Prince Harry told an interviewer at the Invictus Games that he and Meghan were “welcomed with open arms” to Montecito, but locals reportedly said they hadn’t been introduced since moving in.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle “are not part of the community” in their US neighborhood, it has been claimed.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are said to be rarely seen in public in Montecito, where they share a lavish £11million mansion and live among some of Hollywood’s biggest names.
Described as the “Cotswolds of California,” remote Santa Barbara has pristine beaches and gated resorts — with locals, famous and not, known to have a zero-tolerance policy toward paparazzi.
Harry, 37, who was in Holland with his wife, 40, for the Invictus Games, told NBC’s Today Show last week that they were “welcomed with open arms” to Montecito, adding that it was “such a great community”.
But it seems that this kind of statement may confuse some neighbors.
British gossip columnist Richard Mineards, who writes for the Montecito Journal, said the Sussexes have been “absent” since their secret arrival in July 2020, months after leaving their post as senior royals in the UK.
He told The Times: “Harry and Meghan are not part of the community, and I think a lot of people really bristle at that.
“It’s such a nice place to hang out and they haven’t shown up.
“There’s this big question of ‘Where are they?'”
The Duke hasn’t even visited Old Kings Road yet, a British-influenced bar on Santa Barbara’s main thoroughfare with a sign in the window reading: ‘No w***ers’.
That being said, he may soon become a little more visible, having joined the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club, according to reports.
It is believed he will play with his friend Ignacio “Nacho” Figueras, the Argentine multi-millionaire polo professional and model Ralph Lauren, when the season starts on May 1.
Fellow Etonian Andrew Bossom, who is also a keen polo player, told The Times that such a move “would be a big step for him in the local community”.
Harry is said to have practiced at a private polo ground owned by hotel magnate Pat Nesbitt.
Many locals would have heard rumors, but he is keen to sell and buy elsewhere nearby.
A similar rumor claims that Harry and Meghan had recently tried and ultimately given up trying to get burgers from In-N-Out fast food restaurant due to security logistics.
By all accounts, both men appeared relaxed and happy watching the Invictus Games – an international sporting event for wounded, injured and ill service members, both serving and veterans.
It was created by Harry in 2014 and inspired by the Warrior Games in the United States.
This year’s tournament ended on Friday.
A film crew filming a Netflix documentary called Heart Of Invictus – a series from Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Productions following attendees at the event – had been seen near the couple since their arrival on Good Friday.
A drone could be seen hovering over the events the couple were at.
The couple signed a multi-million pound deal with streaming giant Netflix in 2020.
It was their first public appearance together in Europe since leaving the Firm.
They also made a whirlwind trip to Windsor on Maundy Thursday to see the Queen, as well as Prince Charles and Camilla.