Prince Harry and Meghan says they were chased by paparazzi in New York

By Christine Hauser

NEW YORK — Prince Harry, his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and her mother, Doria Ragland, were involved in a “near catastrophic” car chase while being followed by paparazzi on Tuesday (16) night in New York City, a spokesperson said.

“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,” a statement said, calling the chase a “relentless pursuit” that lasted over two hours and involved the New York Police Department.

The couple’s statement did not specify who was driving their vehicle or where the chase happened, but Meghan was in Midtown Manhattan to attend the Women of Vision awards, at the Ziegfeld Ballroom, where she was one of the honourees.

The Police Department did not yet have a report available. But Mayor Eric Adams told reporters at an unrelated news conference Wednesday (17) morning that he had been told that “two of our officers could have been injured” and condemned what happened as “a bit reckless and irresponsible”.

“It’s clear that the press, the paparazzi, they want to get the right shot,” Adams said. “But public safety must always be at the forefront.”

The mayor said he expected to be briefed in depth later in the day, adding, “I would find it hard to believe that there was a two-hour high speed chase.” But even a 10-minute pursuit would be “extremely dangerous in New York City. We have a lot of traffic, a lot of movement, a lot of people are using our streets.”

He added that “you shouldn’t be speeding anywhere” in the city, and invoked the memory of Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, who died in 1997 in a crash in Paris as her vehicle was being pursued by paparazzi.

“I don’t think there’s many of us who don’t recall how his mom died,” Adams said, “and it would be horrific to lose an innocent bystander during a chase like this and for something to have happened to them as well. I think that was a bit reckless and irresponsible.”

Harry and Meghan have had an uncomfortable relationship with the paparazzi and some media organizations, and have taken legal action against several British newspapers for intrusions into their privacy. The prince has also said that tabloid media harassment of his wife reminded him of the experience of his mother.

After Harry and Meghan announced in 2020 that they had decided to “step back” as senior members of the royal family, they lost their publicly funded security, both in Britain and overseas. The couple subsequently moved to the United States, settling in Montecito, California.

Concerns over personal safety and tabloid reporting have endured for the couple. Harry filed a legal claim against the government after Britain’s Home Office declined to allow him to pay for police protection when he and his family were in the country. Last year, a judge in Britain ruled that parts of a tabloid report on his fight with the government over protection were defamatory.

-New York Times



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