Prince Harry. Picture: Bang Showbiz

Prince Harry has met Meghan Markle off the plane at Heathrow airport on a number of occasions to avoid her being photographed. 

The flame-haired royal has made the special arrangements for the 'Suits' star - who he has been dating for nearly a year - to ensure she can have a bit more privacy when she flies to the UK to spend some quality time with him. 

A source told the Daily Express newspaper: "It's been happening for a while. Harry has a police escort on the tarmac in his black Audi RS6. He is accompanied by a bodyguard, with a people carrier following behind.

"Meghan usually only carries hand luggage. If she does check a suitcase into the hold it is put on last so it can be located as quickly as possible.

"All the necessary security checks must be carried out in advance or onboard because she walks straight from the plane steps to Harry's car."

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Harry is said to have been offered the use of the Windsor Suite, a private lounge used by officials and politicians, where they are screened by security away from other airport-goers and can access the plane directly - but he prefers to make his own plans. 

Another source said: "It costs £3 000 (R51 000)a time to use the Windsor Suite so it is quite expensive."

A Heathrow spokesman told the publication: "The aviation and protective security arrangements for members of the Royal Family, including their movements through the airport, are confidential and fully compliant with regulatory requirements. 

"It would be inappropriate to discuss those arrangements in public."

The couple took to the skies earlier this month as Harry whisked Meghan away to Africa to celebrate her 36th birthday, and some pals speculated a proposal could be imminent. 

A source previously said: "Harry has been planning this holiday for a long time.

"He's made the trip incredibly romantic. They'll go on boats across the lake, walk in the bush at dawn and camp under the stars."