Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Involved in Dangerous Car Chase with Paparazzi in New York City
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been involved in a near catastrophic car chase with paparazzi in New York City. The couple’s spokesperson said in a statement to PEOPLE that the chase lasted over two hours and resulted in multiple near collisions with other drivers, pedestrians, and two NYPD officers. The incident occurred on May 16, 2023, when the couple, along with Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland, were attending the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards, where Meghan was being honored for her global advocacy to empower women and girls.
The NYPD released a statement saying that they assisted the private security team protecting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and that there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard. However, witnesses have come forward, with some corroborating the couple’s account of the chase. A local law enforcement source told CNN that the couple were followed by a “swarm” of paparazzi in cars, motorcycles, and scooters after they left the event.
The incident has raised concerns about the safety of public figures and the role of the media in their lives. In 1997, Princess Diana, Prince Harry's mother, passed away due to injuries caused by a car accident. She was attempting to escape from the paparazzi who were pursuing her car. The couple’s spokesperson urged the media not to publish photographs from the incident, calling the dissemination of these images dangerous to all involved.
The Ms Foundation has issued a statement regarding Tuesday’s events, saying that the Women of Vision Awards celebrated the incredible achievements of their honorees, marking the organization’s 50th anniversary of philanthropy in feminist movements.
Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace have not commented publicly on the incident, and according to the PA news agency, the Royal Family has not been in touch with Harry and Meghan since the incident. The award ceremony was the couple’s first public appearance together since King Charles’ coronation earlier this month.
The incident has also sparked a debate about the safety of high-speed chases in New York City, with Mayor Eric Adams calling it “reckless” and “irresponsible.” Witnesses have given conflicting accounts of the chase, with some saying they never felt in danger, while others described it as a “relentless pursuit.” Regardless, the incident has raised important questions about the safety of public figures and the need for responsible media coverage.
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2. “Buckingham Palace Silent On Prince Harry & Meghan Paparazzi Car Chase; NYPD Confirm Incident, But Play Down Drama” Deadline, 17 May. 2023, https://deadline.com/2023/05/prince-harry-meghan-markle-car-chase-paparazzi-nypd-1235370258/
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4. “Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Involved in ‘Near Catastrophic' Car Chase in NYC, Spokesperson Says” NBC 10 Philadelphia, 17 May. 2023, https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/entertainment/entertainment-news/prince-harry-and-meghan-markle-involved-in-near-catastrophic-car-chase-in-nyc-spokesperson-says/3568368/
5. “Exclusive: Prince Harry and Meghan’s security detail says car chase ‘could have been fatal’” CNN, 17 May. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/17/americas/harry-meghan-car-crash-security-details-intl/index.html
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7. “Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Say They Were Chased by Paparazzi in New York” The Wall Street Journal, 17 May. 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/prince-harry-and-meghan-markle-say-they-were-chased-by-paparazzi-in-new-york-85ba00c1