Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were involved in a 'car chase'. No one can agree on what actually happened.

When we woke up to the news this week that Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle had been involved in a “near catastrophic” car chase with photographers in New York, for many the initial reaction was gut-churning.

A single headline transported us back to 1997 when Diana, the former Princess of Wales, was tragically killed in a car accident in Paris as she was hounded by paparazzi. 

I doubt there was anyone who didn’t feel that sickening twist in the stomach and fear that history that was repeating itself — no matter what side of the royal war you’re on. 

Watch: The four revelations from Prince Harry's memoir. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

Fortunately, Prince Harry, his wife Meghan, and mum Doria Ragland (who were all inside the vehicle at the time) were fine. Rattled, but fine.

However, since the news broke hursday, there have been — how do we say it — WILDLY different accounts of what actually went down. 

So, who is telling the truth?


The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The story begins with Harry and Meghan attending an award ceremony in New York City, where the Duchess of Sussex was receiving an award. 

Once the ceremony was over, Harry, Megs, and Doria all hopped in one of their private cars. Photographers who'd been waiting for them to emerge sprang into action. 

Now here’s what the couple’s team said about what followed: 


"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,” the statement read.

"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.

"Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all involved.”

The Mayor of NYC.

Now I’ve been to New York twice. I’ve seen the films. And if there is anything I know about the city, it’s that there is a heck of a lot of people and the subway is always quicker than cabs because TRAFFIC. 

Yes, that’s right. Traffic. So, one has to wonder, how would a two-hour-long, “near catastrophic car chase” even be physically possible when it’s constant bumper to bumper?

“I would find it hard to believe there was a two-hour high-speed chase,” said the Mayor of New York City, Eric Adams. “But we will find out the exact duration. A 10-minute chase is extremely dangerous.” 

“We have a lot of traffic, movement, a lot of people use our streets. Any type of high-speed chase that involves something of that nature is inappropriate.”


He went on to concede that the behaviour of the paparazzi can be extremely dangerous. 

“It’s clear that the press and paparazzi want to get the right shot and the right story, but public safety must always be at the forefront. In the briefing I received, two of our officers could have been injured,” he explained. 

“New York City is different from a small town somewhere. You shouldn’t be speeding anywhere but this is a densely populated city. I don’t think there is many of us who don’t recall how his (Harry’s) mum died. 


“It would be horrific to lose an innocent bystander in something like this and for something to happen to [the Duke and Duchess] as well.”

So really, it’s just as unclear as before. 


You’d think the world-famous New York Police Department may have the answers.

Not yet, it seems. 

"On Wednesday evening, May 16, the NYPD assisted the private security team protecting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” Deputy Commissioner of the NYPD, Julian Phillips, said. “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."

So, basically a statement saying what didn’t happen?

A celebrity news agency.

Oooh we’ve got to the good stuff now.  

Backgrid USA, a celeb news agency, started its statement by confirming that it had received photos and video of the event from four freelance photographers. Three of them had been cars, and one had been riding a bike (how you manage to cycle and take photos at the same time is beyond me, but anyway...)

“It is important to note that these photographers have a professional responsibility to cover newsworthy events and personalities, including public figures such as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle," it said. 

Ok, debatable, but continue. 

"According to the accounts given by these freelance contributors, they were covering the couple's stay in New York City, including the possibility of a dinner after an award ceremony. They had no intention of causing any distress or harm, as their only tool was their cameras. A few of the photos even show Meghan Markle smiling inside a cab. The photographers report that one of the four SUVs from Prince Harry's security escort was driving in a manner that could be perceived as reckless."


"The vehicle was seen blocking off streets, and in one video, it is shown being pulled over by the police. We understand that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's security detail had a job to do, and we respect their work."


"We do, however, want to point out that according to the photographers present, there were no near-collisions or near-crashes during this incident. The photographers have reported feeling that the couple was not in immediate danger at any point."

"At BACKGRID USA Inc., we do not condone any form of harassment or illegal activity. We are taking Prince Harry's allegations seriously and will be conducting a thorough investigation into the matter."

Ok, so now we’ve got innocent photographers, a smiling Meghan, and a reckless security driver. The plot thickens. 

A paparazzi driver.

So let’s bring in one of the pap drivers, who gave ITV’s Good Morning Britain an anonymous interview. 

“Ater leaving the theatre, there were hopes from me and a few other photographers that maybe they would go to a restaurant,” he explained.

“For the most part, I was driving and it was very tense trying to keep up with the vehicles. They did a lot of blocking and there was a lot of different type of manoeuvres to stop what was happening.”


He then went on to say that it was the couple’s driver who made the pursuit “a catastrophic experience”.

“If they were going 80mph (129kms), I would probably have been going 20mph (32kms) behind them and hoping to keep sight of them,” he said.

“So if it was dangerous and catastrophic, it was more than likely based on the person that was driving.”

Ah, the blame game. I am here for it. 

The cab driver.

Now here is where it gets even wilder for me because it seems like, at some point during this crazy ordeal, their former royal highnesses ditched their fancy security-driven SUV for a classic New York cab. Because if you really want to go undercover in the Big Apple, it’s in a taxi right?


But really. As much as it reads like a romcom plot, this isn’t a movie. And even though they’d been stripped of most of their titles, can you really imagine Prince Harry and Meghan hailing a cab? 

Yet Sukhcharn Singh said that’s basically what happened when the Sussexes, Meg’s mum, and a security guard jumped into his taxi. 

Listen to the hosts of Mamamia Out Loud discuss the surpirisng Prince Harry Take. Post continues after podcast.

He told the Washington Post that he drove the group around for 10 minutes before returning them to the police station that he’d picked them up from. 

"I don’t think I would call it a chase," Singh said, while explaining that two vehicles had followed them and drawn up next to his cab, while taking photos and filming.

"I never felt like I was in danger. It wasn’t like a car chase in a movie. They (the couple) were quiet and seemed scared but it's New York — it's safe."

There seems to be a lot that doesn't add up here. But in the pursuit of a good story — from either sides of the palace walls — is it worth it when human lives are at risk?

Images: Getty Images.

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