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Meghan and Harry SNUB: Couple abandoned royal life to seek ‘ideal lifestyle’ in US

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Harry and Meghan recently purchased a £11.2m home in the town about 95 miles from Los Angeles up the Pacific coast. The property has nine bedrooms and 16 bathrooms.

It is set on seven acres of land and comes complete with a pool, tennis court and children’s cottage.

Speaking to PEOPLE a source close to the couple explained why the couple settled on this location.

They said: “They were craving a smaller community and a slower pace — Montecito is very mellow, a charming little town and the Santa Barbara area offers an ideal lifestyle that they’re looking forward to.

“They feel like the future holds endless possibility.

“They can hope to give Archie as normal a life as possible there.

“They feel the new house is a place of peace — and it offers inspiration to build Archwell [foundation], which they’re focused on.”

Harry and Meghan moved to Montecito from Los Angeles where they had been staying at a mansion borrowed from Hollywood kingpin Tyler Perry.

During their stay at the 18 bedroom property the couple initiated legal action against a paparazzi photographer for picturing them without permission.

The Duke and Duchess caused a global sensation back in January when they announced their intention to step down as senior members of the royal family.

Instead the couple vowed to become “financially independent” and said they would split their time between North America and the UK.

Following negotiations with other senior royals Meghan and Harry agreed to stop using their HRH titles and to drop their ‘Sussex Royal’ brand.

They also pledged to repay the British taxpayers money spent refurbishing Frogmore Cottage, their former home near Windsor.

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After stepping down as senior royals Meghan and Harry briefly lived in Canada before settling on California as their permanent home.

Meghan was born in Los Angeles and her mother, Doria Ragland, still lives in the city.

The Duke and Duchess are currently believed to be focusing on developing Archewell, their new charitable foundation.

A source said: “They have had the opportunity to speak with some incredible thought leaders, and those conversations have been deeply educational and helpful in identifying the work they want to do with Archewell.

“They are applying all their learnings to the future of the organization.

“They are excited to see it all come together.

“It’s what they have always dreamed of doing together.”

Harry and Meghan moved to California shortly before the state went into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

During the shutdown they were pictured delivering supplies to vulnerable residents in Los Angeles.

Prince Charles, next in line to the British throne, was diagnosed with COVID-19 back in March but only experienced mild symptoms and made a full recovery.

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