The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made a commendable desire to work for the good of humanity, get off the royal pedestal and live in the real world.
What they really crave, friends say, is simple life. So why, you might ask, do they live in a grandiose mega hilltop mansion in one of Los Angeles’ chicest gated communities?
There is nothing down-to-earth about Beverly Ridge Estates; and ordinary people, except for the ghostly legions of domestic workers, gardeners and guards, are clearly lean on the ground.
There is nothing down-to-earth about Beverly Ridge Estates; and ordinary people, except for the ghostly legions of domestic workers, gardeners and guards, are clearly lean on the ground, write TOM LEONARD and BARBARA McMAHON
If you ever want to understand how Hollywood stars eventually fall back on the A-list – imperious, narcissistic and separated from reality in their overly indulgent private worlds – Beverly Ridge would be the perfect place to start.
It’s where the obscenely wealthy and spoiled home resides – and the largest home is the current residence of Harry and Meghan.
Their $ 18 million, 25,000-square-foot home – where they allegedly live rent-free – has eight immense bedrooms, 12 large bathrooms, and sits on 22 acres of land. It is owned by Tyler Perry, an actor and entertainment magnate.
It features wood-paneled walls, a Roman-style sunken bath and a chic nursery for their son, Archie.
The Sussexes have been locked up there since moving from Canada to California in late March.
Perry, 50, worth an estimated $ 600 million, was reportedly introduced to them by their mutual friend, chat show host Oprah Winfrey, and flew them from British Columbia to his massive $ 150 million private jet.
Perry, a close friend of singer Janet Jackson and actor Will Smith, was never seen publicly with the Sussexes, but expressed sympathy for Meghan’s predicament when she complained in an ITV interview that no one had asked her how she was.
He built the obnoxious home in 2004, presumably a ‘Tuscan-style’ villa, cementing his reputation as an investor in brutal properties, which are huge even by the standards of status-obsessed American millionaires.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have expressed a laudable desire to work for the good of humanity, get off the royal pedestal and live in the real world
These charmless new neighborhoods may be a million miles from Windsor’s Frogmore Cottage, but they have one thing the ex-royal couple is obsessed with: privacy, recently improved even more after ordering the installation of black screens along part of the boundary of the compound that was overlooked by a walking path.
Whether that protects them from LA’s 200-strong paparazzi corps remains to be seen.
The property is also blessed with views of downtown Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean in the distance.
For Meghan, an actress who never came close to the A-list while playing a paralegal on TV series Suits, she looked down on Beverly Hills – home to stars in homes significantly smaller than she now occupies – may not be an unpleasant feeling.
But while Beverly Ridge may be a small community, it is hardly tight-knit. “You don’t often see your neighbors. People often stay in their own homes, ”said Rochelle Maize, director of Luxury Estates for local real estate agent Nourmand and Associates.
Security is, of course, a priority. Next to the two imposing iron gates at the main entrance of the estate is a stone guardhouse.
A sign says, “Stop. Please contact the security guard before proceeding. Most homes, including Perry’s, have a further manned gatehouse.
For the privacy buffs, Beverly Ridge has the added benefit of being close to a small airport, Van Nuys, avoiding the media scrum at Los Angeles International.
Their $ 18 million, 25,000-square-foot home – where they allegedly live rent-free – has eight immense bedrooms, 12 large bathrooms, and sits on 22 acres of land. It is owned by Tyler Perry, an actor and entertainment magnate. Picture: inside the building
Resident residents don’t even have to worry about shopping – deliveries are brought in a golf cart.
An agency that supplies servants in the area says some homes have as many as 30 staff, even up to a full-time laundress.
On paper, the estate doesn’t exactly shine with potential soul mates for the Sussexes.
Neighbors include nondescript business magnates from China and Indonesia, Alexis Maas – the 68-year-old widow of chat show host Johnny Carson – and Robert Rivani, a property developer who spent a fortune on a Harry Potter and Maleficent-themed wedding two years ago.
Unfortunately, the more colorful Carlton Gebbia – a British actress, self-proclaimed ‘Celtic pagan witch’ and star of TV series Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills – left last December.
However, four miles away is the better-known Beverly Hills which is packed with potential buddies, including Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Aniston and Adele (the latter of whom has reportedly provided the Sussexes with advice on good private schools).
Real estate agent Rochelle Maize says there’s a lot of buzz in Beverly Hills about the newly arrived couple.
“It’s the newest thing to talk about – people saw the pictures where they were delivering food to the needy and they loved that,” she says.
“They like the cachet of those who live here, but high-profile people don’t like the paparazzi, so it would be wise to let them live behind gates.”
If Harry and Meghan are really looking for an unobtrusive and uncomplicated life, this extravagant home and neighborhood seems like a bizarre choice.
How ironic it would be if life next to Hollywood’s royal family turned out to be even more bearable for them than real life.