) home to the biggest influencer of them all — 22-year-old lip kit tycoon Kylie Jenner, who rented the house for about two weeks over summer 2018. Jenner bunked up there with her ex-bestie, fellow influencer Jordyn Woods, and a then-newborn Stormi Webster. Naturally, she shared a bounty of photos featuring the manse and its lush backyard to her horde of social media followers, who now number more than 163 million on Instagram alone. Jenner is quite fond of high-priced Malibu rentals; last year, she also stayed in a different area mansion, that one formerly owned by Yolanda Hadid.
Petra Manor was custom-built in 2015 by David Charvet and Brooke Burke, on land that they originally purchased from Mel Gibson. The giant house still appears to be jointly owned by the now-divorced couple, though they do not reside there, and the property has long serviced as a high-priced rental home for visiting billionaires and foreign dignitaries seeking a brief taste of Malibu’s legendary sunshine.
The house is located within Serra Retreat, one of Malibu’s few guard-gated communities and arguably the city’s most private enclave — tucked into the canyon-side foothills and bordered by rugged open land, but still just a quick jaunt to the trendy shops and restaurants in downtown Malibu.
Although it’s hidden away within that securely guard-gated community, the property itself is also walled and gated for ultimate peace of mind. Surrounded by mature oak and sycamore trees, the stone manor spans more than 12,000 square feet of living space, with a 8 bedrooms and a whopping 10 bathrooms — ample space for a young family and plenty of attitude.
Inside, there’s a double-height foyer with a grand staircase, a marble-topped wet bar, professional-style screening room, eat-in kitchen with top-of-the-line stainless appliances and a wine cellar capable of storing hundreds of bottles. Other features include massive living and family rooms, both outfitted with fireplaces, an upstairs master with a spa-style bath and private balcony, and even an at-home dance studio.
Outdoors, there’s a spacious motorcourt and attached four-car garage, mature olive trees, formal gardens, outdoor lounge, resort-style swimming pool with Baja shelf, and a full-sized tennis court. The property is also equipped with full-fledged smart home automation — the home’s lighting, sound and security cameras can be operated remotely, from the touch of a smartphone.
And there’s even a video tour of Petra Manor available online, set to the tune of Mozart’s “Andante,” as played by the skillful hands of Sung Eun Choi.
Current Serra Retreat residents include Patrick Dempsey, James Cameron, Scott Caan, Linkin Park’s Brad Delson, Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison and Hong Kong’s billionaire Vitasoy heiress Karen Lo.