A member of the security team protecting Prince Harry and Meghan described a “chaotic” chase in New York involving paparazzi photographers on Tuesday, saying it could have ended in deaths.
Speaking exclusively to CNN, Chris Sanchez said the Sussexes were chased by photographers after leaving the Women of Vision Awards at the city’s Ziegfeld Ballroom.
In the end, no one was injured and the couple arrived safe and sound, but shaken, at the apartment where they were staying, he said.
“I have never seen, experienced anything like this. What we were dealing with was very chaotic. There were about a dozen vehicles: cars, scooters and bicycles,” Sanchez said.
“The public was in danger on several occasions. It could have been fatal. They were jumping sidewalks and red lights. At one point they blocked the limo (which was carrying the couple) and started taking pictures until we could get out,” he added.
Police said the incident was “difficult”, but there was no collision and no one was injured.
Sanchez said he “was concerned about the managers (Prince Harry and Meghan) but more about the public because they (the paparazzi) were so erratic. People were on the sidewalks and crossing the streets and the (paparazzi ) were going through red lights. We did everything according to the letter of the law.
Harry and Meghan changed cars “more than once” during the car chase, Sanchez said. The couple were seen leaving the awards ceremony in a black car and they were spotted in a yellow cab later.
After the incident, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were “scared, exhausted, but relieved to be back”, he added.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) said it assisted the Sussexes’ private security team on Tuesday evening and “there were numerous photographers making it difficult to transport them.”
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have arrived at their destination and no collisions, summonses, injuries or arrests have been reported,” said Julian Phillips, NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information.
Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
A member of Prince Harry and Meghan’s security detail told CNN that a car chase involving paparazzi photographers in New York on Tuesday “could have been fatal”.
Prince Harry has been candid about his family’s safety, often comparing his wife’s treatment to that of his mother, Diana.
The couple’s spokesperson said while ‘being a public figure sparks some public interest, it should never come at the expense of anyone’s safety’ and called on the media not to publish photos of the incident.
A local law enforcement source corroborated part of the couple’s account, telling CNN they were followed by a “swarm” of paparazzi on Tuesday.
New York Mayor Eric Adams said the incident was “reckless” and “irresponsible”.
Buckingham Palace told CNN on Wednesday it would not comment on the incident.