Prince Harry and Meghan
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Montecito’s Quiet Neighbors: Harry and Meghan ‘Ignored’ by Local Community

In the tranquil community of Montecito, the arrival of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle initially sparked curiosity. However, according to a longtime resident and local bookstore owner, Mary Sheldon, the couple has since blended into the background, attracting little attention from their fellow residents.

After stepping down from royal duties, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sought a quieter life across the Atlantic. Their journey led them from Canada’s scenic Vancouver Island to the bustling city of Los Angeles, and finally to Montecito, a serene locale in Santa Barbara County renowned for its high-profile inhabitants.

The couple’s residence, an expansive 18,000-square-foot mansion known as “The Chateau,” is replete with luxurious amenities including 16 bathrooms, nine bedrooms, a library, a sauna, and more, all set against a backdrop of stunning ocean and mountain views.

Despite the opulence of their home, the Sussexes’ presence in Montecito seems to be low-key. Sheldon, who has lived in the area for years and runs a local bookstore, shared her perspective with the Express on the royal couple’s integration into the community. “I think they’re basically ignored, and if people come across them that’s fine, but I don’t think the locals seek them out in any way,” she stated. Her encounters with the couple have been non-existent, with the only hint of their presence being the occasional sighting of black SUVs, according to Express.

Contrasting with other celebrities like Ellen Degeneres and Oprah Winfrey—who are active and visible in the community—Sheldon notes that Harry and Meghan appear more reclusive. Oprah, a frequent visitor to Sheldon’s bookstore, does her shopping personally, a stark difference from the elusive couple. “I don’t think they do their own shopping,” Sheldon speculated. “I’ve never seen them. That or they don’t read books or they shop on Amazon. I don’t know what they do.”

Sheldon also commented on Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare, revealing that it was available in her store but had limited appeal among locals, selling only about 20 copies since its release in January 2023. She read part of it herself and found it to be well-written and interesting up to a point. “I sat and read it, and I got as far as him going to school, and I thought, ‘This is a well-written book and it’s interesting,'” she shared. However, she didn’t finish the book, noting, “I read as much as I wanted to” before adding that Spare did “not particularly” do well at her store.

This insight from Sheldon paints a picture of a couple that, despite their global fame, has quietly settled into a community that respects their privacy but perhaps remains indifferent to their celebrity status.

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