Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have gone exceptionally grand with their California starter house, purchasing a $14.65 million estate in the heart of posh Montecito, the seaside Santa Barbara County enclave that is famously home to a slew of Hollywood heavyweights.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’ names do not appear on grant deeds related to the property — records show the estate quietly sold in mid-June to a mysterious trust with a deliberately opaque name, though the trust happens to share a mailing address with the offices of Meghan Markle’s longtime Hollywood business manager.
Public documents also reveal the buyers secured a $9.5 million mortgage to acquire the 7.4-acre compound, which is securely tucked away on a private, gated street. Despite the unquestionably hefty pricetag, it could be argued Meghan and Harry scored the property at a discount of sorts — the seller, low-profile Russian businessman Sergey Grishin, acquired the estate in 2009 for $25.3 million and had attempted to sell it many times over the past decade before finally accepting a $10 million-plus financial loss.
Built in 2003, the Mediterranean-style main house includes a trove of beige and off-white decor, plus a library, gym, separate wet and dry saunas, an elevator, arcade, game room and home theater. There’s also a detached guesthouse with two bedrooms and bathrooms; altogether, the estate boasts nearly 19,000 square feet of living space with a total of 9 bedrooms and a whopping 16 bathrooms.
Dated listings note that the property additionally offers a “tea house,” a “children’s cottage,” and exceptionally beautiful manicured grounds that boast tiered rose gardens, century-old olive trees, and tall Italian cypress trees that likely cost a small fortune to maintain. A full-size tennis court, lap-lane swimming pool, and a notably elaborate built-in children’s playset are among the numerous other outdoor amenities.
Meghan and Harry, who first moved stateside in early 2020, previously resided in a fortified compound owned by Tyler Perry, whom they met through mutual friend Oprah Winfrey.
Montecito may be located a full two hours northwest of downtown L.A. by car, but celebrities have flocked to the area in recent years — the neighborhood’s laid-back and mostly paparazzi-free atmosphere provides a welcome retreat from the hectic hustle of Hollywood and its surrounding environs. Current area residents include Gwyneth Paltrow, Ellen DeGeneres, Ariana Grande, and — perhaps most famously — Oprah Winfrey herself, whose nearly 70-acre “Promised Land” compound qualifies as one of Southern California’s most lavish estates.