Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were involved in a long-lasting “near catastrophic car chase” on Tuesday night after being aggressively followed by paparazzi.
According to a spokesperson for the couple, per NBC News, after leaving a charity event in New York 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 added that the dangerous chase came “at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi.”
The event rings familiar to Harry in particular, seeing as though his mother, Princess Diana, died in a similar circumstance nearly thirty years ago.
“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 concluded, adding, “Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all in involved,” per CNN.
Law enforcement described the crowd of paparazzi that followed the royal couple as a “swarm”, noting that photographers riding on bikes and mopeds were driving on the sidewalk as well.
The couple were attending a charity event, the Women of Vision Awards at New York’s Ziegfeld Ballroom, before being involved in the car chase. This marks Harry’s first public appearance since King Charles’ coronation, as Meghan was not in attendance for the ceremony.
Harry had spoken about his experience of the dangers from paparazzi in his most recent Netflix special, Harry & Meghan.
“Back in my mum’s day, it was physical harassment – cameras in your face, following you, chasing you,” he said in the docuseries. “Paparazzi still harass people. But the harassment really exists more online now. Once the photographs are out and the stories then put next to it, then comes the social media harassment.”
“To see another woman in my life, who I love, go through this feeding frenzy – that’s hard,” he said of Meghan. “It is basically the hunter versus the prey.”
Fortunately, the couple made it home safely.