Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ask paparazzi to hand over pictures

Harry and Meghan demand US picture agency involved in ‘near catastrophic car chase’ in New York hand over images of them

  • Backgrid has rejected the couple’s demands following the incident in New York 
  • Photo agency tells Sussexes that Americans ‘long ago rejected royal prerogative’

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been knocked back after demanding the picture agency involved in a ‘near catastrophic car chase’ give them its pictures.

Backgrid has rejected the couple’s demands after the incident in New York on Tuesday night, telling them that Americans ‘long ago rejected royal prerogative’.

The letter, which the agency said it got from the pair’s legal team on Thursday, reportedly said: ‘We hereby demand that Backgrid immediately provide us with copies of all photos, videos, and/or films taken last night by the freelance photographers after the couple left their event and over the next several hours.’

Backgrid said it had replied with a letter reading: ‘In America, as I’m sure you know, property belongs to the owner of it: Third parties cannot just demand it be given to them, as perhaps Kings can do.

‘Perhaps you should sit down with your client and advise them that his English rules of royal prerogative to demand that the citizenry hand over their property to the Crown were rejected by this country long ago. We stand by our founding fathers.’

Doria Ragland, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York on Tuesday

The couple claimed the pursuit happened following their attendance at the Ms Foundation For Women’s 50th anniversary gala event – their first appearance at a public event together since the Duchess of Sussex missed the Coronation. 

A spokesman for Harry and Meghan said the pair and Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland ‘were involved in a near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi’.

He added: ‘This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers.’

Paparazzi deny there were any near-crashes, while the New York Police Department said ‘numerous photographers’ made the couple’s journey ‘challenging’ but there were ‘no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests’.

Meghan arrives for the Ms Foundation For Women's 50th anniversary gala event on Tuesday

Back in the UK, Harry is seeking the go-ahead from the High Court to secure a judicial review over a decision that he should not be allowed to pay privately for his protective security.

And a friend of the couple told the i newspaper that the couple believe the incident in New York is evidence that they should be able to pay privately for police protection.

The friend said: ‘This is a clear demonstration that Harry and Meghan are in a different category to other celebrity couples and command far greater attention.

‘For them to be banned by the British Government from paying for expert police protection is just a ludicrous situation and one Harry is clearly confident of overturning in court.’

But a senior Home Office source also told the newspaper that the Government was confident that the New York incident would not affect its case.

The Duke and Duchess depart the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York on Tuesday after the event

Meanwhile the Daily Telegraph reported last night that King Charles III has not been in touch with Harry since the incident.

Harry and Meghan are said to have been frustrated by both the lack of contact and the lack of public acknowledgment or comment by Buckingham Palace.

MailOnline contacted the Palace this afternoon but officials declined to comment. 

During an interview with the BBC at the G7 summit in Japan, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appeared to dismiss the New York incident, saying: ‘Cars in New York are not really my priority or my responsibility.

‘What is my priority and responsibility is people’s safety at home.’


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