Showing off their new digs! Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made their first joint appearance from their new Montecito home during a conversation with the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.
On Thursday, August 20, the couple joined members of the British organization — for which they act as president and vice president — to discuss how digital platforms can be used to make positive change. The prince, 35, and the Suits alum, 39, sat side by side and gave a glimpse of the living space in their new Mediterranean-style mansion in the Montecito community of Santa Barbara, California. At one point, they playfully teased each other about their age as they looked forward to handing the baton to passionate young leaders for change and gushed over Queen Elizabeth II.
“I think everything my grandmother wanted to achieve when she took this huge responsibility on, she’s managed,” Harry said to the QCT team. “No one could have predicted how the world was going to change in such a short space of time, especially with the digital space. Hearing you guys, and knowing the broad spectrum that QCT engulfs, you’re the definition of the 21st century Commonwealth, and what it means to be part of it. You are there, standing for equality, for mutual respect and for fairness.”
Meghan, for her part, noted that although she was “newer to the world of the Commonwealth,” she was “incredibly proud” to be involved in continuing the 94-year-old moncarch’s legacy.
Earlier this month, Variety reported that the royal duo quietly purchased the $14.65 million estate in mid-June, three months after settling down in Los Angeles with son Archie, 15 months. An insider later told Us Weekly exclusively that they were happy to get outside of the busy city.
“Meghan visited Montecito in her teens and fell in love with the picturesque scenery and stunning architecture,” the source explained. “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.”
The family of three’s new abode is “only just over an hour’s drive from L.A.,” offering the perfect respite from “the crowds, paparazzi and tourism in Hollywood.” Before their move to Montecito, Harry and Meghan temporarily stayed in Tyler Perry‘s multimillion-dollar mansion in Beverly Hills after officially taking a step back from the royal family in March.
As they begin to make Montecito their home, a source tells Us that the couple have big plans for renovations on their property, including “converting one of the guesthouses into a home for Doria [Ragland],” Meghan’s mother. Despite their celeb status, the pair feels confident that they’ll be able to have enough privacy in their new neighborhood, which is “off the beaten path.”
“Montecito residents are accustomed to having high-profile neighbors and visitors, and many of those residents can relate first-hand to overzealous attention,” Cristal Clarke, a luxury property specialist for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, told Us exclusively earlier this month. “In other words, you might say the new neighbors will be welcomed warmly, yet with ‘respectful congeniality.'”
Though their time in Hollywood was short-lived, Harry and Meghan are “determined” to put their creative personalities to use, whether in front of the camera or behind-the-scenes.
“Working in the entertainment industry isn’t something [Harry] particularly thought about doing as a royal,” an insider told Us exclusively after the couple’s Montecito move. “But since separating from the royals, he now has the opportunity to explore new, exciting opportunities and can’t wait to get his upcoming projects off the ground.”
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