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Harry and Meghan were chased by paparazzi in New York, their spokesperson says

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrive at United Nations headquarters in July 2022.
Seth Wenig
/
AP
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrive at United Nations headquarters in July 2022.

Updated May 17, 2023 at 5:53 PM ET

Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, were involved in a car chase with paparazzi after attending an event in New York City on Tuesday, which a spokesperson described as "near catastrophic."

"This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two [New York Police Department] officers," the spokesperson said in a statement shared with NPR.

"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," they added.

NYPD deputy commissioner Julian Phillips said in a statement that police assisted the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's private security team Tuesday evening.

"There were numerous photographers that made their transport challenging," Phillips said in a statement. "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard."

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said it was "reckless and irresponsible" for the paparazzi to chase the group in the way that was described.

"I don't think there's many of us who don't recall how [Harry's] mom died, and it would horrific to lose an innocent bystander during a chase like this and something to have happened to them as well," he said.

Harry's mother, Princess Diana, died in a 1997 car crash in Paris as the vehicle she was riding in was being pursued by the paparazzi. She was 36. Harry is 38.

Adams questioned whether the pursuit unfolded at high speeds the whole time. However, he said, any car chase through the densely populated city is perilous.

"I would find it hard to believe that there was a two-hour high-speed chase," he said. "We will find out the exact duration of it. But if it's 10 minutes, a 10-minute chase is extremely dangerous in New York City"

Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, was also in the vehicle. The group was apparently tailed by half a dozen vehicles with blacked-out windows.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Joe Hernandez