The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were driven by a New York City taxi driver, through the city for around ten minutes on Tuesday night, in an attempt to avoid press photographers. The cab driver noticed the pair’s evident nervousness during the brief drive.
The driver, Sukhcharn Singh, known locally as Sonny, shared that he picked the royal couple from a police station situated in Midtown Manhattan.
The spokesperson for Harry and Meghan has released a statement, conveying the couple’s experience of a “relentless pursuit” that stretched over two hours.
However, Singh, having witnessed a portion of this event, didn’t regard his driving as a dangerous paparazzi chase.
Donning a navy blue shirt and conversing with journalists near his family residence in Queens, Singh recounted the drive that made headlines.
“I was on 67th Street and then the security guard hailed me. Next thing you know, Prince Harry and his wife were hopping into my cab,” he elaborated.
“We got blocked by a garbage truck, and all of a sudden paparazzi came and started taking pictures.”
As the royal pair were about to reveal their destination, the security guard decided to head back to the police station.
“They looked nervous, I think they were being chased the whole day or something,” Singh recalled. “They were pretty nervous, but the security guard, he was on it.”
In an official statement, the spokesperson for Harry and Meghan expressed that they underwent a “near-catastrophic car chase” on Tuesday.
The New York police acknowledged an incident and stated that a number of photographers “made their transport challenging” – however, no accidents or injuries were reported.
One of the paparazzi drivers allegedly part of the car chase described the effort to keep up with their vehicle as “very tense”.
The driver stated “They did a lot of blocking and there was a lot of different ways to stop what was happening.”
He further noted: “If it was dangerous and catastrophic, it was more than likely based on the person that was driving.”
Backgrid USA, a photo agency, mentioned receiving photographs of the incident from photographers, “three of whom were in cars and one of whom was riding a bicycle”.
The agency responded to Prince Harry’s allegations seriously and assured to carry out an internal investigation, but according to the photographers, “there were no near-collisions or near-crashes during this incident”.
“It is important to note that these photographers have a professional responsibility to cover newsworthy events and personalities, including public figures such as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle,” the agency supplemented.
While in New York for the Ms Foundation Women of Vision Awards, the couple, along with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, were pursued upon leaving.
The spokesperson explained that the couple attempted to escape the paparazzi by taking refuge in a Manhattan police station, the place where Singh happened to pick them up.
Singh was of the view that they were not in danger during the short period they were in his vehicle.
“I don’t think that’s true, I think that’s all exaggerated and stuff like that. Don’t read too much into that,” Singh referred to the official statement. He added “that must have happened before” they boarded his taxi.
“New York City’s the safest place to be,” he claimed. “There’s police stations, cops on every corner, there’s no reason to be afraid in New York.”
Singh depicted Harry and Meghan as “nice people”.
“Upon concluding the journey, they said, ‘Oh nice meeting you’,” and asked his name, recalled Singh.
“The experience was fantastic. A ten-minute drive and I earned $50,” he remarked. “What more could you want? It’s unbeatable!”