Meghan and Harry ‘not willing to give up elite life’ as ‘Hollywood royalty’ dream dwindles

Meghan and Harry excluded from Jubilee celebrations

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Meghan, 40, and Prince Harry, 37, stepped back from royal life in March 2020. They relocated to Meghan’s home state, California, raising the couple’s two children in Montecito.

But royal branding expert Professor Cele Otnes questioned to Express.co.uk how the life the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are pursuing across the pond is compatible with their severance from the Firm.

She asked: “Why do you need to live like Hollywood royalty when you’re not Hollywood royalty?”

She continued: “You’re royalty but you’ve shunned that royalty, so what are you as a brand?”

Professor Otnes described how the Duke and Duchess appear reluctant to give up opulence, but that they would win more public support if they “distanced themselves” from an “elite” lifestyle.

She said: “They’re not willing to give up the trappings of this elite life, but honestly, if you ask me, that would be the way to brand themselves.”

“Not just geographically, they have to distance themselves lifestyle-wise.”

The Duke and Duchess have been living in an estimated £11million mansion in Montecito for just over a year.

It is believed that their Chateau of Riven Rock boasts a private tennis court, playground and spa.

It is also thought to be kitted out with a fully-fledged wine cellar, complete with an elaborate chandelier.

The house itself is tucked away on a private road in Santa Barbara, with a long driveway and security gates.

The neighbourhood counts the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and Tom Cruise as the Sussexes’ close neighbours.

But making their way back from their new home, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex returned to the UK earlier this month for their first official visit in over two years.

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They brought with them three-year-old Archie and Lilibet, who turned one on June 4.

The Sussex family maintained a low profile during the Jubilee celebrations, watching the Trooping the Colour parade that kicked off the extended weekend from a more private viewing point.

The parade marked the Queen’s official birthday, and the Sussexes joined senior royals peering at the procession from the Major General’s office at Horse Guards Parade.

They did not appear with working royals on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the RAF flypast closing the spectacle.

Buckingham Palace said ahead of the celebrations that the decision had been made “after careful consideration”.

But they did step out with the Royal Family entourage for the service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral the following day.

This was their only official engagement of the weekend, and the couple departed for the US shortly after.

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