Police were called to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Southern California home nine times in as many months, it emerged Thursday after the couple expressed security concerns during their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Since the couple moved into their Montecito home with 1-year-old Archie in July 2020, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office responded to calls listed as phone requests, alarm activations and property crimes, the Telegraph reported, citing data obtained under Freedom of Information laws.
Police were called to their mansion four times that month during the early morning hours after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex moved from Los Angeles, where they had lived temporarily after leaving Canada at the beginning of the pandemic.
One call was listed as a phone request while the others were labeled “alarm activations,” according to the news outlet.
An August request was listed as “Misc Priority Incident,” while there was another alarm in November.
At 4:13 p.m. on Christmas Eve, deputies were called after a man allegedly trespassed on the property, according to the data.
A 37-year-old man was booked into jail on a misdemeanour trespassing charge and later released, the sheriff’s office said.
On Dec. 26, police were called at 2:54 p.m., which was listed under “Property Crimes.”
The most recent call — listed as an alarm activation — was at 2:21 a.m. Feb. 16, according to the report.
Representatives for the Sussexes declined to comment to the Guardian and a spokesperson for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office declined to provide details about the calls.
During the sit-down with Oprah, Harry described the couple’s decision to leave Canada for the US.
“The biggest concern was while we were in Canada, in someone else’s house, I then got told, short notice, that security was going to be removed. By this point, courtesy of the Daily Mail, the world knew our exact location,” he said.
“So suddenly 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 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,’” Harry added.
Meghan Markle revealed during the tell-all that she had written letters pleading with the royal family not to take away her husband’s personal protection, warning that he was facing death threats.
She also complained that depriving Archie of a title had put his safety at risk.
Protection for the Sussexes was withdrawn after they stepped down from royal duties.
The couple have been blasted as “arrogant” for assuming they would keep royal security after fleeing the UK — which would have cost taxpayers an estimated $5.5 million each year, according to retired chief superintendent Dai Davies, who headed the UK’s royalty protection unit.
“It shows you their naivety and sense of entitlement,” Davies told the Daily Mail. “It was simply arrogant to presume they and their baby would get protection.”
Harry admitted he “never thought” he would have his security detail removed when the couple broke away from the monarchy.
“I was born into this position. I inherited the risk. So that was a shock to me,” he said.