Police called to Prince Harry and Meghan's California home nine times in as many months

Victoria Ward
·3 min read
Harry Meghan Sussex
Harry Meghan Sussex

Police have been called to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s California home nine times in as many months, it emerged on Thursday, after the couple expressed concern about the decision to strip them of round the clock police protection.

Since the couple moved into the property in Montecito, Santa Barbara, last July, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has responded to calls listed as phone requests, alarm activations and property crimes.

The data, obtained under Freedom of Information laws, was released after the couple shared their security fears in their television interview with Oprah Winfrey.

The Duchess, 39, revealed she had written letters pleading with the Royal family not to take away her husband’s personal protection officers, warning he was facing death threats.

She complained that depriving their son, Archie, of a title had put his safety and risk and said there had been “no explanation” for the decision.

UK police protection for the Sussexes was withdrawn after they had stepped down from royal duties, following a meeting of the Government body in charge of overseeing Royal and VIP protection.

The Prince of Wales then refused to foot the bill out of his own pocket.

Harry Meghan - BEN STANSALL /AFP
Harry Meghan - BEN STANSALL /AFP

The Duke admitted he "never thought" he would have his security detail removed when they broke away from the monarchy.

He said: "I was born into this position. I inherited the risk. So that was a shock to me."

The couple now pay their significant security bill themselves. The cost is so high it is thought to have been the main reason for their decision to seek lucrative business deals with companies such as Netflix and Spotify.

Officers were called to their home four times last July after the couple moved to Montecito from Los Angeles, where they lived temporarily after leaving Canada at the start of the pandemic.

One call is listed as a phone request while the others are labelled “alarm activations” and all occurred in the early hours of the morning.

An August request is listed as “Misc Priority Incdnt”, while there was a further alarm in November.

At 4.13pm on Christmas Eve, sheriff’s deputies were called to the property after a man was alleged to have trespassed.

Officers returned to the mansion on Boxing Day at 2.54pm for a call listed under “Property Crimes”.

Nickolas Brooks, 37, was booked into jail on a misdemeanour trespassing charge and later released, the sheriff’s office said.

The most recent call was at 2.21am on Feb 16 this year and is listed as an alarm activation.

Representatives for the Sussexes declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office declined to provide further details about the calls.

Explaining his decision to leave Canada for the US during the early days of the pandemic, the Duke told Ms Winfrey: “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.

“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’.”