Residents of the exclusive suburb of Hope Ranch in Santa Barbara, California, are expressing their discontent over the potential relocation of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

The royal couple, who currently reside in nearby Montecito after purchasing a $14.65 million mansion in 2021, have been rumored to be interested in acquiring a property in Hope Ranch for approximately nine months, as reported by the Santa Barbara news press.

According to a realtor from Hope Ranch, concerned locals continue to reach out, expressing their apprehensions about the couple and their security team potentially disrupting the tranquility of the community.

In a neighborhood where houses can cost up to $22.5 million, privacy is a major attraction, with only three public roads.

The realtor, who requested anonymity, revealed that people are unhappy with the prospect and wish for the couple to remain in Montecito, avoiding any unwanted attention in Hope Ranch.

Another realtor and Santa Barbara native confirmed these sentiments, stating that some residents claim to have spotted Markle on the town’s private beach.

There is worry among locals that Harry and Meghan’s arrival may transform their area into an extension of Montecito, a star-studded suburb known for housing celebrities such as Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, Adam Levine, Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston, and Ellen DeGeneres.

Furthermore, concerns have arisen due to reports from Montecito neighbors.

An employee from a local shop alleged to the New York Post that the couple’s security team had closed streets and hiking trails, causing significant disruption to the small beach community accustomed to its privacy.

The employee expressed discontent, emphasizing the substantial investment residents have made to live in the area.

However, a source close to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex refuted these claims, questioning the possibility of private security closing a public road.

The introduction of high-profile individuals like Harry and Meghan would undoubtedly alter the area, which is something locals vehemently oppose.

It is anticipated that the homeowners association would strongly resist such changes, as maintaining privacy is the primary appeal of Hope Ranch.

A former resident who used to live in Hope Ranch highlighted the HOA’s commitment to preserving the community’s character and privacy.

They stated that the area’s exclusivity, including the private beach, sets it apart from the surrounding region.

Properties in Hope Ranch rarely enter the market, and sellers have the luxury of choosing their buyers.

It is a close-knit and affluent community with generational wealth that has been passed down through the years.

While recent reports suggest that Harry and Meghan were secretly exploring houses in Malibu, the second realtor insists that the couple has been contemplating a move to Hope Ranch for an extended period.

The news has sparked controversy among residents, with many expressing their dissatisfaction with the potential change.

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