Meghan Markle appears to have given fans a glimpse inside her and Prince Harry’s dream California home – complete with views of the rolling Montecito hills and vintage-inspired furniture.
The Duke, 35, and Duchess of Sussex, 39, bought the sprawling nine-bedroom and 16-bathroom mansion in upscale Montecito, Santa Barbara, for $14.65million on June 18, making them neighbors with celebrities Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres, according to DailyMail.com.
Appearing on The 19th* Represents 2020 Virtual Summit yesterday via video call, Meghan said ‘it’s good to be home’ in the interview and appeared to be sitting in one of the rooms in her new property.
The mother-of-one sat down for a one-on-one virtual interview with The 19th* co-founder and CEO Emily Ramshaw, and showcased the space filled with lavish decor.
The room boasted a bright and airy feel thanks to the white-painted walls with a gloss finish, as well as an eye-catching, large, four-panelled window.
With a walnut-looking wood frame, the window offered spectacular views out over the garden to rolling Montecito countryside – with giant trees also overlooking a perfectly-cut hedge.
Meghan sat on a vintage-looking arm chair, complete with a mahogany-style wood framing and incredible cream fabric.
Her room was finished off with white potted plant which was placed on a glass-top coffee table.
During her interview yesterday with the 19th* co-founder and CEO Emily Ramshaw, Meghan spent a few moments discussing her recent move back to the US with her husband and son, and how it was ‘good to be home’ despite the social unrest currently occurring.
She also decried ‘salacious’ journalism, stressing the importance of reporting done through a ‘compassionate and empathetic lens’ — while slamming what she and Prince Harry describe as the ‘toxicity’ in the ‘economy for attention.’
Meghan was the finale event for The 19th* Represents 2020 Virtual Summit this week, sitting down for a one-on-one virtual interview with The 19th* co-founder and CEO.
But the former Suits star also offered her own opinions on the state of journalism, opening up about how her ‘personal experience in the past couple years’ has changed her view on the media, noting that both she and Prince Harry believe that there is too much emphasis based on ‘salacious’ details.
It is another chapter in the couple’s war against the media and comes days after the release of flattering ‘unauthorised’ biography of Harry and Meghan, Finding Freedom, which features a host of intimate information about the couple from an army of anonymous friends and sources.
The couple insist they were not interviewed for Finding Freedom despite an authors’ note contained in the back of the book appearing to acknowledge some involvement from Harry and Meghan – which one of the writers has brushed off as a ‘few words at engagements’ rather than a ‘full interview’.
Particulars of voicemails Meghan sent to her father and tense conversations between Harry and William have been published in the book, which its authors say was based on interviews with more than 100 sources including ‘close friends of Harry and Meghan’s, royal aides and palace staff (past and present)’.
Speaking about her return to the US, she said: ‘I’d come back after being away for so long, I haven’t lived in the states for 10 years. I lived in Canada for seven years for work. So a really long lapse of time from being here,’ she said.
‘To come back and to just see the state of affairs, I think at the onset, if I’m being honest, it was just devastating. It was just sad to see where our country was at that moment.
‘If there was any silver lining in that, in the weeks that were happening after the murder of George Floyd, in the peaceful protests that we’re seeing, in the voices that were coming out, in the way that people were actually owning their role and acknowledging their role that they played either actively or passively in the discrimination of other people, specifically of the black community — it shifted from sadness to a feeling of absolute inspiration because I can see that the tide is turning.
‘I think for so many of us, its very easy to focus on the negativity because it’s what you hear out there… The loudest voices are often the negative ones, sadly,’ she said.
‘So I think, from my standpoint, it’s not new to see this undercurrent of racism and certainly unconscious bias, but I think to see the changes that are being made right now is really something that I look forward to being a part of, and being a part of using my voice in a way I haven’t been able to of late.
‘So, yeah, it’s good to be home,’ she said.
Meghan and Harry’s home sits on 5.4 acres of land and immaculately clipped hedges border the estate’s stone-pillared entry gates.
Property listings say the home took nearly five years to build and included a library, office, spa with a separate dry and wet sauna, a gym with a stripper pole, game room, arcade, theater, wine cellar and five-car garage.
The entrance to the property opens onto a wide lane paved with hand-cut Santa Barbara Stone that leads through a grand archway of trees to the main residence, according to Zillow.
The estate has sweeping lawns, tiered rose gardens, tall Italian cypress trees, blooming lavender, century old olive trees, a tennis court, tea house, children’s cottage and a pool.
It also boasts a two-bedroom, two-bath guest house, perfect for Meghan’s mother Doria, who is acting as one-year-old Archie’s nanny. Doria has already been to the house, TMZ reports.
The home’s seller is thought to be Russian tycoon Sergey Grishin who bought the ‘palatial’ mansion for more than $25million in 2009 and had tried to sell the home for up to $34million before eventually accepting a loss.
Grishin is also the former owner of a different California estate – known as the Scarface mansion because it appeared in the 1983 Al Pacino movie – which sold for a similarly cut-price $12million in 2015.
Surrounded by lush green gardens and overlooking the sea, the home has been described as a ‘hidden paradise’.
One estate agent who spent an hour inside said it was ‘designed for someone who never wants to leave home’.
Brett Buschbom said: ‘I went through this house and an hour later I’m coming out like “wow”, the whole bottom floor felt like a resort with steam room, massage room, sauna, Jacuzzi, full bar, arcade and one of the most amazing wine cellars and that was just the basement.’
The Sussexes are said to have been living in the house for the last six weeks, after moving 90 miles along the coast from a mansion in Los Angeles where they were house guests.