Meghan Markle and Prince Harry face fine of almost £400 if they water grass at their £11m LA mansion after drought

MEGHAN Markle and Prince Harry may face a right royal row if they water the grass at their £11million mansion in exclusive Montecito, California.

The couple could be slapped with a fine of $500 (£370) as officials impose a hosepipe ban amid a scorching drought.

And the Sussexes will likely be worried for their eight acres of rolling lawns as authorities hoard water supplies.

It's claimed Meghan and Harry spend an astonishing £15,000 a month on gardening at their sprawling estate.

The grounds of their home feature rose gardens, stylish topiary and 100-year-old olive trees.

But their blooming lavender bushes and stately Italian cypress trees could wilt in the heat as a 'stop watering' notice is issued to residents in affluent Santa Barbara.

It's feared the drought will spark wildfires in the mountainous region after 80 per cent of the state fell under "extreme" or "exceptional" drought conditions in December.

As a result, watering the grass within 48 hours of rainfall, filling decorative fountains or washing cars without a shut-off nozzle on the hose are all banned.


Meghan and Harry's nine-bed, 16-bathroom property is particularly susceptible to water shortages because it was built on land with no natural creeks, the Telegraph reports.

Despite that, there's a swimming pool on site – as well as an artificial pond, brook and waterfall.

One local water expert, who asked to be kept anonymous, told the publication: “There is only a certain amount of available water for the community, no one really knows how much. 

“Why should the wealthy be able to drain these community water sources at will, from their private wells without oversight, only to sustain lush green lawns and gardens?”

The cost of the fine is small change to most of those who live in Montecito, where houses sell for tens of millions of dollars.

But the Sussexes will doubtless observe the rules regardless.

Why should the wealthy be able to drain these community water sources at will?

The couple are passionate eco-warriors – despite their frequent use of private jets.

They even skipped a commercial flight home in favour of a private plane after a trip to New York that included a concert calling for climate change action.

And in December 2020, the Duke likened himself to a raindrop when he launched the Netflix-style streaming platform WaterBear.

The organisation is dedicated to conservation documentaries, campaigns and eco-travel films.

"Every single raindrop that falls from the sky relieves the parched ground,” he said.

“What if every single one of us was a raindrop, and if every single one of us cared?

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"At the end of the day, nature is our life source… But you can't uplift, educate, and inspire unless there is a form of action that follows.

"For me, it's putting in the ‘dos’ behind the ‘says’.

"There's a lot of people that say, but this is about action."

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