Neighbors make or break home ownership. Getting home from a long day and collapsing onto the couch doesn’t have the same ring to it as when you have John next door blasting loud music. Or Sally tottering over to reprimand you because your dog did the dirty on her lawn.
Residents in Ranch Hope, an exclusive neighborhood in California, are up in arms because they have two A-listers who want to join their community. You’d think that rich celebs would be welcomed, driving up house prices and bringing a certain prestige to the town. But this is Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Fresh from losing their crusade to take over Hollywood, the pair are being driven out before they’ve even hired the moving vans.
Rumors of their relocation, ten miles away from their current home in Montecito, have left residents scared for the circus set to come to town. One homeowner in the area quipped that locals aren’t looking forward to becoming “Netflix extras,” adding that “people here want a quieter life.” The source added, “We do have some celebrities but they’re the type to hide away from the cameras instead of going looking for them.”
You can’t blame them for their reservations. Hope Ranch may be one of the wealthiest areas in California, but opulence affords you little protection from the drama that the Sussexes bring. Just look at Buckingham Palace. It spans forty-two acres and has gold-plated thrones, yet the Sussexes’ presence still managed to transform it into something akin to The Real Housewives of New York.
Could a duke and duchess really be driven out of town by what is effectively a neighborhood watch group? Well, according to sources, the Housing Association is getting bombarded with complaints before they’ve even moved in. It was also reported that the consensus among residents is that the couple aren’t worth the “baggage they’ll bring.” It seems Meghan and Harry’s recent episodes have woken up Californians to the possibility that they may not be on the hunt for a more private life after all.
While rumors have circulated that the couple’s nine-bedroom, nineteen-bathroom Montecito mansion isn’t quite cutting it for them anymore, royal watchers weren’t quite sure where they’d try next. Earlier this year, after the Sussexes announced that they’d be returning to Britain together for the first time since they officially stepped down from their royal roles, there was speculation they were thinking of trying to get back into the Firm. Unfortunately for them, after the death of the Queen, King Charles made it pretty clear that they had made their bed and they would lie in it. In his first speech as king, Charles expressed his “love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.”
Harry and Meghan may have thought that the elite village, with about 2,200 residents, was the right place to call home, but it seems the locals do not. Reports have claimed that multiple homeowners in the area are concerned about the traffic they would bring, as paparazzi would flock to the area to photograph the duke and duchess.
It’s surprising that we don’t put more thought into choosing our neighbors. In fact, some tech whiz should invent a dating-style app for neighbors. Swipe right for the young professional who spends sixty hours a week in the office. Swipe left for “we just want a private life” Meghan and Harry.