Rob Lowe said Starbucks lines were getting longer after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry moved to his ritzy neighborhood. Baristas say he’s wrong.

Side by side of rob lowe on stage and prince harry and meghan markle posing together
Rob Lowe, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle. Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images; Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images
  • Rob Lowe claimed Meghan Markle and Prince Harry had changed his town of Montecito, California.
  • Lowe said the royals were even causing longer lines at his local Starbucks.
  • But baristas there said the royals weren’t to blame – and that they’d never even seen Lowe.
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Rob Lowe recently made headlines when he spoke about being neighbors with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in his “sleepy little town” of Montecito, California.

Lowe is one of the many celebrities who call Montecito home, joining the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Ariana Grande, and Ellen DeGeneres.

But it was the Duke and Duchess of Sussex whom Lowe said had changed the small Santa Barbara County town, with Lowe telling E News that they were the cause of longer lines at his local Starbucks.

“Once the royals move into your neighborhood, the neighborhood is never going to be the same,” he added. “The good news is property values go up. The bad news is the lines are longer at Starbucks.”

Prince harry and meghan markle walk through the woods holding hands
Harry and Markle. Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool/Getty Images

Intrigued by Lowe’s comments, and wanting to see the star-studded community for myself, I recently spent a night in Montecito. I wanted to find out whether the town had actually changed after Markle and Harry moved in and see how the locals felt about their new royal neighbors.

I even stopped by the Starbucks in Montecito, where the baristas confirmed that there had been longer lines. But, they added, it had nothing to do with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

“Because of COVID, there’s a lot of mobile orders,” one of the workers explained to me. “So the lines to pick up have been longer.”

The exterior of a Starbucks store in Montecito
The Starbucks in Montecito, California. Anneta Konstantinides/Insider

When I mentioned that it was Lowe who said the royals were to blame for the longer lines, the barista simply replied, “I’ve never seen Rob Lowe.”

The barista’s comments were similar to everyone else whom I spoke to in town.

No one had spotted Markle or Harry in Montecito since they moved from Los Angeles in July 2020. And the locals said nothing had changed in the neighborhood either. One woman who worked at a boutique told me she hadn’t even seen any paparazzi.

An empty beach with gentle waves and houses and palm trees along the coast
Montecito, California. nik wheeler/Getty Images

“There have always been tourists,” she said with a shrug, adding that she still considers Montecito to be a “hidden gem” in Santa Barbara.

A college student I spoke to who worked at a nearby boutique said that while she’s seen plenty of Montecito’s most famous residents – including Katy Perry, Jane Lynch, and Chrissy Teigen – their presence barely makes waves in the small town.

“There’s like an unspoken rule,” she said. “We treat them like everyone else.”