Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's night out in NYC took a scary turn.
According to a rep for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the pair and her mom Doria Ragland were involved in a "near catastrophic car chase" with "highly aggressive paparazzi" after attending the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards on May 16. (The couple's kids Archie Harrison, 4, and Lilibet Diana, 23 months, were not with them during the incident.)
"This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers," their rep told E! News. "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."
Authorities also addressed the incident in a statement to E! News. "On Wednesday evening, May 16, the NYPD assisted the private security team protecting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex," the Deputy Commissioner of Public Information said. "There were numerous photographers that made their transport challenging. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard."
This incident comes just months after both Harry, 38, and Meghan, 41—who stepped down as senior royals in 2020—addressed the media scrutiny they've received throughout their relationship in the Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan.
In fact, Harry even reflected on his mother Princess Diana's fatal 1997 car crash in the docuseries, sharing he's "terrified" of history repeating itself with Meghan.
"My job is to keep my family safe," he said while explaining his and Meghan's royal exit. "But the nature of being born into this position amid everything that comes with it and the level of hate that is being stirred up in the last three years, especially against my wife and my son, I'm generally concerned for the safety of my family."
Harry also recalled the pressure he and Prince William faced as young royals after their mom's death.
"When my mom died, we had two hats to wear," he shared. "One was two grieving sons, wanting to cry, grieve, and process that grief because of losing our mom. And two was the royal hat, show no emotion, get out there, meet the people, shake their hands."
As they grew older, Harry noticed they were receiving that same media attention that Diana experienced.
"There's a difference between having to accept, okay, we have this position in the family and therefore there's going to be a level of interest and being swarmed by paparazzi, chasing you in cars through red lights," he noted. "And then chasing you down the road on foot, which probably happened about 40 times when I was younger. It was too much."
"Everything that was happening in the UK was so intense," the Spare author continued. "I was trying to balance the experience of being a young boy who was trying to deal with the loss of his mom without much support or help or guidance. It didn't seem right, it didn't seem fair."