Meghan Markle and Prince Harry found themselves being stalked by relentless paparazzi in New York on Tuesday, leading to what they describe as an “almost disastrous” car chase.
The incident left the Duke and Duchess of Sussex feeling calm and scared, and some have drawn comparisons to the tragic Paris car crash that claimed Princess Diana’s life during a paparazzi chase.
While a few critics continue to question the validity of the couple’s claims, Harry’s spokesperson released a statement chronicling the heartbreaking experience.
According to the spokesperson, the Duke and Duchess, accompanied by Ragland, were subjected to a grueling car chase lasting more than two hours, endangering not only themselves, but also other drivers, pedestrians and even two NYPD officers. Several near misses occurred during the chase.
In contrast, a taxi driver who picked up the Sussexes played down the incident, saying: “I don’t think I would call it a chase.” However, he acknowledged that the couple seemed calm and scared during the roughly 10-minute ride.
Two NYPD officials also downplayed the seriousness of the chase, calling it a “bit of a chaotic scene” and saying they didn’t think it was “nearly catastrophic”. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s press secretary, Ashley Hansen, highlighted their vulnerability and fear during the incident, sharing that security personnel frequently stopped the car and confronted the paparazzi, asking them to stop chasing them and providing a safe distance. Unfortunately, these calls were not respected.
Taxi driver Sukhcharn Singh, who transported the couple, said his car was being chased by two vehicles: an older gray Honda CR-V and a black Honda Accord. Singh described how photographers were constantly following and approaching their vehicle, taking pictures and filming each time they stopped.
Concerned about the photographers, Harry and Meghan’s security guard ordered Singh back to the compound where he had originally picked them up. Therefore, the trip ended after about 10 minutes.
New York Mayor Eric Adams has expressed concern for the safety of two police officers who assisted Harry and Meghan’s private security team while their car was being chased. New York Police Department Deputy Commissioner Julian Phillips said officers assisted the couple’s security personnel and there were no reports of collisions, summonses, injuries or arrests.
Harry and Meghan believe the chase could have had fatal consequences, as it involved six extinguished vehicles with unidentified individuals driving recklessly, posing a threat to the convoy and those nearby.
The couple recognize the heightened attention they attract at public events and on this occasion they have chosen to exit and enter the room publicly, allowing photographers to capture images. Various traffic offenses were allegedly committed by those involved in the chase, including driving on the pavement and running red lights, backing up on a one-way street, unlawfully blocking another vehicle and engaging in driving. distracted by taking pictures and using a phone.
The New York Police Department, which sent officers to help escort the Duke and Duchess, acknowledged the challenges posed by the “numerous photographers” during transport. Their official statement confirmed that no collisions, summonses, injuries or arrests had been reported.
Despite the shocking global impact of the car chase, neither Prince Charles nor any other member of the Royal Family contacted Harry and Meghan afterwards.