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Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Request Photos from ‘Near Catastrophic’ New York Car Chase

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NEW YORK, USA – After a two-hour vehicular pursuit through the streets of New York City, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have issued a request to an entertainment photo agency, Backgrid, to obtain any photos taken during the incident.

The chase, which occurred on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 followed the 2023 Women of Vision Awards, and saw the royal couple, along with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, pursued by a dozen “highly aggressive” photographers.

Prince Harry
Doria Ragland, Prince Harry and Meghan at the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards in New York on Tuesday. | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Ms. Foundation for Women

According to the couple’s spokesperson, the situation led to multiple near-miss incidents involving other drivers, pedestrians, and NYPD officers.

In a letter addressed to Backgrid, the couple allegedly wrote: “We hereby demand that Backgrid immediately provide us with copies of all photos, videos, and/or films taken last night by the freelance photographers after the couple left their event and over the next several hours.”

The BBC was the first to report the request from the Duke and Duchess.

The agency has since rejected the request, stating: “In America, as I’m sure you know, property belongs to the owner of it: Third parties cannot just demand it be given to them, as perhaps Kings can do… Perhaps you should sit down with your client and advise them that his English rules of royal prerogative to demand that the citizenry hand over their property to the Crown were rejected by this country long ago. We stand by our founding fathers.”

The New York Police Department confirmed their involvement in assisting the Sussexes’ private security detail during the incident, noting the challenge of dealing with the numerous photographers present.

They reported that, while no collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests occurred during the incident, the environment was indeed demanding.

Chris Sanchez, part of the couple’s security detail, described the situation as “very chaotic” and potentially dangerous.

“There were about a dozen vehicles: cars, scooters and bicycles,” he said to CNN. “The public were in jeopardy at several points. … They were jumping curbs and red lights.”

Despite the high-stress ordeal, taxi driver Sukhcharn Singh, who drove the couple during the chase, suggested that the situation was handled well and that the city’s safety measures were intact.

“New York City’s the safest place to be. There’s police stations, cops on every corner, there’s no reason to be afraid in New York,” Singh said.

The Sussexes’ request for the photographs marks a significant moment in their ongoing efforts to maintain their privacy and safety while in the public eye.

The couple continues to navigate the challenge of maintaining their public roles while striving for a level of personal privacy.

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