Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, encountered a harrowing incident described as a “near-catastrophic car chase” in New York City, according to the city’s police department. The incident unfolded following the couple’s attendance at an awards ceremony where the Duchess of Sussex received the prestigious Woman of Vision award.
Video footage published by TMZ captured Prince Harry, Meghan, and Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, inside a yellow cab after departing the event. The couple’s representative revealed that the relentless pursuit lasted over two hours, resulting in multiple close calls with other drivers, pedestrians, and even two NYPD officers.
Julian Phillips, the New York Police Department’s deputy commissioner for public information, confirmed that the NYPD provided assistance to the couple’s private security team after the incident. Phillips acknowledged the challenges posed by numerous photographers, but assured that there were no collisions, injuries, summonses, or arrests reported.
Sukhcharn Singh, the cab driver who transported the couple, shared his perspective with The Washington Post, downplaying the incident as a chase. Singh stated that he never felt endangered and emphasized that New York is a safe city. News reports indicated that Prince Harry and Meghan aimed to elude the paparazzi to safeguard their privacy at the Manhattan residence where they were staying.
New York Mayor Eric Adams criticized the incident, describing it as “reckless and irresponsible.” He emphasized the potential danger such high-speed chases pose to innocent bystanders and referenced the tragic death of Prince Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, in a car crash involving paparazzi pursuit.
The representative for Prince Harry and Meghan emphasized that the couple was pursued by more than half a dozen vehicles and expressed concern that public figures’ high level of interest should not compromise safety. They further noted that the dissemination of paparazzi-taken photographs encourages intrusive practices.
Prince Harry and Meghan stepped down from their royal duties in 2020 and relocated to the United States due to the intense media harassment they experienced. Prince Harry has been involved in a legal battle with the Home Office, seeking a judicial review of the decision to prevent him from privately financing his protective security arrangements in the UK.
The incident in New York marked the couple’s first public appearance together since the coronation of King Charles III. Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, accompanied them to the Ms Foundation for Women’s 50th anniversary gala event, which honored remarkable grantee partners and visionary leaders dedicated to advancing gender equality and creating equitable futures for women, girls, and gender-expansive individuals.