Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attended the Ms. Foundation Woman of Vision Awards in New York City on Tuesday evening, and claim they were involved in a “near catastrophic car chase” after the ceremony.
Following the event — where the Duchess of Sussex received the 2023 Woman of Vision Award from Gloria Steinem — Markle, her husband and her mother, Doria Ragland, were pursued by swarms of photographers for “over two hours,” which resulted in “multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road,” according to a spokesperson for the royal couple.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams criticized the “reckless and irresponsible” incident during a press conference, but also said he found it “hard to believe” a “two-hour, high-speed chase” happened in the densely-populated city wrought with traffic, pedestrians and ongoing construction projects.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard.”
— Julian Phillips, NYPD deputy commissioner of public information
Here’s what we know about the alleged incident:
Gloria Steinem smiles on the red carpet for the Ms. Foundation Woman of Vision Awards. (Angela Weiss)
6:00 p.m. – The Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards officially begin.
Steinem’s event and mission have since been completely overshadowed by Markle and Prince Harry’s incident.
MEGHAN MARKLE ALL SMILES IN GOLD GOWN ALONGSIDE PRINCE HARRY FOR POST-CORONATION AWARD
The couple was pictured on the red carpet posing for photos. “There is a strong love connection,” body language expert Susan Constantine-Perfido told Fox News Digital.
“Her hips slightly turned toward Harry shows the intimacy between the couple. Harry’s stance is more formal and collected showing a small, uncomfortable smirk when he’s in the spotlight.”
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry shared the look of love on the red carpet ahead of Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards. (Kevin Mazur)
Meghan Markle and Gloria Steinem smile on the red carpet at the Ms. Foundation event in New York. (Kevin Mazur)
Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, joined the royal couple at the ceremony. (Kevin Mazur)
Alleged car chase
Around 10 p.m. – Prince Harry and Markle leave the event through an exit near the Hertz rental car location and are escorted by multiple security guards to a waiting black sports utility vehicle. As they left, they were followed by paparazzi, according to a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex:
“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.”
Meghan Markle was honored by Gloria Steinem and Teresa Younger at the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards. (Kevin Mazur)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left the ceremony hours later and were escorted to a waiting black car. (MEGA/James Devaney)
Police intervened and, assisting the couple’s private security detail, led them to a police station about 18 blocks from the ballroom, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.
The couple spent several minutes at the police station, waiting for the situation to de-escalate. Once it was safe, they left in a taxi, the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter and did so on condition of anonymity, told the AP.
“They had this look on their faces,” he said. “They were about to give their destination when a garbage truck blocked their path.”
“All of a sudden paparazzi came out and started taking pictures,” he said.
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland, were spotted in a taxi after attending the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards. (Backgrid)
Body language expert Susan Constantine explained Markle gave the paparazzi the “nonverbal cold shoulder.”
Back to police precinct
Instead of going to their final destination, Singh says the royals told him to circle back to the precinct.
“They didn’t say much,” Singh said. “They just asked my name and then after that Harry said thanks and have a good day.”
They paid $17 in fare — and left a generous tip.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard,” Phillips concluded.
Harry’s mother, the late Princess Diana, died in a car crash in 1997. At the time, she was being pursued by paparazzi in Paris.
Prince Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, died in a car crash in 1997. (Tim Graham Photo Library)
Markle and Harry stepped back from their senior roles in 2020 and have since settled in California to raise their two children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.