This situation was eerily similar to the one that caused Princess Diana's death which Prince Harry has dreaded all his life.
Prince Harry may have foreseen a terrifying case of déjà vu.
On May 16, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, together with her mother Doria Ragland, were involved in a "near catastrophic car chase" with "highly aggressive paparazzi" as they were returning from a gala in New York City, according to a representative for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, per PEOPLE.
"This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians, and two NYPD officers," their representative told E! News in a statement. "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."
A witness who saw Prince Harry and his wife Meghan leave a charity event Tuesday recounted the pursuit by paparazzi.— The Associated Press (@AP) May 17, 2023
Both the witness and NYC Mayor Eric Adams said the incident stirred memories of the car crash that killed Harry's mother, Princess Diana.https://t.co/CJTMsraSdy pic.twitter.com/lEPGCkdV67
The frightening incident, which thankfully occurred without the presence of the couple's two children, Archie Harrison, 4, and Lilibet Diana, 23 months, comes just five months after Harry opened up about his concern that his wife would suffer a similar heartbreaking fate and his late mother, Princess Diana.
"I was terrified," Harry said in their Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan. "I didn't want history to repeat itself."
BREAKING: In a situation eerily similar to what caused Princess Diana's death, her son, Prince Harry, wife Meghan Markle and Meghan's mother were nearly in a 'catastrophic accident' as paparazzi chased the car they were in on Tuesday in New York.— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) May 17, 2023
- The incident took… pic.twitter.com/rzS3iXZRDS
Harry—who previously stepped back from royal duties in 2020—was just 12 years old when his mother and Dodi Fayed were killed in a car crash in Paris' Ponte de l'Alma tunnel, with their driver smashing into a pillar as they were rushing away from paparazzi.
The father-of-two noted in the documentary, "My job is to keep my family safe. But the nature of being born into this position amid everything that comes with it and the level of hate that is being stirred up in the last three years, especially against my wife and my son, I'm generally concerned for the safety of my family."
The death of his mother had a significant impact on the way the 38-year-old perceived the paparazzi. "I think one of the hardest things to come to terms with is the fact that the people that chased her into the tunnel," Harry shared in the 2017 BBC documentary Diana, 7 Days, "were the same people that were taking photographs of her while she was still dying in the backseat of the car."
He described it as a wound that is still untreated. "I think being part of this family, and this role, and this job," he told ITV in October 2019, "every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash, it takes me straight back."
"This is exactly one of those moments that he would have dreaded his entire life, it's straight out of Princess Diana's story."@scobie weighs in on the "near catastrophic car chase" when Harry and Meghan were pursued by paparazzi in Manhattan on Tuesday night. pic.twitter.com/i5rcbVNwUU— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) May 17, 2023
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by (L) Dominic Lipinski; (R) Pascal Rondeau / Allsport