There are plenty of reasons why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may have questioned moving to California, but a stinky smell in the air likely isn’t one of them.
The former senior working royals shocked the world when they quit their jobs and left the U.K. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent time living in Canada for a while before making a more permanent move to the United States. They settled in Santa Barbara, California, with their young son Archie Harrison, and have since added a daughter, Lilibet, to the family.
Much ado has been made about the couple’s sprawling $14.65 million private estate, which includes nine bedrooms and a whopping 19 bathrooms. But now reports are saying there’s a terrible smell surrounding the mansion that comes from the nearby Andrée Clark Bird Refuge, a 42 acre saltwater marsh that’s said to be among the largest wildlife refuges in the county.
That’s all well and good for the birds. However, Montecito residents are less than thrilled about the stench that the marsh creates in that area, the New York Post reported.
“It smells like an offal that has been rotting in the sun. It makes my stomach churn,” one resident told The Mirror, referring to the stink of “stagnant” water.
The Post explained that pipeline improvements could help reduce the bad smells, but those could take until autumn to complete.
“The odor issues are sporadic and sometimes they are worse in some conditions. I’ve seen lots of homeowners closing their windows when it wafts over,” Santa Barbara’s clean water manager Cameron Benson told the Post.
“The Bird Refuge does sometimes emit an unpleasant odor,” Benson continued. “But it does not smell now, and has not for some time.”
This was apparently not the first time the Sussex family had to put up with less-than-desirable smells. It was reported last year that Harry and Meghan had purchased their home near a working cannabis farm, which is permitted now that marijuana is legalized in California.
The Sussex’s neighbors have begged the city to install “odor control systems” which would help reduce the stink of marijuana plants growing in the 20 acre greenhouse nearby.
Birds and weed were likely not pressing concerns for Harry and Meghan, who were mostly interested in privacy on their terms after being hounded by British photographers at every turn when they were working royals. Harry and Meghan found seclusion on the 7 acre estate, and now live in the vicinity of other celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ellen DeGeneres, Orlando Bloom, and Katy Perry.
However, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are still interested in staying in the limelight despite their insistence on needing privacy. Harry and Meghan have an exclusive partnership with Spotify that began in 2020 and would involve the couple hosting and producing multiple podcasts. This relationship led them to weigh in on accusations of “misinformation” on the platform, though so far they haven’t threatened to leave.
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