Meghan Markle and Prince Harry shared a lot about their lives in their recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, but new details are still coming out. Markle and Prince Harry were furious over the removal of their royal security detail, and it sounds like they had good reason. Law enforcement sources told TMZ that the couple suffered two intrusions around Christmas.
Markle and Prince Harry's home in Montecito, California, was broken into twice in December — both by a 37-year-old man named Nickolas Brooks. Insiders said that Brooks was caught trespassing there on Christmas Eve and that the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office let him off with a warning. That may have been a mistake, since he was caught there again on Dec. 26. This time, he was arrested and charged with one count of misdemeanor trespassing.
Sources in the sheriff's office said that Brooks drove all the way from Ohio to visit the royals' home, and it is still not clear what he hoped to get from the visit. The sources could not even confirm whether Markle and Prince Harry were home at the time of either of his intrusions. From the sound of it, Brooks never made it into the house.
On their own, these two incidents caused no harm and strike many as no big deal, but they do add some context to Prince Harry's particular outrage about the loss of his security detail. In Oprah with Meghan and Harry, the couple explained that they were staying at the home of their friend, filmmaker Tyler Perry in Canada when they lost their security detail. With the coronavirus pandemic to set in at the time, Prince Harry panicked.
"While we were in Canada, in someone else's house, I then got told, short notice, that security was going to be removed," Prince Harry said. "So suddenly it dawned on me: 'Hang on, the borders could be closed, we're going to have our security removed, who knows how long lockdown is going to be, the world knows where we are, it's not safe, it's not secure, we probably need to get out of here."
"We didn't have a plan, and we needed a house, and he offered security as well, so it gave us breathing room to try to figure out what we were going to do," Markle added. Harry said that the official "justification" from Buckingham Palace was his and Markle's "change in status" from full-time royals to inactive members of the family. He said: "I pushed back and said 'is there a change of threat or risk?' Eventually, I got the confirmation that, no, the risk hasn't changed, but due to our change of status — we would no longer be 'official' members of the royal family."
Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special is still available to watch on CBS.com, or on the CBS app for iOS and Android devices. It will be available there until the first week of April. Disclosure: PopCulture is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.