After news broke that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were involved in a “near catastrophic car chase” involving paparazzi in New York City on Tuesday night, Mayor Eric Adams made brief comments about the incident.
The New York City police department confirmed the incident involving photographers and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex but said no injuries, collision or arrests took place.
The couple’s spokesperson said Wednesday that the pursuit lasted over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road and pedestrians.
However, police say the whole incident was over in a matter of minutes. No one was hurt or arrested.
Adams backed up the couple, saying public safety should be prioritised over the desire for capturing the perfect photograph.
“New York City is different from a small town somewhere. You shouldn’t be speeding anywhere but this is a densely populated city,”
he added, noting the amount of traffic and movement and people on the streets.
He added that there are not many people who don’t recall how Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, died in a high-speed chase in 1997 after trying to flee paparazzi in Paris.
He said: “I don’t think there’s many of us who don’t recall how (Prince Harry’s) mom died and it would be horrific to lose innocent bystanders during a chase like this, and something to have happened to them as well, so I think we have to be extremely responsible.
“I thought that was a bit reckless and irresponsible.”
They were pursued after leaving the Ziegfeld Theatre in midtown Manhattan where the former actress, 41, was honoured at the Women of Vision Awards.
After climbing into the back of a yellow cab around 10pm, their vehicle was followed by around 12 paparazzi.
Sukhcharn Singh, who drove the royals for part of the journey, said they were being followed by photographers and said the Sussexes’ “seemed scared” – but he personally “never felt in danger”.
Harry and Meghan left the awards in their SUV with a police escort but as paparazzi charged after them, they were forced to divert to NYPD’s 19th Precinct on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Once outside, they used the SUV and police vehicles that followed them to block off the road and transfer the couple into a yellow cab but the desperate photographers were still able to follow them.