NYC Mayor Comments on Reported Incident Involving Duke and Duchess of Sussex

A spokesperson for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said the couple was involved in a car chase with paparazzi on Tuesday night, May 16, as they returned from an event in New York City.

“Last night, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and [Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland,] were involved in a near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“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.”

In a statement of its own, the NYPD confirmed officers had helped escort the couple but that no collisions or arrests took place. Harry and Meghan spent 15 minutes at the NYPD’s 19th Precinct before getting into a taxi which brought them safely to a destination on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, police told local media.

At an unrelated press conference on Wednesday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said he would be briefed later in the afternoon, but when questioned about the reported two-hour duration of the chase, said, “I would find it hard to believe that there was a two-hour high-speed chase.”

Adams said any car chase in New York City would be dangerous and “irresponsible.” Credit: NYC Mayor’s Office via Storyful

Video transcript

- --convert the space.

- Mr. Mayor, can you say anything about the response to a paparazzi chase involving Prince Harry and his wife last night? Pretty scary. Apparently, two NYPD officers involved.

We all know the history with that family here. What do you know about that? What can you tell New Yorkers about that?

ERIC ADAMS: You know, it's clear that the press, paparazzi, is-- they want to get the right shot. They want to get the right story. But public safety must always be at the forefront.

The briefing I received, two of our officers could have been injured. New York City is different from a small town somewhere. You shouldn't be speeding anywhere, but this is a densely populated city.

And I think all of us, I don't think there's many of us who don't recall how his mom died. And it would be horrific to lose an innocent bystander 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.

- Just a follow up to that, can you share more details about the briefing that you received and if they've confirmed that this is was a two-hour trace because-- chase-- this is a densely populated town.

As you mentioned, there's lots of traffic. And just-- did they confirm that the duration was two hours in New York City traffic? And just any other details, you might be able to share about the briefing, please.

ERIC ADAMS: No, I'm going to be briefed in depth later on today and to give the exact time frame of how long. I would find it hard to believe that there was a two hour high speed chase. That would be-- I find it hard to believe. But we will find out the exact duration of it.

But if it's 10 minutes, a 10 minute chase it's extremely dangerous in New York City. We have a lot of traffic, a lot of movement, and a lot of people are using our streets. Any type of high speed chase that involves something of that nature is inappropriate. You know, police do it under limited circumstances when they're going after violent people. But to do it because you want to get the right shot can turn out to be a place where people can be harmed in a real way.

- Mr. Mayor--