A Piece of the Rock

By Richard Mineards   |   August 15, 2023

You too can become a neighbor of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle!

A 1.52-acre building plot in upper Montecito, just a tiara’s toss or two from the tony twosome’s estate, has just come on the market for $4,100,000.

It is being sold by the Marsha Kotlyar Estate Group.

Prince of Polo

Prince Harry is winging it to Singapore to take part in his charity Sentebale’s annual charity polo match this week.

The Duke of Sussex, 38, co-founded the charity in 2006 to help vulnerable children in Lesotho, Botswana, and Malawi, including those affected by extreme poverty and the HIV-AIDS epidemic.

The charity’s Instagram account, which boasts nearly 29,000 followers, reveals the travel plans include a brief stop in Tokyo, Japan, to participate in a summit.

King Charles III’s youngest son will head up the Royal Salute Sentebale team with Argentinian polo ace and local Nacho Figueras, also a Sentebale ambassador, who will play for the Singapore Polo Club team.

Over the past 13 years, the annual polo event has raised $15 million to support children and young people in southern Africa.

Then next month, he and wife, Meghan Markle, will be in Dusseldorf, Germany, for the Invictus Games, a Paralympic-style event for servicemen and veterans founded by Harry. It will be their first official public appearance since May.

On the Spot

An interesting read in The New York Times in an article about our Eden by the Beach by Amy Larocca.

“If wellness were made manifest by a single dot on an enormous world map, that dot would land neatly on Montecito,” she proclaims.

“It’s where wealthy people who have succeeded in becoming their best selves go in order to maintain the exalted state.”

Larocca adds: “With the Santa Ynez Mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west, and air that smells faintly of lavender and eucalyptus, Montecito is one of the rare places that looks even better in real life than it does on Instagram.”

The article lists the obligatory bold-faced-named residents, including Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Rob Lowe, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Adam Levine, Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Larocca describes the community as “a dizzying combination of old wealth, new wealth, and outrageous physical beauty that has begun to attract an ever-wider range of dreamers.”

But she warns: “…Too much desirability, too many people wanting a piece of the spectacular pie.”

Air She Goes

Gwyneth Paltrow has partnered with Airbnb, offering one of her two guest houses at her $4.9 million “eco mansion” for one night for one lucky fan and a guest as a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

The Oscar winner, who bought the 14,000-sq.-ft. four-bedroom, four-bathroom property in 2016, has shown a visual tour of the impressive, renovated pad, “inviting you to come stay at my Montecito guest house for a night.”

The Goop founder revealed Airbnb had the idea to do it in a bid “to make the world a little less lonely.”

The listing will go live August 15 at 10 am PST on AirBnB’s website.

Paltrow says she might also join the winners for dinner….

Prime Time

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, currently in California on his first family holiday in four years, has a strong Santa Barbara connection, I learn.

Sunak, 43, the U.K.’s leading politician since 2022, met his wife Akshata Murty, by whom he has two daughters, Krishna, 12, and Anoushka, 10, while he studied as a Fulbright Scholar at Stanford University, and also owns an $8 million penthouse in Santa Monica.

He enrolled at Stanford aged 24 after graduating from Oxford University and working as an analyst at Goldman Sachs.

In 2009, while setting up a new hedge fund, Theleme Partners, which launched a year later with $700 million under management, they settled down to live in our Eden by the Beach. He also joined the board of the Boys & Girls Club, a popular charity for needy children.

Before and AFTRA

As a longtime member of SAG-AFTRA, like my fellow TV commentators and correspondents, as well as actors, I am officially on strike and unable to do TV appearances and broadcasts.

However, Maison Mineards Montecito has been busy with interviews on my royal neighbors, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Riven Rock, with People magazine and the London Sun.

Matt Wilkinson, royal editor for Rupert Murdoch’s Sun, stayed at the Montecito Inn to get a feel of our rarefied enclave, and Jason Sheeler, deputy West Coast editor of the celebrity glossy People, did a lengthy phone interview for a new cover story.

On the Money

It was clearly in the cards when a Ventura resident took home $137,921 after an unforgettable hand on a four-card poker table and triggered a special jackpot at the Chumash Casino Resort.

The lucky recipient, identified as Don W., was playing a poker novel game when he achieved a rare royal flush while betting on a special $1 side wager to qualify for the multi-progressive table games jackpot.

He was seated next to his wife, who was also in the hand and won a $1,000 “envy bonus” for playing a $1 side wager.

The couple says the money will be divided between their seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

It won’t be the first time Lady Luck has shone on them. The wife won a $35,000 jackpot 10 years ago!


Meghan Markle and Prince Harry with friends at Tre Lune celebrating her 42nd birthday… Actor Steve Martin lunching at the Belmond El Encanto… Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones imbibing at the Rosewood Miramar’s Manor Bar.

Pip! Pip!


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