Meghan and Harry are 'virtual ghosts' in their Montecito hometown as neighbours tell all

Meghan and Harry have been described as "virtual ghosts" in their US hometown by locals -Credit:Getty
Meghan and Harry have been described as "virtual ghosts" in their US hometown by locals -Credit:Getty

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are said to be virtual ghosts in their Montecito hometown in the US as their neighbours have lifted the lid on how often they really see them.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are seeking to build their brand down in Hollywood and are rarely seen in their idyllic coastal town in California, which is situated just outside of Santa Barbara.

A local named Sophia, who works at a women's boutique in Montecito's popular Coast Village Road said: "Day to day people don't see them. I don't think it's too much of an impact here."

Other Montecito locals have echoed this claim as they say that the former royal couple lead more recluse lives compared to other famous residents, including Oprah Winfrey, the Express reports.

The co-owner of Tresor Montecito said: "It's kind of the way Montecito is anyway, everyone just does their own thing."

Meghan Markle and Harry ‘house hunting in NEW celeb hotspot after annoying neighbours at £12m California mansion’
Meghan and Harry currently reside in a nine bedroom mansion in Montecito, California -Credit:Google Earth

The couple savours their privacy from the comfort of their extravagant nine-bedroom, 16-bathroom mansion worth approximately $14.7 million.

Their grand abode possibly factors into why they are rarely seen loafing around in public.

Commenting on the rarity of their appearances, Zach Rosen, managing editor of Montecito Journal said: "It's pretty big news when they are seen or do come out. Generally speaking, they're fairly private individuals".

Rosen insists that even if they did, the paper is reluctant to write anything about the couple that hasn't been extensively reported elsewhere.

He said: "We're usually taking the stance that these are our community members and we do want to respect their privacy.

"We probably feel the media presence more than their presence."

Daytime aerial view of downtown Montecito, California
Montecito locals claim that everyone "just does their own thing" in the idyllic coastal town in California -Credit:Getty

Mary Sheldon, proprietor of the Tecolote bookshop in the Upper Village, resides less than a mile uphill from the globally renowned couple.

The bookshop owner says that Oprah Winfrey has made a visit to her store before but the Sussexes' have never showed face.

She said: "I have seen black SUVs on my road. Other than that, it has no impact at all".

On the launch day of Prince Harry's memoir 'Spare', Sheldon opened her shop in the hope of selling some copies despite a mandatory evacuation notice in the area due to severe weather.

She said: "I sold a few copies that day, and so far, maybe 20 copies."

Get the latest celebrity gossip and telly news sent straight to your inbox. Sign up to our daily Showbiz newsletter here.