Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have moved into a nine-bedroom, 16-bathroom home in Santa Barbara, California, that they bought in June for $14.65 million, or about €12.5 million.
The 14,500sq ft, or 1,350sq m, main house sits on 7.4ac of grounds that include a pool, tennis court, tea house and children's cottage. The couple's new neighbours in the upmarket Montecito district just outside the city, about 150km from Los Angeles, include Oprah Winfrey, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ellen DeGeneres and Ariana Grande.
According to its listing on Zillow, a US property website, the entrance to the estate "opens onto a wide lane paved with hand-cut Santa Barbara Stone that leads through a grand archway of trees to the main residence. The main house," which was built in 2003, "includes a library, office, spa with a separate dry and wet sauna, gym, game room, arcade, theater, wine cellar and five-car garage." The estate has "sweeping lawns, tiered rose gardens, tall Italian cypress trees, blooming lavender [and] century old olive trees".
The property was bought by a trust that shares an address with the offices of Meghan Markle’s long-time Hollywood business manager, according to Variety.
The Daily Mail reports “royal insiders” saying that Harry and Meghan purchased their new home with help from Harry’s father, Prince Charles, who “is devoted to both his sons, and any time he can assist them he always will”. But according to the New York Post, which says the couple moved in six weeks ago, they bought it without help from the royal family. “Meghan and Harry finally feel like they are on their own, and it feels great,” it quotes a source as saying. “It’s truly theirs, and they can’t wait to make it a home.”
The pair have paid a lot less for the property than a previous owner: in May 2009 it sold for more than $25 million. It was put on the market in 2015 for $34.5 million but failed to sell. It was relisted at the start of this year for $16.975 million, selling to the Sussexes for $2.325 million less than the asking price.