Now that the Sussexes' English home, Frogmore Cottage, has been cleaned out in the dead of night and apparently rented to Harry's cousin, Princess Eugenie, it looks like the Duke and Duchess' move to the New World is one they're 100% committed to. In the words of the British tabloid press, "Megxit" is complete.
The two have started their new life in the States, recently signing a deal with Spotify for their podcast to come out next year and launching their audio company, Archwell Audio. Moving across the pond, announcing a new podcast, it seems they've taken control of a new life. So now the question begs to be asked, what else is in store for the royal couple?
There's absolutely no reason, not even a shred of a rumor, to think the Sussexes are contemplating a move to the Lone Star State, or its capital city. But they wouldn't be the first to scrawl GTT (Gone To Texas) on their front door, hitch up the wagon and depart for greener pastures like multi-millionaire dollar podcast Joe Rogan recently did.
Here's why they should.
Harry's blood may be blue, but his household runs on the green stuff, and it always seems like there's never enough—even for the rich.
Harry's net worth is an estimated $40 million and Meghan's at $5 million, according to a wealth tracking site. That may be so, but it's possible to be worth a lot on paper while also short on cash. Much of Harry's worth is tied up in royal trusts that payout over a period of many years.
Montecito, California (CC)
Take real estate for example. Everyone knows about their $14.65 million home purchase in Montecito, California, a small town on the edge of Santa Barbara. It's a favorite of Hollywood types like Ellen, Oprah, Rob, Gwyneth, Katy, and George (Lucas).
But did you know the former royals took out a mortgage to buy the place? $9.5 million of borrowed money, reportedly. And the Daily Mail estimates the property may cost them over $4 million a year to maintain. Wow. You don't have to be a mathematician to figure out that their estimated combined $45 million isn't going to last long unless they come up with some sort of side hustle. Meghan used to make beer money doing calligraphy, but there aren't enough hours in the day to address $4 million worth of wedding invitations for wealthy brides who will pay for perfect penmanship.
So they'll find Netflix deals and speaking engagements and other ways to make a buck, but making it is one thing and keeping it is another. That's where Texas shines. The state's zero personal income tax compares favorably with California's big-and-getting-bigger tax bite.
The Golden State's top rate is over 13%, and a cash-strapped state government is considering an extra "millionaires tax" and possibly a "wealth tax" on assets, in addition to possibly raising the base rate. The Sussexes, in a hypothetical $10 million income year, would pay a minimum of $1.3 million in taxes to California. In Texas, they'd pay nothing.
With $1.3 million in yearly savings, that's enough to finance regular private jet flights to visit friends in LA, with enough left over to establish a college fund for their son, Archie.
The bigger problem for the Prince is that if he becomes a California resident, the state may try to impose its high tax rates on all of his income, even income earned from his royal trusts in England. There's no hard-and-fast rule for determining residency, but a detailed analysis can be found here.
Enough of that. Let's get to the fun stuff.
California's not a nickname place. Sure, some people have names like Moonbeam and Dweezil but those are their actual names.
In Texas, lots of people go by acquired monikers, from the nickname-dispensing former President George W. Bush ("43" or "W") to beloved homeless Austinite, known simply as "Leslie," a wandering, cross-dressing activist.
Why does this matter for Meghan and Harry?
Because their names are not really Meghan and Harry.
Meghan's name is Rachel. Rachel Markle. Meghan is her middle name, which she utilized when she became an actress.
Prince Harry's name is more complex. He's known by various names in various capacities:
- Henry Charles Albert David Mountbatten-Windsor (his given name)
- The Duke of Sussex
- His Royal Highness
- The Earl of Dumbarton (in Scotland)
- Baron Kilkeel (in Northern Ireland)
- Captain Harry Wales (British Army)
History is on Meghan's side. Not the English kind, dating from 1066 and all that, but her history of good times and fitting in, in Texas. Check out her 2017 Austin airport arrival for the Suits 100th episode cast party.
MEGHAN MARKLE Out in Austin 06/10/2017 https://t.co/ulVAFW0J72 https://t.co/npTiKh0MPo— Celebrities Pictures (@Celebrities Pictures)1497262925.0
Meghan is pitch-perfect Austin—stylishly torn jeans, sandals, casual white shirt, perfect movie star sunglasses, easy hairstyle and hat in hand. She could be on her way to the Four Seasons, the Oasis or Rainey Street in her attire. Joe Rogan and even Matthew McConaughey could learn some things from Meghan Markle, like how to look effortlessly casual while showcasing taste and style.
Sports and Outdoors
Harry follows the royal tradition of loving sports and the outdoors. If Netflix's "The Crown" is a credible source, even the Queen is nowhere happier than wandering the misty hills of her 50,000 acre Balmoral Estate in muddy "outdoor shoes," stalking deer and shooting grouse. There's talk that, to please Meghan, Harry has sold his guns and stopped hunting, an activity that's generally not accepted in California's coastal culture.
But it may be hard for Harry to give up a sport he's pursued all his life. He's hunted throughout Britain, Europe, South America and Africa, and, like most of the royals, was a fox hunter until the sport was banned in England in 2005.
If Harry wants to pick up the sport again, he'll fit in perfectly in Texas, where hunting is a traditional activity. The Texas Hill Country, adjacent to Austin and San Antonio, is packed with hunting ranches offering native and exotic species. With the similarities between African and Texan terrains and climates, many African species can be seen throughout Texas, including endangered species that are bred and sold on exotic game ranches.
It's debatable whether Austin is really weird anymore. It's unique, with a culture of its own that's distinct from other cities, but how weird can things be in a land of $15 hamburgers and a median Central Austin home price of $625,000?
