Driver Sukhcharan Singh who drove the couple around in the exaggerated catastrophic car chase, told Sky News that he instantly recognized the couple the moment they boarded the cab. On how the couple got into his cab, Singh told the news outlet that he was on the 67th street when the security guard hailed him. It must have been quite a surprise for Singh to see the Duke and Duchess themselves sitting down in his cab as he instantly recognized the couple.
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle were uninjured in the incident Tuesday night that came almost 26 years after the Paris car crash that killed Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, which Harry blames on paparazzi. Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle were involved in a “near catastrophic car chase” with paparazzi in New York, a spokesperson for the couple said Wednesday.
Taxi driver Sukhcharan Singh, who was in ‘near catastrophic’ car chase with Prince Harry & Meghan, says dangers were ‘exaggerated’ But police and even the mayor of New York City, as well as Sukhcharan Singh who briefly transported the couple, played down the danger and duration of the reported pursuit. The pair were uninjured in the incident Tuesday night that came almost 26 years after the Paris car crash that killed Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, which Harry blames on paparazzi.
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How did the car chase start?
The episode occurred after Harry, 38, and Meghan, 41, attended an awards ceremony in America’s financial capital with Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland. On Wednesday, the NYPD released a statement to PEOPLE confirming that authorities assisted Prince Harry and Meghan’s security team, saying their travel was made “challenging” by paparazzi.
“The NYPD assisted the private security team protecting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. There were numerous photographers that made their transport challenging,” the statement said. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard.”
In a Wednesday interview with The Washington Post, taxi driver Sukhcharn Singh also shed new light on the 10 approximate minutes he spent with Harry, Meghan and Doria in his vehicle. The cab driver told the outlet that he picked up the Duke and Duchess of Sussex with “an older Black woman and one security guard” around 11 p.m. on Tuesday outside of the NYPD 19th precinct on East 67th Street, a little more than a mile from the Ziegfeld Ballroom.
According to Singh, the security guard waved down his car, and he drove the four to Park Avenue before moving south, and they were followed by two cars. “They kept following us and were coming next to the car,” the 37-year-old told the Washington Post. “They took pictures as we stopped and were filming us.”
The taxi driver said that after a few minutes, the security guard asked him to drive back to the police station, concerned that they were too exposed to photographers. Singh said he then headed north up Madison Avenue to take the group back to where he picked them up.
“I don’t think I would call it a chase. I never felt like I was in danger. It wasn’t like a car chase in a movie. They were quiet and seemed scared but it’s New York — it’s safe,” he said.
Singh added during an appearance on Piers Morgan’s show that after he picked the trio and a security guard up, they “seemed very nervous.” He continued, “As we went a block, we were blocked by a trash truck, and then all of a sudden, paparazzi just came out of nowhere and flashes just went off.” The driver added that compared to other celebrities he’d had in the cab, the photographers “surrounded the car” and went “crazy with the camera.”
A photographer on the scene tells PEOPLE that it is “sensational” to describe the pursuit as “near catastrophic.” “Nobody got a ticket or arrested…I don’t see how it was near catastrophic other than crazy hyperbole,” they say. A second source adds, “At any point, they could have gone to a police station or pulled into a garage.”
PEOPLE has viewed video footage of part of the incident, showing an NYPD cop talking to the driver of an SUV, which is stationary in the middle of the street. It is not possible to see who is in the vehicle, but the source alleges that, before the footage was taken, “Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s driver gets pulled over after he was observed by NYPD swerving and almost hitting pedestrians while trying to evade the paparazzi.” In addition to those allegations, the source says the driver was wearing a suit and driving an SUV and the Sussexes were not in a yellow taxi cab at this point.
What the New York Mayor had to say?
New York Mayor Eric Adams said that it is “reckless and irresponsible” for anyone to chase people in vehicles in the densely populated city following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s statement on being involved in a “near catastrophic” pursuit by paparazzi.
Saying that he did receive a full briefing about the incident but was concerned about reports, the mayor said, “It’s clear that the press, the paparazzi, they want to get the right shot. But public safety must always be at the forefront.”
Mayor Adams said “two of our officers could have been injured” while he found it “hard to believe that there was a two-hour high-speed chase.” Even an incident lasting 10 minutes could have been “extremely dangerous”, he said.
“New York City is different from a small town somewhere. You shouldn’t be speeding anywhere but this is a densely populated city,” he added, saying, “It would be horrific to lose an innocent bystander during a chase like this and for something to have happened to them as well.”
Why it was irresponsible on the part of Harry and Meghan too?
According to a report by PEOPLE, a photographer on the scene has shared their opinion calling out the description of the incident. They said that it is “sensational” to term the car chase as “near catastrophic.” They said, “Nobody got a ticket or arrested… I don’t see how it was near catastrophic other than crazy hyperbole.” The source also reports, “Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s driver gets pulled over after he was observed by NYPD swerving and almost hitting pedestrians while trying to evade the paparazzi.”
(With inputs from agencies)
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