Prince Harry and Meghan Car Chase Could Signal U.S. Reputational Problem

The response to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s assertion relating to their current “near catastrophic” paparazzi automobile chase in New York City might sign an issue for his or her reputational picture within the United States, in keeping with a dialogue on a brand new episode of Newsweek‘s The Royal Report podcast.

Following a public look on the Women of Vision awards ceremony on the Ziegfeld Theatre in Midtown Manhattan on May 16, the royal couple along with Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland, had been carefully pursued by paparazzi photographers over two hours by way of the town.

The day after the occasion came about, a spokesperson for the couple stated that that they had been concerned in a “near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi.”

“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers,” they continued.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle NYC
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the Women of Vision Awards in NYC on May 16, 2023. The couple had been engaged in a paparazzi chase following the occasion.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images Ms. Foundation for Women

“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,” they stated.

Damning parallels could possibly be drawn between the expertise described within the assertion and people of Harry’s late mom, Princess Diana, who died in 1997 from accidents sustained in a automobile crash whereas engaged in a excessive velocity paparazzi chase by way of the town of Paris.

Following the Sussexes assertion nevertheless, quite a lot of sources contradicted this model of occasions, together with the NYPD and the motive force of a taxi utilized in a part of their journey. A lot of U.S. shops additionally ran protection of the occasion with a degree of enquiring skepticism.

The fallout from the chase announcement might sign a sure reluctance within the U.S. to now take the couple’s claims at face worth, which might be a reputational downside for the pair, recommended Newsweek’s chief royal correspondent, Jack Royston, in dialog with royal commentator Kristen Meinzer.

“It would have been a horrific experience for him, unquestionably,” Royston stated of Harry. “But also I was looking on the day at the people who were kind of punching holes in the narrative, and it was like the Washington Post interviewed the taxi driver. You know, the NYPD, the mayor of New York…Like it doesn’t look good.”

“It’s one thing when it’s the Daily Mail or the Sun because they have this whole narrative about how the British media is very negative about them,” he recommended. “But the reputational implications of having these other very American sources of skepticism towards them, I fear, could be very profoundly significant for them. It could have quite wide-reaching, wide-ranging implications for their reputation in America.”

In an announcement after the chase, the NYPD stated that quite a few photographers following the royal couple made their journey by way of Midtown “challenging,” however added that: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams gave his ideas on the chase in a press convention, providing that whereas he discovered it “hard to believe that there was a two-hour high-speed chase,” even one lasting ten-minutes might have been “extremely dangerous.”

“It’s clear that the press, the paparazzi, they want to get the right shot,” he stated. “But public safety must always be at the forefront.”

Security Prince Harry and Meghan Markle NYC
Members of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s safety crew are pictured with photographers exterior the Ziegfeld Theatre in Midtown Manhattan on May 16, 2023. The response to Harry and Meghan’s assertion relating to their current “near catastrophic” paparazzi automobile chase in New York City might sign an issue for his or her reputational picture within the United States.
James Devaney/GC Images

Though the statements made by officers weren’t as emotively worded as that of the spokesperson for Harry and Meghan, Meinzer highlighted that they didn’t deny the incident came about.

She advised Royston on The Royal Report: “I see exactly what you mean and I think that what we should keep in mind though, is even though those people—the NYPD, the mayor, the taxi driver—gave more measured statements, they did not deny that they were being pursued. They did not deny that Harry and Meghan were being followed.”

In the U.S. Harry and Meghan noticed their reputation dramatically lower following the discharge of their six-part Netflix present detailing their exit from the royal household in December 2022, taking an extra hit in January 2023 with the publication of Harry’s memoir Spare.

Polling carried out for Newsweek on May 17 confirmed that on the time the assertion concerning the automobile chase was made, Meghan was starting to see her reputation regain misplaced floor among the many American public, being recorded in constructive numbers for the primary time since December.

It is but to be seen whether or not the fallout from the assertion could have a constructive or detrimental have an effect on on this, although because the Sussexes transfer ahead with their careers exterior the construction of the British monarchy, their public notion and reputations shall be more and more essential in securing future alternatives to generate revenue.

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek‘s royal reporter, based mostly in London. You can discover him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and browse his tales on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook web page.

Do you’ve a query about King Charles III, William and Kate, Meghan and Harry, or their household that you want to our skilled royal correspondents to reply? Email [email protected]. We’d love to listen to from you.

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