Meghan, 41, and Harry, 38, currently reside in Montecito with children Archie, 4, and Lilibet, 2. “They love their life there,” the insider tells Us. “But it feels a bit remote and removed from the city.”
The duchess grew up on the West Coast and visited Malibu “often,” the source says. “She loves being by the beach, which is why she and Harry decided to move to Montecito.”
While “nothing has been decided yet” about making a permanent move to the oceanfront city, the insider says the possibility is “definitely on their radar.”
A second source tells Us that Harry and Meghan “fell in love with the area” after staying in a friend’s rental home over the past two summers and have been “casually house hunting there.”
The Sussexes moved to Los Angeles after announcing in January 2020 that they planned to step down from their senior roles within the royal family. Harry and Meghan initially stayed in Tyler Perry‘s home — which was kept secret from the rest of the royals.
“No one knew we were there,” Harry confessed in the Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan, which debuted in December 2022. “We were there for six weeks and no one knew. My family still thought I was in Canada.”
Upon their royal exit, Meghan and Harry were left without the same level of security they had in the U.K. Perry, 53, said he “immediately empathized” with what the pair were going through — particularly Meghan.
“I could hear the fear. It was palpable. I mean, I could hear it,” Perry recalled in the docuseries of a phone call with Meghan before the couple’s exit. “So, I asked her, what was she afraid of? And she took a deep breath and she started listing the things. And I said to her, ‘Every one of your fears are valid.'”
When they left Perry’s mansion — which Harry referred to in the doc as “just bliss” — the twosome put down roots in Montecito. The enclave boasts Ellen DeGeneres, Rob Lowe, Jennifer Aniston and more as residents.
“Meghan visited Montecito in her teens and fell in love with the picturesque scenery and stunning architecture,” a source exclusively told Us in August 2020. “Moving there was always an option, but to begin with, she and Harry wanted to give Los Angeles a shot. Unfortunately, Harry absolutely hated it — the timing was so wrong amid the [coronavirus] pandemic and they lacked privacy.”
Montecito is “just over an hour’s drive from L.A.,” which felt like an “added bonus” for the couple, the insider said.
As they eye a new home in California, Harry and Meghan have bid farewell to their old U.K. residence. Last month, palace officials confirmed that the pair moved out of Frogmore Cottage after extensively renovating the property in 2019. King Charles III requested that his son and daughter-in-law vacate the premises following the release of Harry’s book, Spare, earlier this year.