The Duchess of Sussex’s birthday celebrations this month saw a major shift in the couple’s inner circle.
Rather than surround themselves with the glamorous names that attended their wedding, Harry and Meghan appear to be growing closer to a group called the Montecito Mafia in Los Angeles.
Three years after buying an £11million mansion in exclusive Santa Barbara County, California, many of the people they spend time with are neighbors.
Rumors followed that David and Victoria Beckham were the latest friends to be shunned by Harry’s former actress wife.
And their new connections seem to have a lot more in common with lifestyle blogger Meghan, 42, than they do with former military man Harry, 38.
A local source said: “Her friends are very into the Gwyneth Paltrow-style wellness trends.”
Many are linked to neighbor Ellen DeGeneres, whose talk show ended last year over allegations of bullying.
Our insider claimed Harry, who was recently on a five-day trip to Japan and Singapore, is “happier at home” with his children Archie, four, and Lilibet, two.
The couple have only appeared in public together four times this year, one of which was at a meal with friends. Meghan will travel to Germany with her husband next month to the Invictus Games, which he founded.
Both don’t have much time for their families as their estranged father Thomas hopes to reconnect after suffering a stroke and Harry quickly leaves King Charles’ coronation building.
We consider the changing loyalties of the self-banished prince and his wife.
THE IN CROWD
The “Wellness” people: This week Kadi Lee posted a picture of her enjoying a relaxing late birthday dinner with Meghan.
The “wellness” entrepreneur is a co-owner of a company called Highbrow Hippie, which sells products like “Moonstone Crystal Essence.”
Her blog, which she has shared with Myka Harris for 11 years, is like Meghan’s previous blog, The Tig, with messages about “conscious community”.
Described as Meghan’s “hair colorist” last year, celebrity stylist Kadi has worked with Elizabeth Hurley and Julia Roberts.
Gwyneth Paltrow shares an interest in lifestyle blogs with Meghan, who she had dinner with in May.
There have been talks of the Duchess bringing The Tig back, but it could be difficult to keep up with Gwynnie’s Goop brand.
Tina Brown, who wrote an unauthorized biography of Meghan, said: “The tongue-in-cheek sensationalism of Goop’s This Smells Like My Vagina candle could not have been found on the seriously tasteful Tig.”
Ellen’s friends: Much of the Sussex social network revolves around Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, Portia de Rossi. Meghan watched the Barbie movie with Portia this month.
The Ally McBeal star, 50, was friends with the Suits actress before she met Harry and lives in Montecito with Ellen.
Well-connected cosmetics mogul Victoria Jackson is a longtime friend of Ellen’s who has recently entered the social circle. Credited with creating the “No Make-up” makeup in the 1980s, Victoria is married to Bill Guthy, whose agency markets Jennifer Lopez’s beauty lines.
Meanwhile, Amanda Leone is considered Meghan’s most trusted hairstylist and lives nearby. She is another friend of Ellen’s.
performance figures: Ari Emanuel’s company owns the Mixed Martial Arts Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The 62-year-old businessman is the CEO of talent agency Endeavour, which Meghan signed earlier this year. Ari’s wife Sarah Staudinger, 34, founder of the cult accessory brand Staud, is also friends with the couple.
Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd, 34 – CEO of Bumble – and her Texas oil heritage husband Michael Herd joined Harry and Meghan on a sushi date in May.
Her inner circle also includes 16-time Grammy winner David Foster and his fifth wife, Katharine McPhee.
American Idol runner-up Katharine said, “My husband has a wonderful relationship with Harry, like father and son.”
Harry’s friendship with David, 73, came about through Meghan, who has known Katharine, 39, since childhood.
They are also said to be “very good friends” with Oprah Winfrey, who they granted their first interview after leaving the royal family.
New showbiz “friends”: Harry is linked to Saturday Night Fever star John Travolta as the actor danced with Princess Diana at the White House in 1985.
Meghan and her husband reportedly hit it off with the 69-year-old star when they met at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.
They hung out in the VIP Polo Lounge, but it’s unclear if this will be a long-term connection.
One of the couple’s few date nights this year was with 50-year-old There’s Something About Mary star Cameron Diaz and her rocker husband Benji Madden. In May, they ate together in Montecito.
Old friends: Lucy Fraser is a longtime friend who partied with the Duchess at a Taylor Swift concert in Los Angeles last week.
She and Meghan met in 2014, traveled to Costa Rica together and worked on The Tig. Lucy was featured in the Netflix documentary and at her wedding.
And Harry has stuck with Argentinian polo player Nacho Figueras.
They were in Singapore together for a charity polo match earlier this month and have been friends since 2007. Nacho, 46, is another friend of Ellen’s.
Meghan met model Kelly Zajfen through her first husband Trevor Engelson.
She and Harry are believed to be dining with her and her attorney Julian at the private members’ club at San Vicente Bungalows in Hollywood.
THE OUT CROWD
Meghan’s audience: David and Victoria Beckham welcomed Harry and Meghan into their world shortly after the couple met.
But according to author Tom Bower, that friendship is now over – Meghan is said to have decided to sidestep Victoria.
Harry reportedly invited former England captain Becks to Australia for the Invictus Games but did not meet him.
There are also rumors that Meghan has left her old friend and bridesmaid Jessica Mulroney out.
The 43-year-old fashion stylist maintained a decades-long friendship with the Duchess, which is believed to have suffered after blogger Sasha Exeter accused Jessica of “textbook white privilege” three years ago – and Meghan is said to have distanced herself.
But Jessica claimed that she still FaceTimed Harry’s wife.
Made In Chelsea’s Millie Mackintosh said she felt “snubbed” by Meghan after they became closer in the UK.
Millie, 33, who was married to pop star Professor Green, spent afternoons with her at Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire before being dropped off after meeting Harry.
The reality show star said, “I texted her and said, ‘Hey, I hope you’re okay, I’m thinking of you.'” She sent me this really abrupt message.”
Harry’s audience: Old Etonian Tom “Skippy” Inskip’s association with Harry dates back to the infamous nude photos and “hippy crack” quips over a decade ago.
But according to Sussex journalist Omid Scobie’s 2020 book Finding Freedom, Harry was furious when Tom questioned the speed of his relationship with Meghan.
Tom is said to have been “punished” for not being invited to the couple’s wedding reception that evening.
A similar fate befell Thomas and Charlie van Straubenzee, who are torn between rowing siblings Harry and Prince William.
Thomas is godfather to William’s daughter Princess Charlotte and is said to no longer have any contact with Harry.
Some of the Prince’s former military colleagues disapproved of the content of Harry’s best-selling autobiography, Spare.
There was unrest over Harry, who was part of a helicopter crew operating in Afghanistan, and speaking about the number of enemies he had killed.