Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are glad to be safe and sound.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were left shaken after what their reps called a “near-catastrophic” paparazzi “car chase” following the Women of Vision Awards in New York City on Tuesday night.
Meghan, 41, was honored at the event and the couple attended alongside her mother, Doria Ragland.
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle & Her Mom Doria Ragland Stun At Event In New York CityView Gallery
Reps for the Sussexes shared a statement with Access Hollywood on Wednesday, explaining that in addition to the trio, multiple bystanders as well as law enforcement were also involved in the incident.
“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,” the statement read.
It is unclear when Meghan and Harry will return home to California, but Access Hollywood has learned that the couple and Doria were staying at a private residence in the city and didn’t want to compromise the location of their friend’s home.
At some point during the incident, the three were spotted moving into a yellow taxi.
“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 Sussexes’ statement added.
Two senior law enforcement officials told NBC News that it was “a bit of a chaotic scene” as the couple was escorted around the city for more than an hour in an attempt to keep their destination unknown.
Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana, died in a car crash that also involved paparazzi chasing her vehicle back in 1997, and the Duke has long been open about the lasting impact of her tragic passing. She was just 36 years old.
New York City mayor Eric Adams, who was set to be debriefed in full later on Wednesday, issued initial public remarks on the ordeal.
“It’s clear that the press, paparazzies, you know, they want to get the right shot, they want to get the right story. But public safety must always be at the forefront. The briefing I received, two of our officers could have been injured. New York City is different from small towns somewhere, you shouldn’t be speeding anywhere but this is a densely populated city and I think all of us, I don’t think there’s many of us who don’t recall how [Harry’s] mom died and it would be horrific to lose an innocent bystander during a chase like this and something to have happened to them as well. So I think we have to be extremely responsible. I thought that was a bit reckless and irresponsible,” Adams said in part.
The mayor went on to note that he found it “hard to believe” that the ordeal lasted two hours at high speeds, and explained that even a 10-minute chase is extremely dangerous in an area as condensed as Manhattan.
“We have a lot of traffic, a lot of movement, a lot of people are using our streets. Any time of high speed chase that involves something of that nature is inappropriate. Police do it under limited circumstances when they’re going after violent people but to do it because you want to get the right shot can turn out to be a place where people can be harmed in a real way,” he said.
Copyright © 2023 by NBC Universal, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be republished, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.