(New York) Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle were “chased” Tuesday night in New York by “very aggressive paparazzi”, an incident that could have been “catastrophic”, according to a spokesperson for the couple on Wednesday , although the police played down the incident.

This “chase”, in the middle of town, the outcome of which could have been “fatal” according to a source close to the couple, immediately echoes the death of Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, in a car accident on August 31, 1997 in Paris, while his Mercedes was chased by paparazzi.

In New York on Tuesday night, the “relentless chase, which lasted nearly two hours, nearly resulted in collisions with other drivers, pedestrians and two NYPD officers,” a doorman said. -speech in an email.

The couple, who were in a car with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, had just left a party in New York where the Duchess of Sussex received an award from the philanthropic and feminist organization Ms. Foundation for Women.

According to AFP journalists covering the gala, the prince and his wife did not walk the red carpet and entered and left the back of the building where the evening was taking place.

“While a public figure generates interest, this should never be at the expense of anyone’s safety,” the spokesperson warned, denouncing the “dissemination of these images […] encouraging a practice very intrusive (in privacy) which is dangerous”.

When questioned, the New York Police (NYPD) replied that they had “provided assistance to the private security team protecting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex”.

“There were many photographers” on Tuesday night “making it difficult to transport them (in New York City),” a police spokesperson acknowledged.

But Harry and Meghan “arrived at their destination and there was no collision, no one injured, no arrest or summons” by law enforcement, the officer said.

According to a source close to the couple, the chase involved half a dozen vehicles “in which individuals were driving recklessly and dangerously for the motorcade and everyone around”.

“The chase could have been fatal,” the source said.

Harry has long blamed the press and paparazzi for causing the August 31, 1997 Paris car crash that killed his mother, Lady Di.

In fact, New York City Mayor Eric Adams directly alluded to Diana’s death: “I don’t think many of us don’t remember how her mom died.”

Turn by denouncing in front of the press a behavior of paparazzi “a little reckless and irresponsible”, the city councilor, a former police captain, questioned the probability of a “two-hour chase at full speed”.

“But even a ten-minute chase is extremely dangerous in New York City,” Adams concluded.

Harry, 38, and Meghan, 41, left the British Royal Family in early 2020 to move to California due to conflict and tension, including accusations of racism, and pressure from the media.

Harry came flying and alone on May 6 to London for the coronation of his father Charles III.

The couple are very unpopular in the UK. The tabloids are ruthless and Harry has several legal disputes with them.

The “Sussex” are blamed for having slammed the door in 2020, then criticized the powerful and secretive royal family, and for having exposed the backstage and the dissensions to the whole world.

In The Substitute, a huge bestseller written by Harry, William, the heir to the throne, is presented as angry, to the point in 2019 of having thrown his brother to the ground during an argument about Meghan.

Since leaving for the United States, Harry and Meghan have lost their close protection paid for by the British taxpayer.

But the couple, who hire the services of an American private security company, are challenging this state of affairs in court in the United Kingdom, arguing that they do not have access to information to ensure their safety when they are in Great Britain. -Brittany.