Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were pursued by half a dozen vehicles for more than two hours in New York City on Tuesday night, their reps said in a statement, in a chase that led to “multiple near collisions.”
The couple, along with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, were guests at the Ms. Foundation for Women annual charity gala at Manhattan’s Ziegfeld Ballroom, where Meghan was receiving an award, and the chase occurred as they were leaving the venue. According to the couple, pedestrians and New York Police Department officers were involved in near collisions.
“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,” a spokesperson for the couple said. “This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians, and two NYPD officers. 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.”
Meghan and Harry were photographed entering and exiting the venue, but were subsequently followed by photographers in blacked-out vehicles. The paparazzi continued to chase the couple despite being confronted by uniformed police officers. During their stay in New York, the couple is staying at a private residence and were reluctant to compromise their friend’s security.
In a statement, the NYPD confirmed that its officers provided assistance to the couple as they attempted to evade photographers. “On Wednesday evening, May 16, the NYPD assisted the private security team protecting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” it read. “There were numerous photographers that made their transport challenging. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard.”
Originally published in Vanityfair.com