A member of Prince Harry and Meghan’s security team has described a “chaotic” chase in New York involving paparazzi photographers. On TuesdayHe said it could have ended with casualties.
Speaking exclusively to CNN, Chris Sanchez said Sussex was chased by photographers after leaving the Women of Vision Awards at the city’s Ziegfeld Ballroom.
In the end, no one was hurt and the couple arrived safely, but the apartment they were staying in was shaken, he said.
“I have never seen or experienced anything like this. What we were dealing with was very confusing. There were about a dozen vehicles: cars, scooters and bicycles,” Sanchez said.
“Civilians were at risk in many places. It could have been death. They were jumping barriers and red lights. At one point they stopped the limousine (carrying the couple) and started taking pictures until we left,” he added.
Police said the incident was “challenging” but there were no altercations and no one was injured.
Sanchez said he was “concerned about the princes (Prince Harry and Meghan) but more concerned about the public because they (the paparazzi) were so disorganized. People were running red lights on the sidewalks and crossing the streets. We did everything by law.”
Harry and Meghan switched cars “more than once” during the car chase, Sanchez said. The pair left the awards ceremony in a black car and were later spotted in a yellow cab.
He added that after the incident, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were “scared, exhausted, but relieved to be back”.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) said on Tuesday evening that it had assisted Sussex’s private security team and that “several photographers challenged their traffic”.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no collisions, summonses, injuries or arrests,” said NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Julian Phillips.
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A car chase involving paparazzi photographers in New York on Tuesday “could have been dangerous,” a member of Prince Harry and Meghan’s security team told CNN.
Prince Harry is outspoken about his family’s safety, often comparing his wife’s treatment to that of his mother, Diana.
A spokesman for the couple said “being a public figure comes with a public interest that should not come at the cost of anyone’s safety” and called on the media not to publish photos of the incident.
A local law enforcement source confirmed some of the couple’s account, telling CNN that they were followed by a “swarm” of paparazzi on Tuesday.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams called the incident “irresponsible” and “irresponsible.”
Buckingham Palace told CNN on Wednesday it could not comment on the incident.