How bad was this really??
If you didn’t hear, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle experienced something truly traumatic after their public appearance Tuesday night. The couple were visiting NYC, attending the Ms. Foundation‘s 2023 Women of Vision Awards at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in Manhattan; Meghan was an honoree. Joined by Meg’s mom Doria Ragland, they all seemed to have a lovely time — and were all smiles in pics.
After leaving, however, they were chased by paparazzi — in an incident terrifyingly reminiscent of the night Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, was killed. According to a spokesperson for the Sussexes:
“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.”
Over two hours? A relentless pursuit? Wow! Sounds so intense!
But what exactly happened?
Well, the palace, unsurprisingly, had no comment. They rarely comment on matters involving the Sussexes anymore since they left the royal life. Certainly not anything in support. The silence has left the general public to weigh in based only on the word of Harry and Meghan. Fans naturally felt sympathy for Harry in particular, for whom this must have been especially upsetting. Detractors naturally assumed the couple were just settling back into their victim narrative. Heck, many accused them of just making the whole thing up!
But the NYPD has released an official statement on the incident. We’ll leave it to you to decipher whether Harry and Meghan were exaggerating the danger — but something did go down, as the police explained:
“On Tuesday evening, May 16, the NYPD assisted the private security team protecting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. There were numerous photographers that made their transport challenging.”
This is the first independent confirmation that anything happened at all. While saying the transport was “challenging” sounds a lot less urgent than the term “relentless pursuit” we should note, to be fair, this is from the perspective of NYPD cops, for whom car chases are all part of the job. It’s possible the whole thing was a lot scarier to civilians like Harry and Meghan? One thing is for sure, though — if there were “multiple near collisions” there were no actual collisions. The statement continues:
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard.”
So it wasn’t that bad, all things considered. It doesn’t mean Meghan wasn’t scared, it doesn’t mean Harry wasn’t put into the trauma of thinking about his mother’s fate. But it does mean no one ultimately was hurt in any way. However, that may have been a miracle!
According to Deadline‘s law enforcement sources, the couple were en route to a friend’s house when they saw the paps following them. Not wanting to lead the press to the private residence, they drove around the NYC streets to throw them off the scent — and eventually the car stopped and Meghan and her mom got into a taxi, which took them to a local police station. Apparently scooters and motorbikes followed the car closely, even at times driving onto sidewalks to keep up! So maybe pedestrians were in danger! Sources told the outlet it all certainly could have ended in catastrophe.
NYC Mayor Eric Adams, once an NYPD officer himself, addressed the situation in an unrelated press conference on Wednesday morning, saying:
“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 innocent bystanders 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.”
So this chase definitely went down. Thankfully no one was hurt — but was that a close call? Or was it just not as dangerous as the Sussexes made it sound? Are Harry and Meghan being dramatic about it? We’ll leave that up to YOU to decide!
[Image via MEGA/WENN.]