Inside the drama of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s NYC paparazzi chase ordeal (2023)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle raised alarms Wednesday about a “near catastrophic,” more than two-hour paparazzi chase through Manhattan — drawing comparisons to Princess Diana’s fatal 1997 crash — even as cops said the supposed ordeal wasn’t nearly as dramatic as the couple claimed.

The high-profile yet photo-shy pair said via their rep that they were subjected to a “relentless pursuit” by “a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi” after leaving an event at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in Midtown 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.

Asked about the statement at an unrelated press conference, Mayor Eric Adams branded the incident “reckless and irresponsible,” invoking Harry’s mom Diana’s name.

“I don’t think there’s many of us who don’t recall how his mom died,” the mayor said.

While the NYPD said the incident was under investigation, police also played down the couple’s high-drama claims, describing a somewhat hectic yet overall controlled scene.

“The NYPD assisted the private security team protecting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” a spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday. “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.”

A high-ranking source added that there were “no collision reports or 911 calls” and that the chase “definitely wasn’t two hours.”

(Video) Harry and Meghan Say They Were in ‘Near Catastrophic’ Paparazzi Car Chase

Harry, 38, and Meghan, 41, left the ballroom — where the former “Suits” actress was honored by Gloria Steinem at the Women of Vision Awards gala — with her mother, Doria Ragland, around 9:50 p.m. flanked by both a private security car and an NYPD vehicle.

Writer and photographer Lieba Nesis, who witnessed what happened, told The Post the trio was “dodging paparazzi all night” at the high-profile event.

“They came through the back through the Hertz car rental store, so despite the barricades and police presence up front, they dodged the paparazzi and headed through a secret entrance, so many [paparazzi] were left without pictures,” the witness said of their covert arrival.

Later, when Harry, Meghan and Ragland were getting back into their car, the witness said the photographers “were aggressive but not crazy.”

“When Meghan and Harry emerged … they had someone blocking their faces so despite the paparazzi waiting for more than four hours, none of them were able to get shots,” they explained.

One eyewitness told Page Six that the couple’s security “were being a–holes from the start.”

“They were mocking the paps, provoking them. You expect that kind of thing from security for rappers or whatever, but with good security — which this should be — you expect them to be similar to Secret Service. These security egged on the paps.”

A group of paparazzi followed the three vehicles, but photographers told Page Six it was the couple’s own security that was driving erratically — possibly to shake the shutterbugs and avoid revealing where the California-based couple was staying in the city.

(Video) Prince Harry and Meghan involved in ‘near catastrophic car chase’ involving paparazzi in NY

The pair’s team even cautionedthe public against accessing photos of the alleged chase, which they said promoted “a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all involved.”

Chris Sanchez, a member of Harry and Meghan’s security detail,told CNNthat he believed the paparazzi put the public in danger, claiming “there were about a dozen vehicles, cars, scooters and bicycles” chasing them.

“The public was in jeopardy at several points,” Sanchez said. “It could have been fatal. I have never seen, experienced anything like this.”

The guard also claimed that at multiple points, paparazzi were jumping curbs and blowing red lights.

Police sources, however, stressed that “at no time was there a high-speed chase,” though two wheels of one vehicle did jump a curb at one point and two uniformed officers reported being “nearly missed” as the paparazzi took off.

The entourage spent about one hour driving in circles between West 57th Street and the FDR Drive in an attempt to lose the shutterbugs before stopping at the 19th Precinct on East 67th Street between Third Avenue and Lexington Avenue, according to sources.

From there, the exiled royals switched cars, getting into a yellow cab.

Speakingto The Post on Wednesday afternoon, cab driver Sukcharn “Sonny” Singh said he was hired to take the royals away from the precinct, but the trip only lasted 10 minutes as they asked to be taken back to the station.

(Video) NYPD investigating paparazzi chase involving Prince Harry, Meghan

Singh confirmed that the decision to go back came over fears that the paparazzi would continue following them and reveal their location.

The cabbie said six paparazzi surrounded his vehicle when they were stuck behind a garbage truck and that his vehicle was tailed by two cars.

“I never felt like I was in danger. It wasn’t like a car chase in a movie,” Singh said. “They were quiet and seemed scared, but it’s New York — it’s safe.”

After they went back to the station, sources said the couple made their own way home, which was just two blocks away from the precinct. A spokesperson for Harry and Meghan said they got home just after midnight.

Their dramatic description drew backlash from several journalists and celebrities.

Former Fox talk show host-turned-podcaster Megyn Kelly called their claims “bulls–t” and said it was impossible for a two-hour car chase to happen in Manhattan.

“Too many street lights/stop signs, too much foot/car traffic & hundreds of places you could safely pull over to protect yourself,” Kelly tweeted.“Also if they really want to avoid the paparazzi perhaps the Duchess should stop using them so obviously when she wants to see herself in the paper.”