Still, weirdness is tolerated here and even embraced, perhaps as a treasured symbol of what was. A dying ember of our central civic archetype.
Prince Harry, Meghan and Archie, as perfect and utterly conventional as they appear, are definitely weird—walking away from a life of effortless privilege, universal fame, vast wealth and access to anyone or anything that interests them. They've left it all to wallow, although at the top levels, in an ordinary world where we have to figure out how to pay the bills, find friends and create meaning in our lives.
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Austin police lifted the shelter in place order after searching the area around 9600 block of Great Hills Trail near the Arboretum for a 41-year-old man named Stephen Broderick, who they believe is responsible for shooting and ultimately killing three people in Northwest Austin
As of 5 p.m., the suspect is still at large and considered to be armed and dangerous, though police do not believe he is actively targeting anyone else. During a press briefing at 4:45 on Sunday, APD Interim police Chief Joseph Chacon said they are switching the search from the immediate area to a fugitive search as they have exhausted all the leads they currently have.
Chacon confirmed during the briefing that Broderick was a former Travis County Sheriff's Office deputy. Chacon said they will remain on the scene for "several hours" and there were 75 FBI agents on the scene as of the briefing.
APD @Chief_Chacon provides updated media briefing in relation to Great Hills Trail incident. - PIO8 https://t.co/47siNWhARI
— Austin Police Department (@Austin_Police) April 18, 2021
Police believe the victims, who have been identified as two Hispanic women and one Black man, knew their assailant. Chacon said a child was involved but is now safely in police custody. Broderick was described as 5 foot, 7 inches with a medium build and was last seen wearing a gray hoodie, sunglasses and a baseball cap.
"We're very sorry that obviously that this has happened and we continue to try and locate this individual, we are transitioning from a search in this area to a fugitive search and those efforts will continue until this person is located," Chacon said. "I don't want anyone to think that we're packing up and going home. We're going to continue to look for this individual because he continues to pose a threat to this community."
At a 2:30 p.m. press briefing, Chacon said APD responded to a "shoot, stab, hot shot" call on Great Hills Trail and Rain Creek Parkway at 11:46 a.m. to find the three victims with gunshot wounds. APD was joined by the Austin Fire Department. ATCEMS, the local chapter of the FBI, the U.S. Marshals, Department of Public Safety, and the Round Rock Police Department for support.
Though Austin Travis-County EMS originally reported it as an active shooter situation, police now believe the incident was an isolated domestic event.
"This is still an ongoing and active investigation and we do not have this individual in custody yet," Chacon said during the first press briefing. "We would ask if you have your neighbors, phone numbers, call or text them check on them and make sure that they're okay. We are concerned that he might possibly take a hostage and be himself sheltered somewhere waiting for us to leave."
At this time the Great Hills Trail scene is still active. We are still asking residents to shelter in place and report suspicious activity. While a suspect is still at large it appears this is a domestic situation that is isolated and there is no risk to the general public. -PIO8
— Austin Police Department (@Austin_Police) April 18, 2021
Three helicopters and SWAT teams were sent to the area, as well as 18 ATCEMS response assets. According to Austin Police, the incident occurred at an apartment complex near Great Hills Trail and Rain Creek Parkway.
#texasshooting #masshooting Arboretum shooting Austin. pic.twitter.com/SkIsgDoYHt
— Jamie Hammonds (@jamie_hammonds5) April 18, 2021
APD announced at 1:02 p.m. that Loop 360 will be shut down in both directions from Spicewood Springs to 183 due to the incident. The roads will remain closed until law enforcement is able to wrap up the crime scene and units demobilize.
TRAFFIC UPDATE: Loop 360 will be shut down in both directions from Spicewoods Springs to 183 due to ongoing incident. - PIO8
— Austin Police Department (@Austin_Police) April 18, 2021
This is a developing story.
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Formula 1 is returning to Florida for the first time since 1959, announcing that the brand-new Miami Grand Prix will join the calendar in 2022 and Austin will no longer be the only F1 race in the U.S.
Held at the Hard Rock Stadium complex in Miami Gardens, this will be the first race in the Sunshine State in 62 years. With a new track setup, F1 will loop the stadium, home of the NFL's Miami Dolphins.
Excited for @F1 @f1miami @HardRockStadium - a Global Entertainment Destination. This event will bring opportunities for so many and will be world-class. Thank you to @gregmaffei #chasecarey #stefanodomenicali @MayorRHarris @Ogilbert @CommishDiaz @MayorDaniella pic.twitter.com/n6dDDD1cPX
— Tom Garfinkel (@TomGarfinkel) April 18, 2021
The new 3.36 mile circuit has 19 corners, three straights and potential for three DRS zones, with expected top speeds of 198 mph.
Now with two races in the U.S., F1 President Stefano Domenicali said they will avoid having back-to-back events by keeping the Miami Grand Prix separate from the U.S. Grand Prix, which is held at Austin's Circuit of the Americas.
The date of the race has yet to be confirmed, though Domenicali said he expects the first race in a 10-year deal to take place in the second quarter of 2022. Austin's race will take place on Oct. 24 this year.
"The USA is a key growth market for us, and we are greatly encouraged by our growing reach in the U.S. which will be further supported by this exciting second race," Domenicali said.
Miami will mark the 11th race location in the U.S. since the Championship began in 1950: Circuit of The Americas in Austin; Dallas, Texas; Indianapolis, Indiana; Sebring, Florida; Riverside, California; Watkins Glen, New York; Long Beach, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Detroit, Michigan and Phoenix, Arizona. COTA was first opened in 2012.
Domenicali said F1 will be working with the FIA and the Hard Rock Stadium to leave a lasting impact on the community: discounted tickets for residents, a program to support local businesses and a STEM education program through F1 in schools.
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