How Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Will Be Spending Christmas in California

The couple will not be returning to the U.K. this holiday season.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are keeping it simple this holiday season.

This will be the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's first Christmas since stepping down as senior members of the royal family earlier this year, and moving into their new home in Montecito, California, just a few months ago. 

"The couple will be spending Christmas at home in California quietly with Archie and Doria [Ragland] joining them," a source tells ET of the couple's low-key holiday plans with their 1-year-old son and Meghan's mother. "Meghan, who is an accomplished cook, will be preparing some of their favorite dishes with Harry and Doria pitching in."

News of the couple's quaint Christmas comes about a week after they were spotted preparing for the holiday season. According to Twitter user @imaJaaaaaames, Meghan, 39, and Harry, 36, were seen buying a Christmas tree at an unnamed tree barn and nearly went unnoticed. 

"Meghan and Prince Harry came into my work today and we sold them their Christmas tree," tweeted @imaJaaaaaames. "We had our lot empty when they got there - their agent promoted them a good time to come instead of us shutting it down. There was one family in there and their stoked little son ran through trees up to Harry and asked if he worked here not knowing who that is."

This will be the couple's second Christmas away from the royal family as they also celebrated in Canada last year with Doria and Archie. 

As for when Meghan and Harry could return to the United Kingdom to see Harry's family, ET's source says, "While there had been plans to return to the U.K. for Meghan's case against Associated Newspapers and the Mail on Sunday in January, given the postponement until next fall, there are no imminent plans to return to the U.K. given the travel restrictions related to the pandemic."

Last month, ET learned from a source close to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that it was "fully anticipated that [the couple would] be at home in California and not be in the U.K. for Christmas."

A source also told ET that members of the royal family are "disappointed" that they won't be seeing Archie this holiday season.

Back in October, ET was additionally told that despite reports that Harry planned to fly to his home country of England before the end of the year, the couple was "not returning anytime soon."

"Things can obviously change, if there's a concern about family health, but they are not hopping over the pond anytime imminently," the source said, adding that the royals are adhering to "social isolation guidelines" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth II is breaking royal tradition with her Christmas plans. “Having considered all the appropriate advice, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have decided that this year they will spend Christmas quietly in Windsor," Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Tuesday.

The royal family historically spends the holidays at their Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England, and are known for making public appearances on Christmas morning at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene service. According to royal reporters, the queen has no plans to attend a service on Christmas Day to avoid attracting crowds. 

As for Harry's father, Prince Charles, Hello! magazine reported that the Prince of Wales and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, plan to spend the holidays at their Highgrove House in Gloucester, England.