British Royal Family

And so it begins: How Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are spending their first weeks in LA as they start their next chapter

A new start for the royal couple.

By Jess Pullar
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are officially commencing their new chapter outside of the royal family - and first up on the agenda is settling into a new city.
March 31 marked a pivotal moment for the royals - it was the day laid out by Queen Elizabeth as the beginning of their 12-month transition and trial period outside of their roles as senior working members of the family.
And already, the pair have made some big changes - the largest of which is the place they're calling home.
When they initially announced they would be stepping back from their senior roles, the pair outlined some of their intentions as they carved out a new chapter.
One of these was their desire to live between Britain and North America.
Given their comfortable base at the time on Vancouver Island, in Canada, it seemed likely the couple were intending to stay put for the long haul.
But as we all know, in March, things changed.
Harry and Meghan ultimately decided not to stay put in Vancouver as the global pandemic worsened in March. (Getty)
With the COVID-19 health pandemic gripping the world and turning life as we know it upside down, it would no doubt have led Harry and Meghan to reassess their current situation.
And in late March, we were given a glimpse of their next step - it was revealed the pair had moved from Vancouver Island to Los Angeles, which is where Meghan grew up and where her mother, Doria Ragland currently resides.
Instead, the pair moved to Meghan's former home town of Los Angeles. (Getty)
Whether it was pre-planned before the pandemic or not, the move to California makes a lot of sense for the couple, who also have an 11-month old baby, Archie Harrison.
And more so than ever, we can imagine the pair are craving to be as close to family as possible in the current climate - even if they are required to self isolate.
If fans thought that COVID-19 would change the royal couple's decision to step back from their roles as senior royals, they were proved wrong when Harry and Meghan shared a farewell post to Instagram on March 30 - noting that things would look a little different from their corner in the coming weeks and potential months.
They wrote: "As we can all feel, the world at this moment seems extraordinarily fragile. Yet we are confident that every human being has the potential and opportunity to make a difference—as seen now across the globe, in our families, our communities and those on the front line—together we can lift each other up to realise the fullness of that promise."
"While you may not see us here, the work continues," they added.
Finally the pair signed off with a hopeful hint that this won't be the last we see from them.
"We look forward to reconnecting with you soon. You've been great! Until then, please take good care of yourselves, and of one another. Harry and Meghan."
WATCH: Royal photographer Chris Jackson shares his favourite photos of Harry & Meghan. Story continues below...
Up until that final post, the pair had shared useful information in support of people struggling with the crisis, as well as tips from the World Health Organisation.
With their account no longer in use, we can only assume the couple are working on a new way to reach out to their followers - no doubt to add value and share uplifting causes and information to our news feeds.
Whether that will mean breathing new life into their Sussex Royal account, which boasts no less than 11 million followers, or with a brand new one remains to be seen, but you can bet the pair are spending plenty of time in their new LA abode planning their next move.
In terms of their life in LA, little is known as to where and how they're getting on amid the lockdown.
According to a source who spoke to PEOPLE, the pair are currently residing in a "secluded compound" in LA, and they have not ventured out of their home at all since arriving.
This is completely understandable given the current situation, with governments across the world enforcing restrictions around non-essential activities.
Indeed with a young son and themselves to think about, we're glad to hear they're setting an example by staying home and helping to avoid further spread of the virus.
And more so than anything, perhaps this unexpected down time in their new Los Angeles home has actually provided a welcome opportunity for them to really get stuck into planning their next step - whatever that will be.
Watch this space.