In Montecito, Calif., a 9.3-square-mile coastal enclave nestled between the Santa Ynez mountains and the Pacific, where gray whales swim by the shoreline, avocado and citrus trees bear fruit nearly year-round and there’s nary a sidewalk in sight, multi-acre properties near the beach routinely sell for upward of $20 million. You can surf in the mornings and hike scenic foothill trails on weekend afternoons and look out for celebrities who live nearby, like Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, Adam Levine and Katy Perry.
Yes, the town has ample attractions to lure Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, into buying a $14.7 million home after “stepping back” from the royal family last year. But there’s another reason the location makes sense: The couple is modeling their new life together on those of the Oprahs and Ellens around them. Through various business moves, two new jobs for Harry and a PR-savvy, revelation-packed interview with Oprah herself earlier this spring, they are reinventing themselves as multihyphenate American celebrities, the kind who dabble in content, philanthropy, technology and a tasteful dash of politics.