Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have said they were involved in a “near catastrophic” car chase Tuesday night, prompting Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City, to invoke the memory of the death of Princess Diana, who was killed in 1997 while being pursued by photographers.
The couple’s spokesperson said the “relentless pursuit” after an awards party lasted over two hours and “resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers.”
The couple’s party, which included Meghan’s mother, Doria, sought refuge in two police stations as they tried to lose their pursuers before returning to a friend’s home at which they were staying, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The Telegraph, one of the few outlets with which the Sussexes’ communications team deals, said they left one police station in a taxi, to try and throw the paparazzi off their scent, but the ploy did not work and they were photographed in the cab.
After heading to another police station, they finally made it to their destination at around 12:30 a.m., having left the awards ceremony at which Meghan was being honored at 10 p.m.
Their spokesperson was quoted by the Telegraph as saying: “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. This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers.
“While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety.”
The couple, who are said to be “shaken but thankful” that nobody was hurt, are now appealing for outlets not to run pictures of the chase, with a spokesperson saying: “Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all in involved.”
The New York Times reported that the New York Police Department “did not yet have a report available.”
The paper added, however, that Mayor Eric Adams told reporters: “I would find it hard to believe that there was a two-hour high speed chase” but said that 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: “I don’t think there’s many of us who don’t recall how his Mom died 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.”
The awards ceremony was Meghan and Harry’s first public appearance since King Charles’ coronation.