EXCLUSIVE: The royals were keen on privacy when they left the UK in 2020, and Montecito residents have heeded their request.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex are seen during the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023 at Merkur Spiel-

Prince Harry, 39, and Meghan Markle, 42, are “ignored” in their sleepy coastal town (Image: GETTY)

It sure looks like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have gotten their wish.

The royals were keen on privacy when they left the UK in 2020, and Montecito residents have heeded their request.

“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,” said local bookstore owner Mary Sheldon.

“I have seen black SUVs on my road,” she said, noting that the couple live less than a mile away from her. “Other than that, no impact at all.”

She even shared her thoughts on Harry’s memoir, Spare, which she sold at her own store the day it came out.

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A photo of Montecito bookstore owner Mary Sheldon, 81

Mary Sheldon, who owns the Tecolote Book Shop, lives less than a mile from the couple (Image: Facebook)

Aerial view of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's home in Montecito, California

Locals say the Sussexes are rarely seen outside their sprawling $14.65 million mansion (Image: Google Maps)

“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 said.

Did she finish it? “I read as much as I wanted to,” she tells Daily Express US, adding that the book did “not particularly” do well at her store, selling about 20 copies since it was released in January 2023.

Sheldon is one of many longtime residents in the sleepy town of 8,638 people, located right next to Santa Barbara.

She notes that the town is home to many famous residents, including daytime TV giants Ellen Degeneres, 66, and Oprah Winfrey, 70.

“She’s a regular customer,” she said of Winfrey. “She does her own shopping. She doesn’t send her people to do it.”


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    As for the royals, she says, “I don’t think they do their own shopping. I’ve never seen them. that or they don’t read books or they shop on Amazon, I don’t know what they do.”

    In interviews with Daily Express US, several Montecito residents expressed a similar casual attitude about the royals in their backyard.

    Prince Harry is currently in London for the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games, which he founded in 2014. Meghan stayed back in Montecito with their two children, Archie, 4, and Lillibet, 2.

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