Meghan’s Hollywood hopes

After walking away from acting, the duchess has unfinished business

It’s crunch time for Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. The pair are having to make some big decisions about their future and where they will spend it. And if they want to continue to forge the ideal lifestyle for their family in the US, that could mean leaving their dream home.

Harry, 38, and Meghan, 42, are looking at selling their Montecito mansion and moving to the upmarket beach community of Malibu, because it’s closer to work opportunities in Los Angeles. Following the end of their deal with Spotify, the couple are re-evaluating ways of earning an income, and living nearer to LA could be a deal breaker, says a source.

Meghan is eyeing up a future as a producer and content creator, and offers have been pouring in for her since she signed with the prestigious WME Talent Agency earlier this year. If she takes on any of them, it would make sense to be closer to the action in LA.

Their nine-bedroom, $23-million home has been a haven for the Sussexes for the last couple of years, but it can take as long as three hours to get to Hollywood from Montecito, near Santa Barbara, in peak-hour traffic. That not only makes for a long day, but also extra time away from the couple’s children, Prince Archie, four, and Princess Lilibet, two.

Meghan knows Malibu well, given she lived nearby as a child, and she and Harry see it as “a place of interest” now they are “reviewing their living options”, says the insider.

“They have secretly visited the area a couple of times, looking at what’s there. And Meghan knows parts of the region from being there as a kid.

A move to Malibu means Meghan would have more time with Lili and Archie.

“The move consideration comes as Meghan is shifting gears and focus back to Hollywood with WME. Being close to Beverly Hills and LA, where the deals are done, is smart. And, of course, there is a real Malibu scene where major stars, producers and studio executives all hang out, socialise and get deals done during dinner and beach parties.”

A-listers with homes in Malibu include Lady Gaga, Leonardo DiCaprio and Simon Cowell. Establishing strong connections with Hollywood’s top movers and shakers could be crucial for the Sussexes, who still have a deal to produce content for Netflix.

Unfortunately, they haven’t been able to build close ties with some of their influential neighbours in Montecito. According to producer Paula Froelich, high-profile locals like Steven Spielberg, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Rob Lowe have kept their distance from the couple because they’re worried it could alienate them from other members of the royal family, particularly the Prince and Princess of Wales.

“Everyone’s got a movie to sell and a Broadway play they want to debut on screen in London or the West End, and they know Prince William and Kate – who are the biggest celebrity gets over there – won’t show if they think someone is friends with Harry and Meghan. The big power players in Hollywood aren’t jeopardising their business for Harry and Meghan.”

Paula says some celebrities are wary that personal details about them could be made public by the Sussexes. Those concerns arose after Harry wrote in his memoir Spare about hallucinogenic mushrooms being available at a party thrown by Courteney Cox. The Friends star later denied providing the drugs, saying she “definitely” wasn’t passing them out to partygoers.

Harry’s tell-all has some A-listers wanting to keep their distance.

There have also been reports that the White House turned down a request for Meghan and Harry to fly back to the US on AirForce One with US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill after the Queen’s funeral last year. An insider says, “It would have strained relations with the palace and the new King.”

Another consideration Harry and Meghan face is the fact Archie turns five next year, and they’ll want to find a good school in an area where they’re likely to be settled for some time. A Malibu local says there are excellent schools which happen to be attended by the children of A-listers and would be suitable.

As they weigh up the pros and cons of moving, Meghan and Harry are continuing to support causes important to them through their Archewell Foundation. They recently shared the State of the World’s Fathers 2023 report, put out by the Equimundo Centre for Masculinities and Social Justice, which concludes many more men would like to be caregivers but

are discouraged by social norms and a lack of support.

In a statement on their website the couple, who no longer talk to either of their fathers, said they were “proud to have supported this report as well as Equimundo’s continued work to promote gender equality around the globe”.

Related stories