After experiencing two intruder scares in just 12 days, Harry and Meghan are said to be stepping up their home security, and insiders tell us even spending millions a year still isn’t enough to keep them feeling safe.
This isn’t the first time the Santa Barbara mansion – where the couple live with their two young children, Archie, three, and Lilibet, one – has faced security breaches. It’s reported that police received six calls to the couple’s home in the last 14 months, including a trespasser on Christmas Eve 2020.
A source close to the pair says, “Meghan and Harry take their family’s safety extremely seriously, and they’ve been scared and concerned by these incidents. They know there are some very dangerous people out there, even in a
city as well-heeled and traditionally safe as Santa Barbara, and it’s for that reason they invested heavily in the best security they could find.”
But despite this, it’s not been enough to leave the couple feeling secure.
“They’re very aware there’s still the outside risk of an intruder finding their way onto the property and doing God knows what,” says the source. “It’s the stuff of nightmares, and only underlines to Harry how crucial it is that the family are protected.”
Our source says the pair are taking some drastic – and creative – measures. “They have invested up to around $10million on security since they quit their royal duties. It’s their biggest outgoing by a mile,” says the source.
“Many high-profile celebrities have escape tunnels leading to a bunker, and the Sussexes apparently have these, too. They also meet their contacts at unusual venues and they do a lot of homework before to ensure there’s no way they’ll be followed.”
As expected for a pair of famous ex-royals, the couple are almost never without some extra muscle – estimated to cost up to $3m a year.
“It’s not unusual for them to deploy three or four bodyguards at a time, and they often sneak out to meetings at unusual times – even under the cover of darkness. This isn’t about evading the paparazzi. It’s about staying safe,” we’re told.
The insider says one of the ways Harry, 37, and Meghan, 40, might stay incognito is by using body doubles – which might not come as a surprise to eagle-eyed royal fans. On a recent 4 July outing in Wyoming, some were convinced that Prince Harry wasn’t actually Prince Harry, with one writing, “I don’t think it’s him – the ear is different.”
But in the world of showbiz, a body double isn’t that farfetched, as our source explains, “They’re very popular decoys for celebrities. While some of their methods may sound extreme, they consider it vital.”
Amid his security fears, Harry launched legal action to demand the right to police protection in the UK – a place he admitted no longer feels like “home”. Harry and Meghan lost their publicly funded UK police protection in 2020, when they stepped down as senior working royals, and the source says Harry is “not backing down” when it comes
to enhanced security – which he’s offered to pay for personally – saying, “His beef with the government is not about money, it’s about safety and what’s right.”
And despite rumours that the Sussexes would be joining the Queen at Balmoral this summer, it seems they’ve backtracked and are no longer expected to attend – and it could be that the lack of protection is worrying the pair.
With the UK government still refusing to grant the family their police security, it could be some time before we see Harry and Meghan enjoying their summer holidays on British shores.