The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were allegedly involved in an hours-long “near catastrophic car chase” with paparazzi. The event eerily harkens back to the memory of Prince Harry’s mother’s tragic death in 1997.
Harry And Meghan Feared For Their Life In ‘Hours-Long Car Chase’ With Paparazzi, Spokesman Says
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, as well as Markle’s mother, Dorian Ragland, were reportedly pursued by paparazzi Tuesday night, according to the Independent. The trio had just attended a charity awards ceremony by the Ms. Foundation for Women in New York City, where Meghan was honored.
The event marked the couple’s first public sighting since King Charles III’s coronation.
According to the couple’s spokesperson, the Duke and Duchess feared for their lives as six cars chased them and their convey for “over two hours.”
“Last night, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Ms. Ragland were involved in a near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi,” the statement confirmed.
The pursuit reportedly resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers, pedestrians, and two NYPD (New York Police Department) officers.
Video taken before the alleged car chase shows the couple entering and exiting the venue, surrounded by a throng of photographers.
Meanwhile, pictures have started popping up on social media of Harry, Meghan, and her mother sitting in the back of a taxi.
“(This is just) a small glimpse at the defense and decoys required to end the harassment,” the couple’s spokesperson said. “While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety.”
The couple’s rep added that posting these images “encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all involved.”
NYPD, Mayor, Photo Agency Couple’s Alleged Taxi Driver Downplay The Incident
However, the NYPD, who provided a security escort convey, didn’t seem to see the situation in the same way. The department described the incident with the evening incident with paparazzi as “challenging.”
However, it added that there were “no reported collisions, summonses, injuries or arrests,” the Independent reports.
Meanwhile, NYC Mayor Eric Adams characterized the photographers’ conduct as “reckless.” But, added it was “hard to believe” that a high-speed two-hour chase could have taken place in the city’s notorious traffic jams.
Adams did acquiesce that even “if it’s 10 minutes, a 10-minute chase is extremely dangerous in New York City.”
A man claiming to be their taxi driver told the Washington Post: “It wasn’t like a car chase in a movie.”
Additionally, Backgrid USA, the photo agency accused of trailing the former royal couple, tweeted a lengthy statement dispelling their accusations.
News Reports Of NYC Paparazzi Chase Harkens Tragic Death Of Harry’s Mother, Princess Diana
Harry’s sensitive response to the situation likely stems from the death of his mother, Princess Diana. She was killed in a high-speed chase in Paris back in 1997, the Independent reports.
The vehicle crashed after her driver attempted to flee the paparazzi, according to the Independent.
In fact, Harry and Meghan both moved to the United States after abdicating from their royal roles in 2020.
The couple said they left the United Kingdom mainly because of the intense media and tabloid harassment.