After the Duchess of Sussex accepted an award at last night’s Women of Vision Awards in New York City, she, husband Prince Harry, and her mother, Doria Ragland, were involved in a “near catastrophic car chase” with paparazzi.
A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a statement regarding the incident, denouncing the paparazzi’s “relentless pursuit” of Meghan and Harry.
“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 reads. “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 in involved.”
A source tells Bazaar.com the chase allegedly included half a dozen blacked-out vehicles, with these drivers committing various traffic violations such as running red lights, reversing down a one-way street, driving on the sidewalk, blocking a moving vehicle, and driving while using the phone and photographing. The couple was staying at a friend’s private residence and did not want to compromise this friend’s home.
The source also tells Bazaar.com that the duke and duchess accept the level of attention they receive at highly publicized events. In the case of last night’s ceremony, they allowed paparazzi to capture photos of them entering and leaving the venue.
Harry and Meghan have long spoken out against the invasive breaches of privacy that paparazzi and tabloids commit to sell photos and stories about the couple’s personal lives. The duke and duchess have previously taken legal action, filing multiple lawsuits against the likes of Associated Newspapers.
In his memoir, Spare, Harry recalled the trauma of losing his mother, Princess Diana, in a fatal car crash in Paris after she was pursued by paparazzi in 1997.
Harry wrote that he later drove through the tunnel where the crash occurred, when he was 23.
“We zipped ahead, went over the lip at the tunnel’s entrance, the bump that supposedly sent Mummy’s Mercedes veering off course. But the lip was nothing. We barely felt it,” he wrote. “As the car entered the tunnel I leaned forward, watched the light change to a kind of water orange, watched the concrete pillars flicker past. I counted them, counted my heartbeats, and in a few seconds we emerged from the other side. I sat back. Quietly I said: Is that all of it? It’s … nothing. Just a straight tunnel. I’d always imagined the tunnel as some treacherous passageway, inherently dangerous, but it was just a short, simple, no-frills tunnel. No reason anyone should ever die inside it.”
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