Prince Harry splashed out thousands on a painting shortly before he went public with his ‘Suits’ star girlfriend Meghan Markle.

The 32-year-old royal was rumoured to have splashed out on a Van Donna piece called Everybody Needs Somebody in October 2016, and it has now been confirmed that he did buy the artwork shortly before his relationship with Meghan Markle went public.

A local art collector told PEOPLE magazine: “Harry is one of the regulars in the area and regularly goes into the shops and galleries with his bodyguard, kind of in stealth mode.

“He was in the gallery for a little while and liked a few things, then settled on the Van Donna. He said he was looking for something for ‘an important person.’

“It was literally just before anyone heard about Meghan — literally just days before it was announced he was going out with her.”

Van Donna – whose name is a pseudonym made up of a mixture of Van Gogh and Madonna’s monikers – confirmed last week that Harry purchased one of her paintings.

She wrote on Twitter: “OMG! So excited that Harry has acquired my paintings for his collection! Yay!!! (sic)”

Harry made the purchase from a VIP section of Walton Fine Arts gallery in Kensington, west London.

Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (Limited Edition Print)

The prince is said to have requested that the acrylic, stencil and spray piece could be split in half so it could be shared between two people.

The collector added: “Harry asked if he could split the diptych up.

“He said, ‘If it’s possible?’ I guess you could do that quite easily if you wanted to, but this is an artwork in itself. I mean, it is supposed to form a single artwork.

“At the time nobody knew about Meghan Markle, but if it was for her then it’s a very romantic gesture. It’s a bit like a charm bracelet — where you give half of it to someone you’re involved with and keep the other half yourself.

“We should all learn something from it, I think.”

However, it is not known for definite that he gave part of the artwork to the ‘Suits’ star, who he has been dating for around a year.