Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could have easily used a secret “celebrity door” when they arrived for dinner at one of Los Angeles’ most exclusive private clubs.
Instead, a source said, the couple were happy to walk up to the front entrance of the San Vicente Bungalows, a chic West Hollywood hotspot owned by hotelier Jeff Klein, where they were caught on camera by waiting photographers.
Prince Harry, 38, is now believed to be part of an elite group of club members, including many studio execs and celebs, who pay the $4,200-a-year fee.
After having stayed largely quiet in the Santa Barbara area for nearly three years, Harry and Meghan seem to be playing the Hollywood game like the old pro that former “Suits” actress Markle is.
It’s not exactly a quick jaunt from Montecito, where they live in a $14.7 million mansion, to Hollywood.
Most days, the trip would take two hours each way.
As if staging a PR coup, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were all smiles when they arrived at San Vicente earlier this month — just hours after it was revealed that King Charles had asked the couple to give up their UK home, Frogmore Cottage.
The timing was a “bold move,” said a fellow club member who was in attendance.
“I think it was definitely a statement coming on the evening of the Frogmore news.”
It was certainly a visual statement.
“I know that San Vincente has a back door for celebrities, so no one needs to see you coming and going. They’re really all about privacy,” the member told Page Six.
“They have way bigger stars than Harry and Meghan coming in and no one will ever know they’re there. But Harry and Meghan said, ‘We’re fine’ and that they didn’t need to use it. And even when they left, they used the main entrance.”
A San Vicente spokesperson declined to comment on Harry’s membership.
The couple was joined by two friends as they dined at San Vicente, and happily chatted to fellow guests including actress Kate Hudson as they ordered a heap of healthy dishes, which, the club member said, they barely touched.
The following week, Markle, 41, had to make the long drive for a ladies’ lunch with Archewell employees at Gracias Madre, a trendy vegan hotspot in West Hollywood, to celebrate International Women’s Day. The group paid a visit to a women’s refuge, Harvest Home, where they created a pop-up baby boutique and donated to the charity.
The Sussexes have also been in town to meet with Netflix about new projects, Page Six is told, as part of their multi-million dollar deal with the streamer, and have been out for meals with friends.
One source who knows the couple denied they are going “all Hollywood,” adding: “They’ve only been out for dinner with friends and at the Archwell office recently, as well as a meeting with Netflix.”
Despite that, the Sussexes remain a subject of chatter in Los Angeles as one highly-placed industry executive told Page Six: “People are so mixed on them, it’s interesting.
Some people are all about them and some people think they’re just bizarre.
“But the town is so woke that you can’t say anything about anyone without offending someone.”
After the global attention surrounding their Netflix docu-series, “Harry & Meghan,” and the release of Harry’s bombshell memoir, “Spare,” everyone is certainly waiting to see what they will do next.
Amid chatter over their deal with Spotify, Page Six can confirm that Markle’s podcast, “Archetypes with Meghan,” will return despite the departure of Archewell podcast producer Rebecca Sananès.
The series will be helmed by the show’s current main producer, Terry Wood.
A Spotify spokeswoman declined to comment.
And the Sussexes have made several powerful friends in Santa Barbara who also spend time in LA. Aside from Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres, Markle also considers former make-up artist and multi-millionaire entrepreneur Victoria Jackson a close pal.
Jackson, 67, rose to fame in the 1980s as the creator and infomercial queen of “no makeup” makeup, finding success selling her products on QVC.
In 2021, Jackson launched Kind Science, an age-positive skin care line, with DeGeneres. WWD magazine reported she met Markle through their mutual friend, feminist icon Gloria Steinem.
Jackson loaned her Santa Barbara ranch for Markle’s cover shoot for her controversial interview with New York Magazine’s “The Cut” last August, in which the Duchess said she and Harry were happy to quit Britain and that they had upset the royal family just by existing. In the interview, Markle called Jackson a “safe harbor.”
The Sussexes are now reportedly planning to produce romantic comedies and move away from creating documentaries. As Page Six previously revealed, they have been working with top Hollywood moneyman Adam Lilling for some time.
The couple is also planning to produce more “fun” scripted series, according to the UK Daily Telegraph, but they won’t be appearing in any of the projects themselves.
It’s also highly unlikely they’ll continue working with director Liz Garbus, who made their Netflix show.
As Page Six reported, two couple had a fractious relationship with Garbus after, a Netflix source said, “[The Sussexes] made significant requests to walk back content they themselves have provided.”
“There will be more of a heavy focus on fictional, scripted content,” one insider claimed of Harry and Meghan’s upcoming projects, which sound very Hollywood. “It will be rom-coms, feel-good and light-hearted programs.”
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