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Meghan Markle, Prince Harry Return to New York For First Time Since Car Chase Controversy: Will the Visit Help or Hurt Their Comeback Efforts?

October 9, 2023 - Culture

Back in May, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry traveled to New York City to attend a gala hosted by the Ms Foundation.

Meghan was honored with a Woman of Vision Award, and the night should have been one that the Sussexes could reflect upon fondly for the rest of their lives.

Instead, it’s one they’d probably prefer to never talk about again.

According to Harry and Meghan, the night devolved into chaos shortly after they left the ceremony.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the cycling medal ceremony at the Cycling Track during day six of the Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023 on September 15, 2023 in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The Sussexes say their chauffeured car was relentlessly pursued by a pack of paparazzi in souped-up vehicles with tinted windows.

Critics have since questioned that version of events, with some going so far as to accuse Harry and Meghan of flat-out lying.

Commenters ranging from anonymous social media users to New York-based celebs like reality star Bethenny Frankel insisted that the pursuit could not have taken place in the manner that the Sussexes described.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrive at the 2022 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award Gala in New York on December 6, 2022. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

It was a small scandal, but it was one of several that did minor damage to the Sussexes’ public image in recent months.

Now, the couple is poised to return to Manhattan for the first time since the paparazzi controversy, and already, the media outlets that lambasted Harry and Meghan for their alleged dishonesty are having a field day reminding the public of that incident.

The duke and duchess will arrive in New York on Tuesday to host the “The Archewell Foundation Parents’ Summit: Mental Wellness in a Digital Age.”

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Wheelchair Basketball preliminary match between Ukraine and Australia during day four of the Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023 on September 13, 2023 in Dusseldorf, Germany. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Like most of the couple’s recent endeavors, the trip is for a good cause, but the negative press coverage has already begun.

New York City mayor Eric Adams vowed to launch an investigation into the incident, but as the trail grows colder, it becomes increasingly unlikely that we’ll ever find out exactly what happened on the night of the Ms. Foundation Awards.

According to a statement from the Sussexes, the chase was a two-hour ordeal that nearly ended in tragedy.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the cycling medal ceremony at the Cycling Track during day six of the Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023 on September 15, 2023 in Dusseldorf, Germany. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two [police] officers,” a spokesperson for the royal couple said.

“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,”

“Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all involved.”

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex meet with NATO Joint Force Command and families from Italy and Netherlands during day five of the Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023 on September 14, 2023 in Dusseldorf, Germany. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

“What we were dealing with was very chaotic. There were about a dozen vehicles: cars, scooters and bicycles,” said the couples’ head of security, Chris Sanchez.

“The public [was] in jeopardy at several points. It could have been fatal. They were jumping curbs and red lights. At one point they blocked the limousine and started taking pictures until we were able to get out.”

Many are of the opinion that such a chase could not possibly have taken place in Manhattan on a weekday evening.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the 2020 UN Nelson Mandela Prize award ceremony at the United Nations in New York on July 18, 2022. (Getty)

At the end of the day, only those involved in the incident know exactly how it played out.

But you can be sure that many will be offering unsolicited theories about what happened as Harry and Meghan return to the scene of the (alleged) crime this week.


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