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Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chose Santa Barbara to put down roots

The Sussexes moved into their new home in July

Emily Nash

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are finally living their American dream, with a home of their own on the Californian coastline. After four house moves in three countries in 16 months, they have put down permanent roots in the exclusive hilltop enclave of Montecito, a wealthy neighbourhood in the city of Santa Barbara.

READ: Prince Harry's real reason for moving to USA with Meghan Markle revealed

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WATCH: Meghan Markle opens up about her own experience with the media

Nestled between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, the couple's new home, reportedly bought for $14.7m (£11.2m), will afford them space and seclusion while also giving easy access to Los Angeles, some 90 miles away. HELLO! understands they purchased the property with their own funds and have taken out a mortgage.

Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan, 39, hope their new set-up will allow them to give Archie as normal a life as possible and sources say they are already enjoying their stunning new surroundings. "This is something they’ve been looking to do for a while," a source tells HELLO!. "They've been moving from location to location, but this is their home now and it’s a significant moment for them. Everything else can now start to fall into place."

Prime location 

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Meghan and Harry stepped back from royal duties in March 2020

The location carries huge appeal for the family. Santa Barbara is well known for its focus on wellness and is the birthplace of Earth Day, giving it major green credentials for the eco-conscious couple. It also offers several top private schools for Archie, including Laguna Blanca School and Crane Country Day School.

A Visit Santa Barbara spokeswoman tells HELLO!: "We're thrilled they have chosen to make their home in Montecito. One of the reasons why celebrities love living in Santa Barbara and visiting here is because they feel like regular people and don't get hassled by locals or by paparazzi, though this may considerably up the ante – we hope not, for their sake.

"Many of the homes in Montecito are very well hidden from view with large hedges and gates, which helps give them the privacy and discretion they desire.

MORE: A closer look at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's future work as they settle in California

"We don't know for sure, but suspect the beautiful coastal landscape, proximity to LA, low-key but high-quality lifestyle, outdoor recreation, arts and culture and our worldclass food and wine scene may also be aspects of what drew them to Santa Barbara.

"Santa Barbara also has a high concentration of philanthropists and philanthropical organisations so this will be a good setting for the important work they are doing."

For the full story, pick up this week's copy of HELLO! magazine 

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