Harry and Meghan Say They Had been Chased by Paparazzi in New York


The assertion was alarming, unmistakably evocative of the automotive chase that killed Princess Diana 26 years in the past: Prince Harry and his spouse Meghan had been “concerned in a close to catastrophic automotive chase by the hands of a hoop of extremely aggressive paparazzi,” based on an unnamed spokesperson for the couple.

That story, of a chaotic and harmful pursuit by Midtown Manhattan on Tuesday evening, ricocheted all around the world on Wednesday morning, making headlines on either side of the Atlantic. CNN, which like SKY Information and shops all around the world supplied minute-by-minute updates, reported {that a} member of the couple’s safety staff said the episode “could have been fatal.”

However as extra particulars emerged on Wednesday from the accounts of the police and a taxi driver who was briefly concerned, the image turned extra sophisticated.

It illustrated any variety of points surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex: their incandescent fame and the information media’s countless urge for food for tales about them; their frosty relationship with the Crown and their battle for a royal safety element; and their dedication to keep away from the paparazzi’s lenses, certainly knowledgeable by the tragic dying of Diana, Harry’s mom, as she rode in a automotive dashing away from them in Paris in 1997.

The episode started Tuesday night on the Ziegfeld Ballroom in Midtown, the place Harry, Meghan and her mom, Doria Ragland had been attending the Women of Vision awards, the place Meghan was among the many honorees.

Round 9:50 p.m., the household left the theater to return to the Higher East Facet, the place they had been staying, based on a legislation enforcement official with information of the matter.

Involved that paparazzi who had gathered exterior the theater would observe them, they left in a personal safety automobile with a police escort, the official stated. They had been pushed round for about an hour, touring up the F.D.R. Drive at one level, however they might not shake the paparazzi.

The police then escorted them to the nineteenth police precinct on the Higher East Facet, the official stated.

Round 11 p.m., slightly over an hour after that they had left the ballroom, considered one of their safety employees hailed a cab exterior the police precinct, based on the taxi’s driver, Sukhcharn Singh.

After touring for a couple of block, they acquired caught behind a rubbish truck, Mr. Singh stated.

“Unexpectedly the paparazzi got here out of nowhere and simply began snapping photos,” he stated, including, that he heard one of many girls from the again say “‘Oh, my God.’”

“They had been nervous,” Mr. Singh stated. “His spouse regarded scared and Harry was nervous. And the opposite girl was very quiet.”

The truck moved out of their means lower than 5 minutes later, however as Mr. Singh drove, he stated, he noticed paparazzi following them in at the least two automobiles. When the couple’s safety guard observed they had been being adopted, he instructed Mr. Singh to drive again to the precinct.

Round 11:30, Mr. Singh returned them to the precinct they usually climbed again into the identical black S.U.V. that they had been touring in earlier than, he stated.

They remained on the precinct whereas the police blocked site visitors within the space, after which they left with a police escort and no paparazzi in tow, the official stated.

Mr. Singh stated he wouldn’t describe what occurred as a “chase,” although he was not concerned within the for much longer drive earlier within the night. Although the household had clearly been frightened, Mr. Singh stated, he was not. “I wasn’t afraid,” he stated. “They didn’t develop up in New York.”

A spokesman for the New York Police Division confirmed that officers had assisted the couple’s safety staff on Tuesday night, but in addition didn’t discuss with the episode as a “chase.”

“There have been quite a few photographers that made their transport difficult,” the spokesman, Julian Phillips, stated in an announcement. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their vacation spot and there have been no reported collisions, summonses, accidents, or arrests.”

A spokesperson for the couple didn’t reply to questions concerning the preliminary assertion.

Talking at an unrelated information convention on Wednesday morning, Mayor Eric Adams condemned what occurred as “a bit reckless and irresponsible,” whereas noting that he had not been absolutely briefed on the incident.

“It’s clear that the press, the paparazzi, they need to get the correct shot,” Mr. Adams stated. “However public security should all the time be on the forefront.”

However he solid doubt on the length of the chase described within the assertion. “I might discover it exhausting to imagine that there was a two-hour excessive velocity chase,” he stated, including that even a 10-minute pursuit could be “extraordinarily harmful in New York Metropolis.”

Mr. Adams additionally invoked the dying of Harry’s mom, saying, “I don’t suppose there’s many people who don’t recall how his mother died.”

Buckingham Palace stated it had no touch upon the incident, as did Kensington Palace, which is the family of Harry’s brother, Prince William.

Prince Harry has lengthy been bitterly at odds with the press, blaming the paparazzi for his mom’s dying and saying that the continued harassment of his spouse by the tabloids reminded him of his mom’s expertise.

He and Meghan have taken authorized motion in opposition to a number of British newspapers, saying the papers hacked his cellphone and made different intrusions into their privateness.

Harry can also be suing Britain’s House Workplace over his safety preparations in his dwelling nation. He and Meghan misplaced police safety after they withdrew from royal duties and left Britain in 2020. Harry stated that poses an unacceptable threat to him and his household once they go to.

He has supplied to pay for police safety himself however has been turned down by the Metropolitan Police. Legal professionals for the House Workplace argue that rich folks shouldn’t be allowed to “purchase” police safety.

Harry is estranged from his father, King Charles III, and his brother, assembly neither of them throughout his temporary go to to London for his father’s coronation on Might 6. Meghan didn’t attend the ceremony, which coincided with the fourth birthday of the couple’s son, Archie.

Charles and William, royal watchers say, are deeply aggrieved by the claims in Harry’s latest memoir and a documentary concerning the couple, the place Harry portrayed his father as emotionally distant and extra fearful about his public picture than his son’s happiness, and William as jealous and bullying.

However lots of Harry’s grievances are aimed on the press. He claims the tabloids have struck unsavory offers with members of the royal household, promising favorable protection in return for disparaging particulars about different relations.

Following their departure from Britain and their transfer to California, the couple has sought to burnish their picture with the assistance of the media in Harry’s adopted dwelling. Individuals have at instances proven sympathy to the couple, maybe as a result of they’ll declare Meghan, who grew up in Los Angeles, as their very own.

The couple selected Oprah Winfrey to conduct their first main interview since shifting to California, a prime-time particular on CBS that drew greater than 17 million viewers. They signed a roughly $100 million deal to provide programming for California-based Netflix, which broadcast the documentary, “Harry & Meghan,” that went to the highest of streaming charts. And the memoir, “Spare,” launched by Penguin Random Home, turned a greatest vendor.

However the couple’s keen courtship of and collaboration with the American media has additionally fueled a cottage business of photographers who search to seize their each public look, pushed by demand from gossip websites like TMZ and Web page Six. The recognition of the Netflix documentary and Harry’s memoir has solely raised Individuals’ urge for food for these photos and for different insights into the lifetime of the royals residing of their midst.

And British royalty has lengthy proved a surefire draw for American media firms looking for views, readers, and clicks. To quote only one instance, Harry and Meghan’s 2018 wedding ceremony at Windsor Fortress was viewed by 29 million Individuals, based on Nielsen — a much bigger viewers than the 18 million Britons who tuned in. Extra Individuals watched Harry and Meghan’s wedding ceremony than William and Catherine’s nuptials in 2011.

Christine Hauser and Remy Tumin contributed reporting. Kirsten Noyes contributed analysis.


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