Royal fans claim paparazzi ‘learned nothing from Diana’ after Meghan and Harry involved in car chase

Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Meghan’s mother were allegedly involved in ‘near catastrophic car chase’

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Thursday 18 May 2023 05:53 BST
Harry and Meghan involved in 'near catastrophic' car chase involving paparazzi

Royal fans have expressed their concerns that paparazzi photographers “learned nothing from Diana” after Prince Harry, his wife Meghan Markle, and her mother Doria Ragland were reportedly “involved in a near catastrophic car chase” with paparazzi.

“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,” a spokesperson for the couple said in a statement, adding that the “relentless pursuit” lasted “over two hours” and “resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers”.

The incident is said to have occurred on Tuesday after the couple and Ms Ragland attended an awards ceremony in New York City, with the Sussexes reportedly on their way back to the “private residence” where they were staying when they encountered the paparazzi.

It is understood that Harry and Meghan believe the pursuit, which is said to have involved six blacked-out vehicles, could have been fatal.

Prince Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, died in 1997 from injuries sustained in a car crash after trying to flee paparazzi who were following her vehicle.

On social media, the news of the incident has been met with horror, with many suggesting the paparazzi’s alleged pursuit of Harry, Meghan and the duchess’s mother resembled the circumstances surrounding Diana’s tragic death.

“The paparazzi have learned NOTHING from Diana. This is disgusting,” one person wrote on Twitter, while another said: “Sounds like the same thing that happened with Princess Diana. Horrible.”

“Terrifying on its own but even more chilling given what happened to Harry’s mom Diana,” someone else wrote.

The incident also sparked calls for stricter regulations of paparazzi photographers, with Mia Farrow suggesting “we need laws, rules to govern these predatory paparazzi”.

Others spoke of the impact the incident may have had on Harry, who has been open about his fears of “history repeating itself” after he and Meghan experienced constant harassment by the media during their time as senior royals.

“I feel so sorry for all of them but especially Harry. Can’t imagine how it made him feel,” one post reads, while another person wrote: “I cannot imagine the flashbacks Harry was having of his mother Princess Diana.”

The duke, who was 12 years old when his mother died, spoke about his concern of history repeating itself in his AppleTV+ docuseries The Me You Can’t See, in which he drew parallels between the treatment of his mother and the scrutiny he and Meghan faced.

“It’s incredibly triggering to potentially lose another woman in my life, but the list is growing. And it all comes back to the same people, the same business model, the same industry,” Harry said.

In the docuseries, Harry also reflected on the inquest into Diana’s death, which concluded she was unlawfully killed due to “gross negligence” of her driver, Henri Paul, who had been drinking, and the paparazzi who were following her car at the time of the crash.

According to the duke, he was “so angry” that there was “no justice at all” after the inquest. “Nothing came from that. The same people who chased her into the tunnel photographed her dying in the backseat of that car,” he recalled.

The royal has also spoken about the trauma of his mother’s death, with Harry revealing in his memoir Spare that he retraced the route his mother’s driver took in Paris on the night she died. “I’d thought driving the tunnel would bring an end, or brief cessation, to the pain, the decade of unrelenting pain. Instead it brought on the start of Pain, Part Deux,” he wrote.

The pursuit of the Sussexes is said to have involved a number of traffic violations including driving on the pavement and through red lights, reversing down a one-way street, illegally blocking a moving vehicle and driving while photographing and while on the phone.

In the statement, the spokesperson for the Sussexes condemned the “dangerous” way images of the couple and Ms Ragland leaving the event were obtained.

“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 said. “Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all involved.”

According to royal reporter Omid Scobie, a source close to Meghan, Harry and Doria said they are “understandably shaken but thankful everyone’s safe”.

Follow the latest updates here.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in