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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle involved in 'near catastrophic car chase' in New York

The incident occurred after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended the Women of Vision Awards


Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Ripple of Hope Award Gala in Nev York
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
Updated: May 17, 2023
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, were involved in a "near catastrophic car chase" involving paparazzi photographers, the couple's spokesperson confirmed.  

The incident occurred after Meghan received a Woman of Vision award at the Ms. Foundation for Women's annual gala on Tuesday night. 

In a statement, the spokesperson said: "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.  

"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."

She made surprising alterations to her incredible dress© Getty
Meghan stunned in a gold dress

On Wednesday afternoon, New York Police Department released a statement about the incident. It read: "On Wednesday 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. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard."

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex attend the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards© Getty
Meghan was joined by her husband Harry at the awards ceremony

It is understood that Harry and Meghan believe the pursuit could have been fatal, as it involved six blacked-out vehicles with unidentified people driving recklessly and endangering the convoy and everyone around them.

The couple accept a heightened level of attention when they are at public events, and in this case they exited and entered the venue publicly, allowing photographers to get pictures.

The family was staying at a private residence and did not want to compromise the security of their friend’s home.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry© Getty
It was the couple's most high-profile appearance to date this year

It is said that traffic violations included driving on the pavement and through red lights, reversing down a one-way street, illegally blocking a moving vehicle and driving while photographing and while on the phone; that while those involved were confronted by uniformed police multiple times, they continued the pursuit; and there is footage taken from security along with other evidence to support these allegations.

It was the couple's first public appearance at the glitzy bash since Prince Harry attended King Charles and Queen Camilla's coronation in London earlier this month.

WATCH: Harry and Meghan attend Women of Vision Awards in New York

Meghan remained in Montecito with the couple's children, Prince Archie, four, and one-year-old Princess Lilibet. 

Harry made a swift return to California following his father's coronation in order to be back to celebrate Archie's fourth birthday, which also fell on 6 May. 

RELATED: Doria Ragland pays tribute to grandchildren Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet - did you notice? 

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Doria Women of Vision awards
Meghan's mother Doria was also in attendance

In a speech at the awards ceremony, Meghan, who wowed in a gold dress by Johanna Ortiz, said: "Because of this foundation, so many of our youth have been instilled with self-worth and limitless possibility no matter their race, gender, class, sexual orientation, disability or age. Your collective work in pursuit of a world where every person is truly valued is nothing short of awe inspiring."

Markus Anderson Genevieve Hillis and Jill Smoller© Getty
Markus Anderson, Genevieve Hillis and Jill Smoller seen with Meghan Markle

Teresa C. Younger, the Ms. Foundation president and CEO, said in her introduction speech for Meghan: “Her core belief that representation matters, and her connection to community through the lens of learning, healing, and inspiring have helped define her as a cultural catalyst for positive change. 

"Tonight we are thrilled to recognize Meghan’s strength, resilience, passion and tenacity, which is critical to building a better world for our mothers and grandmothers, our children and their children, and ourselves."

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