Everything We Know About Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's New Life in California
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are celebrating Meghan's first birthday back in the States
Meghan, who turns 39 on Tuesday, and Harry relocated to Meghan's hometown of Los Angeles, California, with their 1-year-old son Archie in March, just before traveling became increasingly restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic. The move came after the family spent time on Canada's Vancouver Island amid their decision to step down as senior members of the royal family.
After living in Tyler Perry's Beverly Hills mansion, Meghan and Prince Harry bought a home in the picturesque seaside town of Santa Barbara, about 100 miles north of Los Angeles.
"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex moved into their family home in July of this year," a rep for the couple tells PEOPLE. "They have settled into the quiet privacy of their community since their arrival and hope that this will be respected for their neighbors, as well as for them as a family."
Although Meghan has many friends in Los Angeles — as well as her mother, Doria Raglan — the couple has been cautious about stepping out amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"Like everyone, they are adjusting to [social distancing], being cautious and safe," a friend previously told PEOPLE.
They celebrated Archie's milestone first birthday on May 6 with a homemade cake courtesy of mom Meghan.
"Meghan made the cake — strawberries and cream," a source told PEOPLE. "And Harry helped with decorations and blew up balloons."
And Archie is already loving his mom's hometown.
Archie is "teething and is a happy baby. I’m sure he is happy to be in the California sunshine," a friend previously told PEOPLE.
Despite spending most of their time isolating in their L.A. home — aside from a day of running errands in Beverly Hills sporting masks — Meghan and Prince Harry wanted to find a way to help out in their new community. In addition to appearing on virtual calls with charities, the parents hopped in their car on Easter (and again on April 15 and 17) to distribute meals to people living with critical illness through Project Angel Food, a non-profit charity that cooks, prepares and delivers meals to people living with critical illnesses who are at greater risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"[Meghan and Harry] felt helpless reading about everything going on and wanted to get out and contribute," a source previously told PEOPLE.
"What Meghan said is she wanted to show Harry Los Angeles through the eyes of philanthropy. It’s just beautiful,” Richard Ayoub, Project Angel Food’s executive director, told PEOPLE. “There’s obviously a great deal of love and selflessness between them."
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In June, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited Homeboy Industries, a community social justice organization working to improve the lives of formerly incarcerated and previously gang-involved people in L.A. During the visit, they joined the group's participants ("Homies") working in the café and bakery. Together they prepared food for the #FeedHOPE program, which employs Homeboy participants to provide meals to food-insecure seniors and youth across L.A. amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were just 'Harry and Meghan' to the homies," said Father Greg Boyle, the group's founder. "They rolled up their sleeves and deeply engaged with our workers in the bakery and café. It was immediate kinship and heartening in its mutuality.”