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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were in a “near catastrophic car chase” in New York City on Tuesday night, but there were no collisions or injuries as a result.
A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said that the incident, which took place following their appearance at a Ms. Foundation gala alongside Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, lasted several hours and involved several other drivers.
“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 told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. “This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers.
“Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all involved,” the spokesperson continued.
The NYPD was assisting the Sussexes’ private security team Tuesday night when the incident happened, Julian Phillips, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of public information, told THR on Wednesday.
“There were numerous photographers that made their transport challenging,” he said. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries or arrests in regard.”
In an interview with The Washington Post, taxi driver Sukhcharn Singh said he picked up the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on Tuesday night, along with Ragland, after a guard flagged him down at around 11 p.m. outside the NYPD’s 19th precinct on East 67th Street. According to Singh, during the 10 minutes they were in the car with him, his taxi was followed by two vehicles.
“They kept following us and were coming next to the car,” he said. “They took pictures as we stopped and were filming us.”
According to the driver, the guard became concerned and requested Singh return to the precinct. At least while the group was in his taxi, he said, they “were quiet and seemed scared” but he “never felt” like he was in danger.
The Ms. Foundation 2023 Women of Vision Awards, where Markle was honored for her work helping to empower women, was the first public appearance for the couple since the coronation of King Charles III, which Prince Harry attended but Markle did not.
Prince Harry has previously discussed his and Markle’s tenuous relationship with the press, especially the U.K. tabloids, which he has repeatedly accused of trying to exploit his family. He has even drawn comparisons between their treatment and the press’ behavior toward his late mother, Princess Diana.
“’This family is ours to exploit, their trauma is our story and our narrative to control,’” he said of the press’ attitude toward him and Markle in the Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan. “I accept that there’ll be people around the world who fundamentally disagree with what I’ve done and how I’ve done it, but I knew that I had to do everything I could to protect my family, especially after what happened to my mum. I didn’t want history to repeat itself.”
10:17 a.m. PT This story has been updated with more details from the NYPD about Tuesday night’s events.
11:22 a.m. PT This story has been updated with details from The Washington Post’s interview with a taxi driver who picked up the couple.
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