She may be dating royalty now but Prince Harry's girlfriend was once so broke she couldn't afford to fix her car.

Meghan Markle, 35, said that as an aspiring actor she used to drive a "beat up, hand-me-down Ford Explorer Sport" to auditions.

The Suits star said the car was in such bad condition that she had to climb in and out through the boot after the doors jammed shut, the UK Mirror reported.

She said she tied the car's number plate to the bumper and was worried the car sounded like a "steamboat engine", reports News.com.au.

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"The clicker wouldn't open the front doors and I couldn't afford to fix this car and this was how I got from one audition to the other," said Markle in an interview at the Create and Cultivate conference.

"So what I would start to do is literally go to these auditions, park at the back of the parking lot and I would open my trunk ... and crawl into the back of my car to the front seat to drive off to my next audition."

Markle, who finally found fame in Suits, has been dating the British royal since last year.

Meghan Markle, left, on the set of Suits. Photo / Getty Images
Meghan Markle, left, on the set of Suits. Photo / Getty Images

When their relationship went public the prince was forced to issue a statement asking the media to back off after he claimed their had been racist undertones to comment pieces about Markle, who has mixed race parents.

More recently the couple has been pictured together enjoying a trip to the theatre in London.

They have even enjoyed their first holiday together and Harry has introduced Meghan to Kate Middleton during a visit to Kensington Palace.

The relationship is apparently so serious that the Toronto-based actor has found a sitter for her dogs while she is away.

The couple are said to have been set up by their mutual friend Markus Anderson after crossing paths in Toronto, there the Prince was promoting the Invictus Games.