Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s taxi driver has spoken out after they were involved in a “near catastrophic car chase”.
According to the Duke of Sussex’s spokesperson, the couple and Meghan’s mother were being followed by paparazzi in New York for “over two hours”.
“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD [New York Police Department] 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,” the spokesperson continued.
“Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all in involved.”
Sukhcharn Singh, who drove the couple on part of their journey on Tuesday evening, confirmed they were followed by paparazzi but didn’t agree that the incident was “near catastrophic”.
Speaking to NBC News, Mr Singh said: “I think that’s all you know, exaggerated and stuff like that. So don’t read too much into that, you know.”
“New York City is the safest place to be,” Mr Singh continued. “There’s police stations, there’s cops on every corner, so there’s no reason to be afraid in New York.”
Mr Singh said he never felt in danger, and dismissed suggestions it was like a car chase seen in films.
Royal correspondent Omid Scobie told the BBC: “When you read the statement you assume it’s some sort of Fast and the Furious situation in the middle of New York City, which we know crawls at a snail’s pace.”
“It was sort of a game of cat and mouse, sometimes their car sat in traffic surrounded by photographers on bikes and cars behind them, and then there were moments when the road was clear and the car went up to 80 mph trying to lose some of the people that were following them,” Omid revealed.
Nonetheless, the ordeal must have undoubtedly been a terrifying one for the Duke of Sussex, given his late mother Princess Diana sadly passed away back in 1997 having been involved in a fatal crash after being chased by paparazzi through a tunnel in Paris, France.
The incident is said to have occurred after Harry and Meghan stepped out for the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards: Celebrating Generations of Progress & Power on May 16.
The Duchess of Sussex was one of four honourees at the event, which took place at the Ziegfeld Ballroom.
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The 41-year-old looked radiant in a gold Joanna Ortiz midi dress with a cut-out design, which she paired with black Tom Ford heels.
The couple were joined by Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland for the bash.
A biography for Meghan on the Women of Vision Awards website reads: “Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex is a feminist, champion of human rights and gender equity, and global role model.”
“Her lifelong advocacy for women and girls remains a constant thread she weaves through both humanitarian and business ventures.”
This is the first public event the couple have attended since Meghan skipped out on King Charles III’s coronation.
While Harry attended the historic ceremony at Westminster Abbey in London, the Duchess of Sussex remained in California to celebrate their son Archie’s 4th birthday.
Harry’s return to the UK was a fleeting visit, as it’s understood he jetted back to the US right after the ceremony.