British journalist Piers Morgan also weighed in on the incident, tweeting: “There was no 2-hour chase, their story is unraveling by the minute.”

(Video) Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Involved in "Near Catastrophic" Car Chase | E! News

Caitlyn Jenner, who is no stranger to getting chased by paparazzi, also suggested that the chase went nowhere near as long as she slammed Harry and Meghan.

“I have been party to paps following me in NY (definitely not 2 hrs and plenty of evidence – kind of the point since they have cameras), LA (even in a city with lots of driving and long distances between destinations, not 2 hours, and AGAIN LOTS OF EVIDENCE) it comes with the territory. Whine whine whine is all these 2 seem to do,” Jenner tweeted.

The couple was also mocked on social media for allegedly playing up the incident, with many invoking a recent “South Park” episode parodying their calls for privacy while also basking in the limelight.

Rob Shuter, a former publicist for Jennifer Lopez, P. Diddy and Princess Michael of Kent, also criticized the exiled royals for their behavior, saying it was unbecoming of celebrities in New York.

“What they did was not reasonable,” Shuter said. “We know where Beyonce lives. We know where Taylor Swift is staying. It’s New York City. If there were any real concerns over their safety, they could’ve just pulled over.”

News of Harry and Meghan’s nighttime press run-in also comes amid the prince’s ongoing legal battle over his security in the UK.

The Duke of Sussex’s private detail was revoked when he and Meghan decamped to California in 2020.

He is trying to secure the right to hire public police for his family’s protection when they visit his country.

(Video) Markle, Prince Harry involved in paparazzi chase in NYC: spokesperson

Spokespersons for Buckingham Palace, as well as for Prince William and Princess Kate, have declined to comment on the incident.

Omid Scobie, a British journalist who covers Meghan and Harry, said that as of Wednesday afternoon, no member of the royal family has reached out to the Sussexes since the story broke.

Additional reporting byMara Siegler,Dana Kenedy, Craig McCarthy, Kevin Sheehan and Reuven Fenton


Were Harry and Meghan chased by paparazzi? ›

In a statement to USA TODAY Wednesday, the couple's office said that the paparazzi's chase to capture photos of Harry and Meghan "resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers." The statement called the incident "near catastrophic."

What NYC paparazzi said about Chase? ›

A spokesperson for Harry and Meghan deemed the paparazzi in New York “highly aggressive” and described the chase as a “relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours.”

Were Harry and Meghan really in a car chase? ›

More than 25 years on, her son and his wife were pursued through the streets of New York City this week in what their team called a “near catastrophic” car chase.

How do paparazzi know when celebrities are at the airport? ›

2. How do paparazzi know where to find celebrities? Many get information from tipsters regarding celebrity whereabouts, such as airport arrivals or restaurant reservations. Others memorize license plate numbers of celebrities' cars, while some stake stars' homes and hangouts.

Who is the most paparazzi celebrity? ›

Who is the Most Photographed Person in the World in 2023?
  • Kim Kardashian.
  • Britney Spears.
  • Joe Biden.
  • Barack Obama.
  • Hillary Clinton.
  • Michael Jackson.
  • Marilyn Monroe.
  • Queen Elizabeth II.

Who is the most successful paparazzi? ›

Ron Galella

Can celebrities refuse paparazzi? ›

Does a Photographer Need Permission to Take a Photo of an Individual? Under right of privacy laws, celebrities and private individuals are protected from being photographed without their permission in a location where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Are celebrities allowed to break paparazzi cameras? ›

They can and many do. Every day of their lives celebrities are chased, filmed, and pictured without their permission, so sometimes they decide to turn the spell against the caster. They can and some have. Sometimes celebrities are pushed passed their limit and they just can't take it anymore, so they snap.

Do celebrities get annoyed by paparazzi? ›

Some celebrities have even fight with the paparazzi on many occasions. -breaking cameras, spitting on them, or maybe punching them! It can get pretty intense. At some point, it should be fine for celebrities to beat the paparazzi.

Who is the most photographed woman alive? ›

Queen Elizabeth II: capturing the world's most photographed woman in life and death.

Who is the most photographed woman in America? ›

San Antonio's Janice Jarratt, 'the most photographed woman in the world,' was born in 1914.

What celebrities are being sued by paparazzi? ›

In addition to Cyrus, Lipa and Kardashian, many other celebrities have found themselves facing copyright cases after posting photos of themselves. Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande have also been sued – by the same photographer who filed suit against Cyrus and Lipa this year.

What actress was sued by paparazzi? ›

Miley Cyrus is being sued after allegedly posting a picture of herself on Instagram when she didn't have the rights to do so.

What is the most expensive paparazzi photo ever sold? ›

Now a photography site, Shotkit, is revealing the most expensive paparazzi photo ever sold, and of course, it's of Princess Diana and her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed. The $6 million photo was taken in July 1997, just a month before both of them would perish in a high-speed car crash in Paris.

