Meghan Markle and Prince Harry warned about mudslides at new £11 million home

As Meghan Markle and Prince Harry prepare to settle down in their swanky new £11 million Santa Barbara home, its former owners have issued a warning.

It was announced last week Meghan and Harry secretly bought the Montecito mansion, said to be next door to the home of media mogul Oprah Winfrey and left Los Angeles several weeks ago.

US reports say they made the move from film producer Tyler Perry's luxury Beverly Hills pad in the hope of raising baby Archie with increased privacy after drones were flown over the property.

But it seems they may have more to worry about if the claims of the luxury mansion's former owners are true.

Speaking to The Mail on Sunday multi-millionaire businessman Terry Cunningham, 61, issued a cautionary caveat about the deluxe property, dubbed The Chateau of Riven Rock, he built after purchasing 5.4 acres of land in 1999.

He said in 2018 devastating mudslides came crashing down the nearby hillside during floods following a period of wildfires and came within just 200ft of the property.

He said: "We sure as hell didn't think about it [the mudslides] when we were building but certainly it's something I would be thinking about now."

Mr Cunningham, chief executive of software company Descartes Labs, said the estate was modelled after French houses that the couple so admired and the couple only moved to downside in 2008.

He said: "We cycled through the South of France many years ago and fell in love with that style.

"It's all French Provencal – a beautiful French country house."

Mudslides aside there are also many other positives about the exclusive location, such as the home's sweeping lawns, tiered rose gardens, towering Italian cypress trees, blooming lavender and century-old olive trees.

Meanwhile neighbour and Meghan's bestie Oprah Winfrey is also known to throw a great party, such as her 50th in 2004 when she brought in the one and only Stevie Wonder to perform live.

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He recalled: "Oprah's 50th birthday party was on the next-door neighbour's property and that was fun because we got to listen to Stevie Wonder play live. That was kind of cool."

The swanky nine-bedroom pad will also offer plenty of space for the former senior royals to unwind, with its spa, two-bedroom guest house, library, games room, arcade, cinema and private gym.

There is also a large pool and tennis court, as well as an outdoor children's play area.

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'We loved it. We built it. It was our dream home and we built it as a family home and we still love the place," the Canadian software man added.

"We're really excited that they found a wonderful home in Montecito."

Meghan and Harry are said to have purchased the property in May through a shell company listed at the LA address of her long-term business manager Andrew Meyer and secretly moved in six weeks ago.

The previous owner was rumoured to be Russian billionaire Sergey Grishin.

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