Meghan Markle once made headlines for closing her own car door, but now she's been banned from doing so.

Royal watchers praised the "down-to-earth" gesture when the Duchess closed her own door at her visit to London's Royal Academy of Arts in September.

But the next month when she visited Auckland, the door remained open - for good reason.

According to The Sun, royal protection police have warned Markle to stop closing car doors in light of extremist attack threats.

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Vehicles used by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on official duties have self-locking doors and officials fear she would not be able to get back inside to safety should something happen.

Security chiefs intervened after Markle and Prince Harry were targeted by far-right threats.

A source told the Sun: "Nothing is more important to these guys than protecting the royal family. Meghan and Harry like to meet the public as much as possible and make contact with the crowds that come to see them.

"And although having a car door closed might seem like a trivial thing, it could be the difference. God forbid if anything did go wrong arriving at a royal engagement, but security need to be able to get them back into cars in seconds if needs be. If they're closed and locked, it's impossible."

This news comes just weeks after Markle's bodyguard quit, and less than a month after a neo-Nazi group branded Prince Harry a "race traitor" over the marriage.

Last February, Scotland Yard had to be called in after a letter was sent to Markle at Kensington Palace which contained a racist remark and a substance claimed to be deadly anthrax - it was later found to be harmless.