Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Aren't Happy About Claims Their Car Chase Was Fake

This past May, Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, was honored at the annual Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards (via NBC). When Markle stood up to receive her award at the podium in the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City, she encouraged other women to stand for their beliefs, find inspiration, and start their work, whatever it may be, from wherever they are and with whatever they have, saying, "It's never too late to start ... You can be the visionary of your own life... There is still so much work to be done."

And while the event began with a great deal of fanfare and joy for Menghan Markle and her husband Prince Harry, the events that took place when the couple left the ceremony have now been the subject of media speculation for weeks. According to a representative for the royal couple, the car carrying the Duke and Duchess of Sussex along with Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, was relentlessly chased by paparazi hoping to get a sellable photo of the famous duo. 

The representative for Harry and Meghan described the event as a "near catastrophic car chase." But not long after their claim made headlines, some began to question the validity of the story. 

Harry and Meghan speak out

On May 17, representation for Harry and Meghan stated that "This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers" (via US Weekly). Yet, when the New York City Police Department determined that no further investigation into the incident was warranted, people began to speculate as to whether the chase could have been as severe as initially described by the Harry and Meghan camp.

Questions were raised as to how such a chase could have gone on for so long in downtown Manhattan and why the couple's driver would have brought them to the home of a friend rather than ducking into the garage of one of the hotels the royal couple frequents (via The New York Times). But the Harry and Meghan have made it clear, via a spokesperson, how they feel about claims that the chase may have been different from the way they described it. Some even went so far as to accuse them of making it up as a publicity stunt.     

Ashley Hansen, speaking for the couple, told The New York Times, "Respectfully, considering the Duke's family history, one would have to think nothing of the couple or anybody associated with them to believe this was any sort of PR stunt ... Quite frankly, I think that's abhorrent."

Why the story is so sensitive for Harry

Hansen, of course, is referencing the tragic and horrific manner in which Prince Harry's mother, Princess Diana, was taken from this world. When Diana was only 36 years old, the car carrying her and her companion Dodi Fayed crashed during the driver's attempt to evade relentlessly pursuing paparazzi. The accident has legally been attributed to the reckless driving of the paparazzi and also of Henri Paul, who had been driving the car Diana rode in and who also perished as a result of the accident (via NPR). 

The trauma of this violent event and of the loss of his mother is something Prince Harry has discussed openly in the last few years, both in interviews and also in his tell-all memoir, "Spare." This is why Ashley Hansen, representing Harry and Meghan, stated that it is "abhorrent" for anyone to suggest a person who had been so traumatized by the loss of his mother in a violent car chase with paparazzi would then lie openly to the public and to law enforcement about having been involved in a similarly dangerous paparazzi pursuit.