How much do paparazzi make per photo? ›

Paparazzi Pay Scale and Industry

Exclusive, unique shots can pay out in the range of ​$1,000​ to ​$10,000​. Occasionally, a paparazzo gets that one shot that's so good and so exclusive they're paid tens of thousands of dollars for the rights to use that image.

Who took the picture of Chase? ›

The Treasury Historical Association donated to the Department a rare original relic - an 1862 photograph of Secretary Salmon Portland Chase. The image is important to Treasury in that it was used twenty years later by the photographer, Henry Ulke, to paint, posthumously, Chase's official portrait.

What are the people who chase celebrities for photos? ›

Paparazzi (US: /ˌpɑːpəˈrɑːtsi/, UK: /ˌpæpəˈrætsi/; Italian: [papaˈrattsi]; singular: masculine paparazzo or feminine paparazza) are independent photographers who take pictures of high-profile people; such as actors, musicians, athletes, politicians, and other celebrities, typically while subjects go about their usual ...

Was Chase called Chase Manhattan? ›

Chase National Bank merges with The Bank of The Manhattan Company to form Chase Manhattan Bank. The new institution combines Chase National's strength in international, corporate, and correspondent banking with The Bank of The Manhattan Company's network of branches and retail banking expertise.

Are paparazzi allowed to follow you? ›

Across the pond (and the continent) in California, paparazzi are legally prohibited from trespassing on private property, using telephoto lenses to survey private property, or pursuing targets in cars. However, many criticize the law as having little in the way of teeth to back up its threats of liability.

What mistake did Chase make? ›

The brother tells Chase that he and the orphaned children are going to have to move as they can no longer afford to live there. Chase then tells the brother he made a mistake diagnosing the ulcer and that he was hung over at the time. This infuriates the brother, leading him to sue.

Why was Chase paralyzed? ›

Chase survives surgery but is left paralyzed. House concludes that the paralysis is caused by a blood clot. Chase regains feeling when surgery is performed to remove the clot that is pressing on his spine, but he faces extensive physical therapy.

Why did Chase go to jail? ›

Although seemingly small, House was genuinely trying to save Chase from getting hurt like he did with Cuddy and having to serve a year in jail because he had to crash a car in Cuddy's house to move on.

What 4 famous celebrities are surprisingly not on social media photos? ›

Apart from these Hollywood stars, Emma Stone, Emily Blunt Sandra Bullock, Daniel Craig, Scarlett Johansson, Kate Moss, George Clooney, and Kate Winslet are also not on any social media. However, there are also some Hollywood stars, who do have a social media account but have a separate team to handle it.

How do celebs stay private? ›

Some celebrities are known for stopping to chat with fans, sign autographs and pose for photos whereas other celebrities prefer to avoid the limelight where possible. As long as you are consistent and courteous at all times, then fans will typically give you more space and respect your desire for privacy.

Which celebrity got in trouble for pictures taken by paparazzi? ›

A number of well-known celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez and model Gigi Hadid, have had lawsuits filed against them for posting paparazzi images on their social media accounts.

What was Chase before it was called Chase? ›

As a result of the takeover, Washington Mutual shareholders lost all their equity. Through the acquisition, JPMorgan became owner of the former accounts of Providian Financial, a credit card issuer WaMu acquired in 2005. The company completed the rebranding of Washington Mutual branches to Chase in late 2009.

Why is a chase called a chase? ›

It comes from the Old French word 'chacier' which means 'to hunt'.

What did Chase used to be called? ›

1 The company traces its origins back as far as 1799, when the Manhattan Co. was founded in New York City. The bank's current form is built on the foundations of more than 1,200 predecessor institutions, including J.P. Morgan & Co., the Chase Manhattan Bank, Bank One, and many others.

What happened to the paparazzi who chased Diana? ›

France Info radio reported that one photographer was beaten by witnesses who were horrified by the scene. Five of the photographers were arrested directly. Later, two others were detained and around 20 rolls of film were taken directly from the photographers. Police also impounded their vehicles afterwards.


1. Piers Morgan Interviews Taxi Driver Of Harry and Meghan On Night Of 'Car Chase'
(Piers Morgan Uncensored)
2. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in "Near Catastrophic" Car Chase After "Relentless" Paparazzi Pursuit
3. Prince Harry and Meghan’s ‘paparazzi car chase’ taxi driver goes silent | Today Show Australia
4. NYC Mayor Eric Adams Questions Meghan Markle & Prince Harry’s 2-Hour High Speed Chase
(Access Hollywood)
5. Piers Morgan picks apart Harry and Meghan's 'incredibly dramatic' car chase story
(Sky News Australia)
6. Harry & Meghan Say They Were Chased by Paparazzi in New York | Prince Harry Car Chase News LIVE
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