The statement was disturbing and unmistakably reminiscent of the car chase that killed Princess Diana 26 years earlier. Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle were “engaged in a nearly catastrophic car chase at the hands of a highly aggressive group of paparazzi,” the report said. Anonymous spokesperson for the couple.
The story of the chaotic and dangerous chase that ran through Midtown Manhattan on Tuesday night was making headlines on both sides of the Atlantic by Wednesday morning, making headlines around the world. CNN, which provides minute-by-minute updates from news outlets around the world as well as SKY News, reported that a member of the couple’s security team said: He said the episode “could have been fatal.”
But things got more complicated on Wednesday when further details emerged from testimony from police and a taxi driver who was briefly involved.
The film highlights a range of issues surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Their glowing fame and the news media’s endless appetite for articles about them. A ruthless relationship with the royal family and their fight for royal security. And their determination to avoid the paparazzi lenses was certainly informed by the tragic death of Harry’s mother, Diana, who sped away from them in a car in 1997 in Paris.
The episode kicked off Tuesday night at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in Midtown, with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in attendance, along with their mother, Doria Ragland. Women of Vision AwardDuchess Meghan was also one of the winners.
Around 9:50 p.m., the family left the theater to return to their Upper East Side stay, according to law enforcement officials familiar with the matter.
According to the official, he left in a private security vehicle with police escorts out of fear that the paparazzi who had gathered outside the theater would follow him. They drove for about an hour, briefly up FDR Drive, but couldn’t shake off the paparazzi.
Police then took them to the 19th Police Precinct on the Upper East Side, officials said.
Taxi driver Sukchan Singh said one of the security guards hailed the taxi outside the police station around 11:00 p.m., more than an hour after the two left the banquet hall.
Singh said he got stuck behind a garbage truck after moving about a block.
“Suddenly, paparazzi appeared out of nowhere and started taking pictures,” he said, adding that he heard one of the women behind him say, “Oh my God.”
“They were nervous,” Singh said. “My wife looked scared, Harry was nervous, and the other woman was very quiet.”
The truck pulled out of their way less than five minutes later, but Singh said he saw paparazzi in at least two cars chasing them while he was driving. When security guards realized they were being followed, they told Shin to drive back to the station.
Around 11:30, Singh took them back to the station and they were back in the same black SUV they had been in before.
Officials said they remained inside the station while police blocked traffic in the area, then left without the paparazzi and with a police escort.
Singh said he wasn’t involved in the long drive in the early evening but wouldn’t call what happened a “tracking”. The family was clearly frightened, but Singh said he was not. “I wasn’t scared,” he said. “They didn’t grow up in New York.”
A New York City Police spokeswoman confirmed officers assisted the couple’s security team on Tuesday night, but did not call the incident a “chase.”
“Many photographers have made it difficult to get around,” spokeswoman Julian Phillips said in a statement. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have reached their destination and there have been no reports of any clashes, summons, injuries or arrests.”
A spokeswoman for the couple did not respond to questions about the initial statement.
At an unrelated press conference Wednesday morning, Mayor Eric Adams called the incident “a bit reckless and irresponsible”, although he said he had not been fully briefed on the incident.
“The press and the paparazzi obviously want to get the shot right,” Adams said. “But public safety must always be at the forefront.”
However, he questioned the follow-up period mentioned in the statement. “It’s hard to believe there was a two-hour high-speed chase,” he said, adding that even a 10-minute chase would be “very dangerous in New York City.”
Adams also cited the death of Prince Harry’s mother, saying, “I don’t think there are many people who don’t remember how she died.”
Buckingham Palace said it had no comment on the incident, as did Kensington Palace, the residence of Prince Harry’s brother Prince William.
Prince Harry has been at odds with the press for years, blaming the paparazzi for his mother’s death and saying the continued harassment of his wife by tabloids reminded him of his mother’s experience.
Meghan and Meghan have taken legal action against several British newspapers, alleging that the newspaper hacked Meghan’s mobile phone and violated her privacy.
Prince Harry is also suing the Home Office over his country’s security arrangements. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle lost police protection after stepping back from royal duties and leaving the UK in 2020. He said it would be an unacceptable risk for Prince Harry and his family to visit.
He offered to pay for police protection himself, but was refused by the Metropolitan Police. Interior Ministry lawyers say the wealthy should not be allowed to “buy” police protection.
Prince Harry is estranged from his father, Charles III, and his brother, and did not meet either during a brief trip to London for his father’s coronation on May 6. Meghan did not attend the ceremony, which coincided with the couple’s son’s fourth birthday. , Archie.
According to royal watchers, Prince Charles and Prince William said in Prince Harry’s recent memoir and documentary about the couple that Prince Harry distanced himself emotionally from his father and was more concerned about his own health than his son’s happiness. She said she was worried about public appearances and deeply resented that Prince William was portrayed as a jealous and envious person. bullying.
However, most of Harry’s complaints were directed at the press. He alleges that tabloids struck unpleasant deals with members of the royal family, promising favorable coverage in exchange for downplaying details about other family members.
After leaving the UK and relocating to California, the couple have worked to refine their image and find a receptive audience with the help of the media, Prince Harry’s adopted home.
The couple chose Oprah Winfrey to conduct their first major interview since moving to California, where Meghan was raised. The interview was a prime-time CBS special that attracted more than 17 million viewers. They signed a nearly $100 million deal with California-based Netflix to produce the show, airing the documentary “Harry and Meghan,” which climbed to the top of the streaming charts. His memoir Spare, published by Penguin Random House, became a bestseller.
But the couple’s ardent courtship with the American media has also fueled demand from gossip sites like TMZ and Page Six, with photographers here eager to capture their every appearance in public. stimulating another cottage industry. The popularity of the Netflix documentary and Prince Harry’s memoir only increases American appetite for these footage and other insights into royal life that lives in the midst of it.
And for American media companies looking for views, readers and clicks, the British royal family has long proven to be a sure draw. Just to name a few, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding at Windsor Castle in 2018 29 million people watched According to Nielsen, Americans are a larger audience than Americans. 18 million An Englishman who watched the program. More Americans watched Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding than Prince William and Kate Middleton’s in 2011.
Christine Hauser and Remy Tumin Contributed to the report. Kirsten Noise Contributed to research.