According to Harry’s spokeswoman, Prince Harry, his wife Meghan, and her mother were involved in a “near catastrophic” vehicle chase with press photographers after attending an awards event in New York.
According to the spokesman, the event featured “a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi” in half a dozen automobiles with blacked out windows, driving dangerously and endangering the lives of the newlyweds and Doria Ragland.
“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD (New York Police Department) officers,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
The couple — the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — were shaken by the incident but otherwise unharmed.
The NYPD, which said it had assisted the private security team protecting them, made the incident sound less serious.
“There were numerous photographers that made their transport challenging,” Julian Phillips, the NYPD’s chief spokesperson, said in a statement. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests.”
The Washington Post quoted taxi driver Sukhcharn Singh, who said he drove the group and a security guard for around 10 minutes before returning to the police station he had picked them up from at the security guard’s request.
“I don’t think I would call it a chase,” Singh was quoted as saying, adding that two vehicles had followed them and come next to the car, taking pictures and filming.
“I never felt like I was in danger. It wasn’t like a car chase in a movie. They (the couple) were quiet and seemed scared but it’s New York — it’s safe.”
Pictures on social media show Harry, Meghan and her mother sitting in the back of a New York taxi which their spokesperson said showed “a small glimpse at the defense and decoys required to end the harassment”.
Media reported the couple had switched to the taxi to try and shake off the photographers, after the car they left the Ziegfeld Ballroom in midtown Manhattan in was pursued.