In the midst of quiet wedding anniversary celebrations, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle found themselves amidst swirling rumors questioning the state of their marriage. The Sussexes marked their fifth year as a married couple on Friday, but without any public acknowledgement, speculation arose regarding Prince Harry's alleged "escape place" from his wife. A representative for the Duke swiftly refuted these allegations.
According to a statement provided to Page Six, Prince Harry's representative dismissed the rumors, stating categorically, "This is not true." The rumors were initially fueled by a report from The Sun suggesting Prince Harry had established a private refuge in a luxurious hotel close to their $14 million Montecito mansion, where he allegedly occasionally resided sans Meghan Markle.
The report further claimed that the Duke of Sussex had established an additional sanctuary in Los Angeles, centered around his work engagements. It was alleged that he often lodged at the San Vicente Bungalows, a high-end private club in Los Angeles, following his workout sessions at the nearby fitness center, Barry's Bootcamp.
Sources dubbed these alleged retreats as "escape places" for Harry. The West Hollywood club, known for stringent privacy measures, prohibits any photography inside the premises and requires guests to cover their phone cameras upon arrival.
Further regulations at the club disallow members from divulging any witnessed events during their visits and restrict them from approaching other members within the club's premises.
In the days leading up to their anniversary, the Sussexes reported a distressing two-hour car chase involving "aggressive paparazzi" after their departure from Ziegfeld Theater. Meghan was honored by Gloria Steinem at the Women of Vision Awards event held in Manhattan.
The royal couple were reported to have sought refuge at a friend's house to avoid leading the pursuing paparazzi there. This led to the lengthy chase, which an unnamed law enforcement source criticized the couple for, labeling them as "cheap" for not choosing to stay at a hotel.
The source told Page Six, "They should have just gotten a hotel for the safety of everyone." The source further alleged that the Sussexes had previously requested a discounted room at Carlyle, which was declined.
Security specialist Mark Selden underscored the importance of hotel accommodation for their safety, stating that a residential townhouse could not offer comparable security to that of a hotel, which he likened to a "fortress."