People: Duchess Meghan ‘just wants to focus on their kids & their life in Montecito’

People Magazine’s cover story this week is all about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and “what’s next” for them after they lost their Spotify contract, basically. Like, there’s enough evidence that the Sussexes have taken some professional hits this year, but I maintain that the biggest issue facing Harry and Meghan is not about their finances or fictitious marriage drama or anything like that, it’s a simple issue of the lack of a communications strategy. They’re really bungling their comms and they have been for years. Fix the comms and we won’t have to constantly hear the sole media narrative that the Sussexes are “struggling” or in need of a “comeback.” Anyway, beyond the conversation about their business, People Mag is also reporting on what their life is like in Montecito:

Family relationships: Although Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, is a frequent guest at the couple’s Montecito home, Harry’s family remains estranged. He is still not on speaking terms with his brother, Prince William, nor did he spend any meaningful time with the Prince of Wales or King Charles at their father’s coronation in May. Since telling Oprah Winfrey during their 2021 sit-down that she felt unwelcomed and unsupported by some members of the royal family, Meghan has taken a “much softer approach about Harry’s family,” a California source tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s cover story.

Meghan wants to move on from the Windsors: “The situation with his father and brother is still very difficult for him,” the source says. “Meghan is always supportive of it though. She used to be negative about it. It seems she has kind of moved on now.” Another insider adds, “They have moved continents. They have set up a new life with their kids.” The source says Meghan “just wants to focus on their kids and their life in Montecito.”

Child-rearing: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex “are very united when it comes to family values and how to raise their kids. They are both great parents,” the source adds. “Their kids are their world.” The couple’s “goal,” says a source, is for Prince Archie, 4, and Princess Lili, 2, to “have a normal life as much as possible.” The children’s upbringing is “very play-based. They have several play areas, including a climbing gym on their property.”

School pickups: The source adds that Archie and Lili have playdates, they spend time with their parents at the beach and Archie attends school. And Meghan is just one of the moms at school pickup, a longtime Montecito resident says: “She talks to everyone; there is no pretense.”

The Sussexes mostly keep to themselves. “They’re not into a big scene. They prefer smaller group hangouts at home, karaoke, that sort of thing,” says a friend. “Harry’s a beer and steak-and-potatoes kind of dude. They’re playful and flirty when they’re hanging out.”

Harry is embracing his American life: A family insider tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s cover story that for Prince Harry, it’s a “very different” life, and one he “seems to be embracing.”

Harry is a regular at the beach with Pula. A resident tells PEOPLE that during a beach visit, “The cutest dog dropped his ball by me, and I looked up to ask the owner if I could throw it, and it was Prince Harry. He said, ‘Of course,’ and made small talk while I played and pet the dog. It was so cute.” The resident added that the Duke of Sussex “didn’t wear a hat; I could see his red hair.”

[From People Magazine]

There’s also a quote from a Montecito person about how the community feels very protective of them but some people complain about the paparazzi. The vibe is absolutely that Harry and Meghan mostly keep to themselves around town, that they’re private and low-key. I find these quotes curious though: “Meghan is always supportive of it though. She used to be negative about it. It seems she has kind of moved on now”… Meghan “just wants to focus on their kids and their life in Montecito.” I do believe that Meghan is the one who is more like “let’s look ahead, let’s move on from all of the Salt Island drama,” which also explains their utter non-engagement when it comes to the hate machine churning away for years. I’ve always thought that Meghan was more well-suited for royal life than anyone gave her credit for – much like the Windsors, Meghan is an ostrich syndrome champion. Ignoring the negativity doesn’t make it go away.

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