Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex talk to members of OneWave, an awareness group for mental health and wellbeing at South Bondi Beach on October 19, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are on their official 16-day Autumn tour visiting cities in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand. Chris Jackson/Pool via REUTERS
Harry and Meghan could enjoy a Christmas Day walk on the beach this year. Pictured on South Bondi beach in Australia on their October 2018 tour there. (Chris Jackson/Reuters)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are preparing to enjoy their first Christmas in California, after moving there in March and buying their own home over the summer.

The couple, who are parents to Archie, one, spent last Christmas out of the UK as well, as they took an extended break in Canada, which is where they developed their plans to step back as senior royals.

The Californian climate is likely to make this festive season a little different for the royal couple, with temperatures around the 15C mark on the west coast at the moment – a far cry from the rain and fog experienced by their British family.

Before she met Harry, Meghan spoke about her favourite festive traditions in an interview with Grazia, even sharing her go-to cocktail recipe.

In their video calls since moving to their US home, the couple has been sat in front of framed birds nest prints.

If her 2015 tips are anything to go by, the frames might soon be adorned with “garland or magnolia branches”, which she suggested look great around a mirror or pictures.

Undated handout video grab issued by the Evening Standard of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex being interviewed from their Californian home by the Evening Standard, the couple have joined forces with the newspaper to reveal their list of BHM next gen trailblazers Ð recognised for challenging prejudice and their positive contribution to British society.
Meghan previously suggested adorning picture frames and mirrors for the holiday season. Here in their new home in 2020. (Evening Standard)

She mentioned picking up fancy looking platters from Etsy or flea markets, to make passing around snacks more formal.

Read more: Prince Harry talks about lockdown baking as he surprises ill children on video call

Meghan also suggested celebrating Christmas with friends instead of family.

She said: “Holidays with your friends allows you to break the family traditions and avoid Aunt Julie’s fruit cake! Have each of your friends bring a dish or cook together in the kitchen. If you do not have a proper set-up, use your dining room table or kitchen counter as a buffet.”

Restrictions on gatherings because of the pandemic would make it hard for Harry and Meghan to invite many of their friends over this year.

During Thanksgiving, they revealed they were marking the day quietly, which they are likely to do over Christmas too.

Watch: A turbulent year for Harry and Meghan

While Harry’s family is a few thousand miles away in the UK, Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland is nearby to celebrate with.

In the Grazia interview, Meghan, now 39, suggested a bourbon based cocktail with almond milk and dates makes a great festive tipple.

Meghan’s decor for the holiday season is likely to be neat and minimal too, as she previously advised going for an all white look.

She said: “When creating a table-scape, keep it simple and crisp with an all white tablecloth, runner and napkins. Accent with gilded plates and napkin rings and use a stylish set of cutlery. All white flowers placed in the low vases are the perfect centrepiece.”

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With a sunnier climate, California enjoys putting its own spin on Christmas traditions. According to California wine club, short sleeves and shorts aren’t uncommon on 25 December in the southern part of the state, while “curling up in front of the fire with the air conditioning going is not unheard of”.

In Canada, Harry and Meghan enjoyed hikes in the forest, but in California, they may pop out for a Christmas Day stroll along the beach.

Copyright: Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Mandatory credit: Duke of Sussex/@SaveChildrenUK. NEWS EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO COMMERCIAL USE. NO MERCHANDISING, ADVERTISING, SOUVENIRS OR MEMORABILIA. This photograph is provided to you strictly on condition that you will make no charge for the supply, release or publication of it and that these conditions and restrictions will apply (and that you will pass these on) to any organisation to whom you supply it. The photographs must not be digitally enhanced, manipulated or modified in any manner or form and must include all of the individuals in the photograph when published. Not for use after 1/1/2021 without clearance from the office of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Undated handout issued from a video posted on @SaveChildrenUK by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, taken by the Duke of Sussex showing the Duchess of Sussex reading "Duck! Rabbit!" to their son Archie who celebrates his first birthday today. The image is taken from a video published today on the @SaveChildrenUK campaign Instagram page.
Meghan, pictured here with son Archie in May, will be marking her first Californian family Christmas this year. (SaveChildrenUK/Duke and Duchess of Sussex)

It’s also a tradition for some Californians to enjoy tamales on Christmas Eve, a recipe Meghan knows well. In July, she and Harry volunteered with Homeboy Industries, which runs several cafes throughout LA, and a source revealed Meghan had learnt her tamale recipe when she was a teenager.

Last year the couple released a photo montage of some of their annual highlights. With no social media account this year, and a much quieter 12 months thanks to the pandemic, they may just share a Christmas card photo with their followers another way.

The couple can also look forward to getting involved in some local traditions with their community in Santa Barbara.

In California, many towns run a Parade of Lights, with boats on the harbour being decorated for the festivities.

COVID-19 means the parade will be online this year, but Harry and Meghan can look forward to taking Archie to see the decorations in future years.

The couple could still cast their vote on social media for their favourite entries.

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