Harry and Meghan demand that US photo agency involved in ‘near catastrophic car chase’ in New York hand over images of them
- Backgrid has rejected the couple’s demands following the New York incident
- Photo firm tells Sussexes Americans ‘rejected royal prerogative long ago’
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have hit back after demanding the photo agency involved in a ‘near catastrophic chase’ give them their photos.
Backgrid has rejected the couple’s demands after the incident in New York on Tuesday night, telling them that Americans “declined royal prerogative a long time ago.”
The letter, which the agency said it received from the couple’s legal team on Thursday, reportedly read: “We hereby demand that Backgrid immediately provide us with copies of all photos, videos and/or film taken by the freelance photographers last night. after the couple left their event and in the ensuing hours.’
Backgrid said it had responded with a letter saying, “In America, as I’m sure you know, property belongs to its owner: third parties can’t just demand it be given to them, as Kings might be able to do.”
“Perhaps you should sit down with your client and tell them that his English rules of royal prerogative to require the citizens to hand over their property to the Crown have long since been rejected by this country. We stand by our founding fathers.”
Doria Ragland, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at New York’s Ziegfeld Ballroom on Tuesday
The couple claimed the chase came after their attendance at the 50th anniversary gala event of the Ms Foundation For Women – their first appearance together at a public event since the Duchess of Sussex missed the coronation.
A spokesperson for Harry and Meghan said the couple and Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland were “involved in a near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a group of very aggressive paparazzi.”
He added, “This relentless pursuit, which lasted more than two hours, resulted in multiple near misses involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers.”
Paparazzi deny there were any near misses, while the New York Police Department said “numerous photographers” made the couple’s journey “challenging,” but there were “no reports of collisions, subpoenas, injuries or arrests.”
Meghan arrives for the 50th anniversary gala event of the Ms Foundation For Women on Tuesday
Back in the UK, Harry seeks permission from the High Court to get a judicial review of a decision that he should not pay privately for his protective security.
And a friend of the couple told i newspaper that the pair believe the New York incident is proof that they should be able to privately pay for police protection.
The friend said: “This is clear evidence that Harry and Meghan are in a different category than other celebrity couples and attract a lot more attention.
“For them to be banned by the UK government from paying for expert police protection is just a ridiculous situation and Harry is clearly confident he will quash this in court.”
But a senior Interior Ministry source also told the paper that the government was confident the New York incident would not affect its case.
The Duke and Duchess leave the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York on Tuesday after the event
Meanwhile the Daily telegram reported last night that King Charles III has had no contact with Harry since the incident.
Harry and Meghan are said to be frustrated by both the lack of contact and the lack of public acknowledgment or comment from 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.
“My priority and responsibility is the safety of people’s homes.”