Newsman: Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan were involved in a traumatic “car chase” fueled by paparazzi Tuesday, their spokespeople said.
The couple’s office said the pair and Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, were followed for more than two hours by half a dozen vehicles after leaving a charity event in New York on Tuesday Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and Markle’s mother were “involved in a near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi” Tuesday night in New York City. The couple’s spokesperson said Wednesday that the pursuit lasted over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road and pedestrians.
Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, died in a car crash in 1997 while being pursued by paparazzi in Paris.
The couple was in New York City for the Ms. Foundation for Women’s annual gala, at which Meghan accepted the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Award Tuesday night, with Black Voters Matter co-founder LaTosha Brown. Meghan and Harry entered and exited the event venue through a public entrance. There, paparazzi snapped photos of the duo who were dressed up for the occasion.
The Duchess of Sussex’s acceptance speech closed out the Ms. Foundation for Women’s annual gala, part of the nation’s oldest women’s foundation celebration of its 50th anniversary. Meghan encouraged women to find inspiration to fight for equity. “It’s never too late to start,” Meghan said at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in Manhattan. “You can be the visionary of your own life. … There is still so much work to be done.”
The New York City police department confirmed the incident involving photographers and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex but said no injuries, collision or arrests took place. NYPD will review surveillance videos from Tuesday night.
A very small number of NYPD officers were with them when they observed multiple paparazzi following Meghan and Harry in cars, motorcycles, scooters.
The officers attempted some sort of evasive maneuver to get them away from the paparazzi, and in response, paparazzi on the scooters and bikes drove the sidewalk to keep up.
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There is no evidence an accident occurred, but police say there were several short stops with paparazzi vehicles driving backwards and on sidewalks.
The paparazzi were tailing them from the Ziegfeld Ballroom after Markle received the Ms. Foundation’s Women of Vision Award at the foundation’s annual gala.
With the help of police, the couple was eventually able to switch to a taxi cab and be whisked away, according to a law enforcement official spoke to a news media on condition of anonymity. the .
According to The Associated Press, the cab driver, Sukhcharn Singh told that he instantly recognized his passengers when they scooted in. “They were following us the whole time,” he said of the paparazzi, though he said he wouldn’t call it a chase.
Singh was on 67th Street near an NYPD precinct when a security guard waved him down. Singh pulled the yellow taxi to the curb and in came Harry, Meghan and her mom.
“They had this look on their faces,” he said. They were about to give their destination when a garbage truck blocked their path.
“All of a sudden paparazzi came out and started taking pictures,” he said.
Instead, one of the royals told him to circle back to the precinct.
“They didn’t say much,” Singh said. “They just asked my name and then after that Harry said thanks and have a good day.”
They paid $17 in fare – and left a generous tip.
Security for Harry and Meghan has been an issue since the British government stripped them of protection when they moved to California in 2020 and it figures in three of his legal cases against the government and tabloid press.
“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,” a statement on behalf of the couple said.
Mayor Eric Adams said it was “a bit reckless and irresponsible” for paparazzi to chase Harry and Meghan, and it could have injured two police officers.
The NYPD released the following statement:
“On Wednesday evening, May 16, the NYPD assisted the private security team protecting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. There were numerous photographers that made their transport challenging. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard.”