Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle were involved in a "near catastrophic car chase" involving paparazzi in New York late on May 16, 2023, a spokesperson for the couple said May 17


  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle want copies of the footage and photos obtained by paparazzi Tuesday night
  • Backgrid fired back by telling the Sussexes that the property belongs to the owner in America.
  • The agency told the Sussex's lawyers to remind their clients they do not have the royal prerogative to demand

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made some demands from the paparazzi agency Backgrid, but the latter denied it.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were involved in a "near catastrophic" car chase with "highly aggressive" paparazzi Tuesday night after attending the Women of Vision Awards, where Markle was among the honorees in New York City. Following the incident, the royal couple demanded that the celebrity photo agency Backgrid USA Inc. give them copies of the photos and videos obtained by its paparazzi.

In a letter addressed to the agency, the Sussexes wanted footage of the "chase" to shore up their security.

"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," the letter obtained by TMZ read.

However, Backgrid declined to give in to Prince Harry and Markle's demands.

"In America, as I'm sure you know, property belongs to the owner of it," the agency said in response. "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."

The outlet noted that there's no legal basis for Backgrid to turn over footage to the Sussexes. Also, no lawsuit was filed requiring the agency to turn over documents.

On Wednesday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's rep released a statement about the chasing incident. An insider said Markle's mom, Doria Ragland, was "terrified."

"This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers. 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," Prince Harry and Markle's rep said.

Backgrid also released a statement in response to the Sussexes. According to the agency, there were four freelance photographers involved, and "they had no intention of causing any distress or harm as their tool was their cameras."

"We do, however, want to point out that according to the photographers present, there were no near-collisions or near-crashes during this incident. The photographers have reported feeling that the couple was not in immediate danger at any point," Backgrid stated.

The NYPD also released a statement to People, confirming they assisted the Sussexes' security since the paparazzi made their travel challenging. However, they clarified that the royal couple "arrived at their destination, and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard."

Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, visit the 9/11 Memorial in Manhattan, New York City