As Montecito was evacuated, Prince Harry taped the Stephen Colbert show

While Prince Harry was in New York Monday to tape his Tuesday night appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” he must have gotten word that residents of his hometown of Montecito had been ordered to evacuate, as a powerful winter storm pounded coastal California. areas, causing flooding, road closures and concerns about deadly mudslides.

The evacuation order for the entire community of Montecito, where Harry lives with his wife Meghan Markle and two children, came at about 1 pm Monday, with Santa Barbara authorities telling residents to “leave now.”

Not long after, the Duke of Sussex was photographed arriving at “The Late Show” studio in Manhattan, where the Daily Mail reported that Colbert invited him to down tequila shots, after the late-show host poked fun at him and some of his explosive revelations about his British royal relatives in his memoir, “Spare.”

“I’ve read the book — it’s very enjoyable, quite emotional, quite revealing. I’m going to have so much to talk about with his Harryness,” Colbert quipped in a promotional clip about the memoir, which was published Tuesday.

Harry’s appearance on “The Late Show” airs Tuesday night, as he finishes up a media blitz that also included headline-grabbing interviews over the weekend with British TV and CBS’s “60 Minutes.”

In his teaser clip, Colbert also jokes about one of Harry’s many complaints about his brother, Prince William — about how William said he wanted them to avoid each other when they were students at Eton. Colbert said that William’s move is “straight out of the older brother/sibling playbook.”

After playing a clip of Harry describing his pain at being ignored by William, Colbert made a Harry Potter reference as people in his audience roared with laughter: “That’s heartbreaking. To be rejected by his older brother at school even though magic has sorted them into the same house. What do you think? Hufflepuff? Gryffindor?”

Meanwhile, images coming from Montecito Monday and Tuesday were far more grim than those leaked of Harry and Colbert together on “The Late Show.” The images, including footage from Harry’s neighbor Ellen DeGeneres, showed torrents of water rushing down swollen creeks and cascading into roads in affluent Montecito and nearby communities. Video also showed people escaping in cars and struggling not to be swept away in the floodwaters.

Many noted that this pounding storm came five years to the day that another vicious storm hit Montecito and unleashed mudslides that killed 23 people and destroyed more than 100 homes.

The Los Angeles Times said it was not known whether Meghan and the couple’s two children, Archie and Lilibet, were in Montecito when the evacuation order came Monday. Representatives for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The evacuation order was lifted at 2 pm Tuesday, with the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management saying that people should be cautious while returning home due to debris and slick roads.

Harry and Meghan famously settled in Montecito in the summer of 2020, after their acrimonious flight from the UK and royal life earlier that year. They purchased a $14 million, seven-acre estate that includes a 14,500-square-foot main house with nine bedrooms and 16 bathrooms, as well as a teahouse, tennis court and pool.

The evacuation order from Santa Barbara County said that people should leave their homes immediately and offered locations for nearby evacuation centers in Santa Barbara, Carpenteria and Santa Maria. For those who chose not to evacuate, the order said they should be ready to “sustain yourself and your household for multiple days,” as residents “may not be able to leave the area, and emergency responders may not be able to access your property.” in the event of road damage, flooding or a debris flow.”

In a tweet, DeGeneres said that she had been asked to shelter in place at her home because she is on higher ground. In a video, she stood next to a gushing creek and said, “We need to be nicer to Mother Nature, ’cause Mother Nature’s not happy with us.”

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