Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, experienced a “near catastrophic car chase” in New York City involving paparazzi on Tuesday night, his spokesperson says.
The incident took place after the couple attended the 2023 Women of Vision Awards ceremony, hosted by the Ms. Foundation for Women. The event was held at Ziegfeld Ballroom, located a few blocks from the south end of Central Park. Doria Ragland, Meghan’s mother, accompanied Harry and Meghan.
“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,” the spokesperson said. “This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers.”
The representative also stated that “being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety,” CNN reported.
The NYPD said in a statement to Robb Report: “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.”
Meghan, 41, had been honored at the ceremony as one of this year’s Woman of Vision Award honorees due to her international advocacy for the empowerment of women and girls, People reported. She was presented the award by Gloria Steinem, a cofounding mother of the Ms. Foundation.
Harry and Meghan stepped away from their roles in the royal family in 2020 partly due to what they described as media harassment, according to Reuters. The prince has also blamed paparazzi for the death of his mother, Princess Diana.
“I think one of the hardest things to come to terms with is the fact that the people that chased her into the tunnel were the same people that were taking photographs of her while she was still dying on the back seat of the car,” Harry said in a BBC documentary.
The media is at the center of an ongoing trial involving the Duke of Sussex. He has accused Rupert Murdoch–owned News Group Newspapers of engaging in illegal phone hacking to get information for stories. The conglomerate has tried to argue that it’s too late for Harry to bring his case against them.