THEY might both be parks but they are five-and-a-half thousand miles – and whole worlds – apart. One is Hancock Park, a mid-priced suburb of Los Angeles, beloved of those trying to make their fame and fortune in Hollywood and the other is Windsor Great Park, home to the Queen and, more recently, Meghan Markle.
What a long way the former TV actress has come since she called Hancock Park home. Now her Californian “starter home” could be yours for a cool £1.5million. The four-bedroom house Meghan shared with her first husband, briefly, has gone up for sale. A 2,262-sq-ft colonial-style property built in 1924, it has a stunning open-plan format with natural hardwood flooring throughout the downstairs, including in the large, eat-in kitchen with its stainless steel appliances, marble countertops and gold trimmings. The sprawling ground floor boasts a bright family room, a quaint fireplace, elegant white mouldings and high ceilings.
All of the home’s bedrooms are on the second floor, with two having en‑suite bathrooms.
Prospective buyers wanting to soak up the Californian sun can eat outdoors in the garden’s al fresco dining spot.
The shaded seating area gives way to a mid-size garden with a second seating area in the sun, and palm trees overhead.
Meghan Markle lived here with her husband (Image: Daily Express)
Meghan Markle was a little known actress when she landed a role in Suits (Image: NBC/Universal Media)
The property includes a private garage at the end of a gated driveway for maximum security.
It’s clad in whitewashed timber boards with shutters on the upper floor and has a red brick chimney.
Back when Meghan fleetingly lived there, she was making a living writing her now defunct blog called The Tig and jobbing as an actress in a medical drama along with bit parts in Hollywood films.
Meghan Markle and her first husband Trevor Engelson (Image: Billy Farrell/Patrick McMullan via Getty)
The year was 2011 and the future Duchess of Sussex was married to TV producer Trevor Engelson after a relaxed beach wedding in Jamaica that September.
The Duchess of Sussex, 38, met Trevor, 42, in 2004 when she was just starting out in her acting career.
They moved to Hancock Park in 2011 while Meghan was looking for her big break.
And it came three months before the couple had even tied the knot when Meghan landed the role of Rachel Zane in a new legal drama called Suits.
In fact, it is fair to say that Trevor spent most of the time in the house without his new bride.
“When she landed the role in Suits, Meghan became a legitimate bonafide celebrity,” says royal correspondent Ashley Pearson. “Although Suits was set in New York, the majority of the filming took place in Toronto and Meghan moved from Hancock Park to the Canadian city just months after she married Trevor.
Frogmore Cottage where Harry and Meghan live (Image: Getty)
“This was the first time she would have had her name called out on a red carpet. This was the first time she would have been papped. So this was a big adjustment for her and it all happened away from home.”
Just 18 months later, in 2013, Meghan filed for divorce – citing “irreconcilable differences”.
According to Andrew Morton’s 2018 biography Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, her husband back in Hancock Park had no idea the marriage was in crisis.
The Duchess reportedly dumped her boyfriend of nine years “totally out of the blue” and returned both her wedding and engagement rings in the post.
One of Trevor’s friends said the producer was left feeling “like he was a piece of something stuck to the bottom of her shoe”.
Miss Pearson added: “The problem with the marriage was the distance. As soon as they got married, she got the gig on Suits and she was in Toronto and he was in LA. The relationship just didn’t last.”
Desperate to keep a base on the West Coast after she’d made Toronto her primary residence, Meghan and her ex rented out Hancock Park before selling it on.
It is while living in the Canadian city that she met Prince Harry on a blind date set up by a mutual friend.
Meghan and Harry are said to be planning a royal tour of the United States when their baby, Archie, is old enough to travel.
Meghan and Trevor’s kitchen (Image: Daily Express)
It is thought that one of the stops will be her former Hollywood stomping ground.
But it’s also rumoured that the royal couple is considering buying a property in LA so they can be nearer to Meghan’s mum, Doria Ragland.
“Meghan definitely wants a place in Los Angeles – she loves the city, the lifestyle and climate,” a source said. “Ultimately, she is a California girl and can breathe easier there.”
Meghan Markle’s former house (Image: Daily Express)
For now, Meghan will have to make do with Grade II-listed Frogmore Cottage, the house near Windsor Castle where, as the newly-wed Duchess of Sussex, Meghan moved in this year.
During the £2.4million taxpayer-funded renovations, five adjoining houses were knocked together to make one huge “cottage”.
On top of this, the home had the beams and floors replaced and a new gas and water system was installed.
The house was fitted with 10 bedrooms, new bathrooms, and a luxurious kitchen.
One of the bedrooms with en suite in Meghan’s former house (Image: Daily Express)
A gym and a yoga studio were also added.
The house was completely redecorated and a state-of-the-art nursery was put in for the royal baby.
Although a lot was spent on renovations for Meghan and Harry, a royal spokesman said Frogmore Cottage was “earmarked for renovation” and the Duke and Duchess paid for all “fixtures and fittings” themselves.
Meghan Markle is very close to her mother Doria Ragland (Image: Press Association)
Many predict that despite Meghan’s move from Hancock Park, first to Toronto then into the heart of the British royal family, it may not be the last the West Coast has seen of her.
She is extremely close to Doria and mother and daughter hate being separated by such a distance.
Meghan, Harry and their friends have made no secret of her hatred of publicity and what she calls an invasion of her privacy.
“Spending time in LA would also allow Meghan some freedom and independence from both the Palace and the Press – and more control over her life and the people around her,” a source said.
“She is a duchess in the UK, but she would be a queen in LA.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK