Security for the couple was pulled after they stepped down from royal duties and moved to Vancouver Island — which they later left for California
Author of the article: Emma Sandri
Police have been called to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s California home nine times over nine months, official figures reveal.
Since Prince Harry, Meghan and Archie moved into their home in Montecito in July last year, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has responded to calls listed as phone requests, alarm activations and “property crimes”
The data, obtained by PA under Freedom of Information laws, was released after the Sussex’s now-viral interview with Oprah Winfrey, wherein the couple spoke candidly about their security detail being pulled soon after their move to Canada.
“I was born into this position. I inherited the risk. So that was a shock to me,” said the prince.
Police were called to the Duke and Duchess’ home four times in July, just after they had moved to Montecito from Los Angeles. All of the calls occurred in the early hours of the morning. One is listed as a phone request, while the others were “alarm activations.”
An August request for police is listed as a “Misc Priority Incdnt,” while there was another alarm in November.
The next time officers were called was Christmas Eve afternoon, after a man allegedly trespassed on the property. Police returned to the home on Boxing Day for a call listed under the description “Property Crimes.”
According to the sheriff’s office, 37-year-old Nickolas Brooks was booked on a misdemeanor trespassing charge. He was later released. In March, The Sun reported that Brooks admitted he may have been high when he was at the Duke and Duchess’ home on Dec. 26.
“I don’t know why I went to their place, that’s kind of where I ended up. I drove across the country — I know it’s crazy,” Brooks told the outlet.
The most recent call to the couple’s home was at 2 a.m. on Feb. 16. It was also listed as an alarm activation.
Protection for the Sussex’s was withdrawn after they stepped down from royal duties.
The Duchess said she had written letters pleading with the Royal family not to take away her husband’s personal protection, as he had been facing death threats. She also revealed that the decision to deprive their son, Archie, of a title had put his safety at risk — but “no explanation” had been provided by the royals.
“In those months when I was pregnant … we have, in tandem, the conversation of, you won’t be given security, not gonna be given a title and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born,” she said.
The prince said he “never” would have thought his security detail would be pulled, and that he’d “pushed back” after Buckingham Palace justified the removal due to their “change in status.”
“While we were in Canada, in someone else’s house, I then got told, short notice, that security was going to be removed,” he said. “It dawned on me, ‘Hang on a second, the borders could be closed, we’re going to have our security removed, who knows how long (the pandemic) lockdown is going to be, the world knows where we are, it’s not safe, it’s not secure, we probably need to get out of here’.”
The two first moved to Vancouver Island after they withdrew from their royal roles, staying in a mansion owned by an unnamed close friend of music producer David Foster — whose wife had studied musical theatre with Markle when they were teenagers in Los Angeles.
While there were no reported security incidents during their brief stint in Canada, the prince told Winfrey that the home’s location had been published by the Daily Mail.
The Sussex’s also issued a warning against harassment from photographers after photos of the Duchess were taken while she was on a stroll with Archie. According to Sky News, the Sussex’s lawyer claimed the photos were taken without Meghan’s permission, and the photographer had been spying on her while hiding in the bushes.
They also claimed that there had been attempts to photograph them inside of the Vancouver Island home using long range lenses.
The couple now pay their hefty security bill themselves. According to Yahoo, the cost is thought to be so high that it’s the reason the two sought lucrative deals with Netflix and Spotify. In March, security experts told Forbes that they believed the cost of the Sussex’s annual security bill could “easily reach” $2 million to $3million.