Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, were involved in a “near catastrophic car chase” with paparazzi in New York City, a spokesperson for the couple said Wednesday.
The pair, together with Meghan’s mother, were followed by photographers after leaving a charity event in New York on Tuesday night.
“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
They added that the “near catastrophic car chase” came “at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi.”
The incident came after the couple attended the Women of Vision Awards at New York’s Ziegfeld Ballroom. Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland, also attended the event.
It was the first public event the couple had attended since King Charles III’s coronation, which Meghan did not attend. Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, died in a Paris car crash while being pursued by paparazzi in 1997.
“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 statement from the couple said Wednesday.
After stepping down as senior royals in January 2020 and moving to California, the couple repeatedly complained about the lengths the media went to pursue them.
“We all know what the British press can be like and it was destroying my mental health,” Harry said in a February 2021 interview on “The Late Late Show With James Corden.”
“This is toxic,” he said, adding the media had created a “really difficult” environment for the couple. “So I did what any husband and what any father would do — I need to get my family out of here.”
Harry has also said that his biggest fear before leaving the royal family was “history repeating itself” with his wife facing the same intense scrutiny as Diana.
This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.